Shrek (2001)

SHREK, pronounced "shreck," is the slyest kid pic to come down the 
pike in some time-- a super-droll, somewhat sedate, and fully com-
puter-animated (by the makers of ANTZ, not TOY STORY) medieval ad-
venture about an ogre, a talking donkey, and their quest to rescue 
a Beautiful Princess(tm) from, first, a fire-breathing dragon and, 
later, the diminutive ruler-wannabe of a forest land that just 
happens to be populated by such familiar fairy-tale characters as 
Cinderella, Snow White, and even a pixie dust-trailing Tinkerbell.  
Yup, all the same stars of Disney's animated movies, a coincidence 
that isn't one as Walt's empire gets a game roasting in the guise 
of this good-natured, broad-humored, even-multiple-fart-jokes-are-
okay road picture.  Over there, the Three Blind Mice are tapping 
white canes; over here, a tortured gingerbread man tells his cap-
tors "eat me."  And, when a certain ass begins levitating after an 
inadvertent sprinkling of a certain other's dust, he exclaims in 
rhyme "but did you ever see a donkey fly?"  (That is, after exu-
berantly swiping a couple lines from PETER PAN.)  Disneyworld also 
gets a good jabbing in the form of a squeaky-clean castle kingdom 
complete with turnstiles, waiting lines, and a cheery, ye olde in-
formation kiosk with miniature figures singing (and dancing to!) 
the park's, er, kingdom's many rules.

For those blissfully unaware wee ones sure to flock by the millions, 
there's a burps 'n' boogers title-sequence, an explosive escape from 
the aforementioned fire-breather, and a pro-wrestling style battle 
between ogre and knight.  (The latter set to Joan Jett's "Bad Repu-
tation," one of a half-dozen distracting pop songs played.)  Mike 
Myers voices the congeal title character with a milder version of 
his Fat Bastard brogue; Eddie Murphy is the chatty ass, his four-
legged friend both sounding and *looking* a little too much like 
Chris Rock.  Cameron Diaz plays the rescuee and the always distinc-
tive John Lithgow voices the villain.  They're wonderfully expres-
sive speakers, which is a bit more than you can say about their 
*looks*.  Alas, the computer animation is all at once breathtakingly 
lovely and spectacularly dull.  There's depth and detail and texture 
out the wazoo, but also a nagging "blurry-ness."  Monsters, animals, 
and other creatures look great, but the humans are more wood-looking 
than flesh.  (The pacing is equally under-amazing-- kinda pokey, 
kinda predictably unpredictable.)  Close your eyes (or look down at 
your notepad) and the movie disappoints less, the savvy script serv-
ing up pop-psychology talks for Myers and Murphys, extensive decon-
struction of storybook convention (see: Princess, Singing, Exploding 
Bird), and the subversive, "Southpark"-style pleasure of hearing the 
villain's name, "farq-wad," repeated over and over.  LOL.  Yup, even 
Yours Picky is hard-pressed to hold a grudge against a summer chil-
dren's movie that (a.) opens in an outhouse, (b.) includes a love-
struck [ see the movie, pal ], and (c.) makes ample use of entirely 
appropriate ass puns.  He's a donkey on the edge.  (Rated "PG"/87 
Grade: B

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros