Shrek (2001) – 7/10 romantic action buddy-buddy fantasy CG animated movie review

Cast / crew
Mike Myers: [Voice of] Shrek
Eddie Murphy: [Voice of] Donkey
Cameron Diaz: [Voice of] Princess Fiona
John Lithgow: [Voice of] Lord Farquaad
Director: Andrew Adamson
Director: Vicky Jenson
Producer: Aron Warner
Producer: John H. Williams
Producer: Jeffrey Katzenberg
Writer (Original Book): William Steig
Writer: Ted Elliott
Writer: Terry Rossio
Writer: Joe Stillman
Writer: Roger S.H. Schulman

Shrek (2001)

Shrek is a big, grumpy ogre who, despite his reputation for human-munching fearsomeness, just wants to be left alone. Which is why he objects strongly when Lord Farquaad cleanses his kingdom of all fairytale folk and dumps them in Shrek’s swamp. Accompanied by his new (unwanted) companion, Donkey, Shrek travels to the city of Duloc to confront Farquaad. There they strike a deal: if Shrek rescues the beautiful Princess Fiona from the clutches of an evil dragon so that Farquaad can marry her, he’ll clear Shrek’s swamp.


Looking back in the light of later Shrek product, the fact that this movie works and is fun, funny, touching and thrilling seems rather more accidental than it first appeared. It starts badly with a repulsive introduction to a fairly unpleasant character, Shrek, and features what would become the Dreamworks staples of inter-species sex (human-ogre and dragon-donkey) and blatantly omitting rude words. Hilariously, apparently. It also features unappealing character design and forgettable production design. But Shrek also features a stronger-than-expected story and genuine character growth for Shrek as he, almost inadvertently, builds a relationship with Donkey then Fiona. It also finishes with a great scene to send you out of the cinema buzzing (a full cast cover of I’m a Believer). It was enough to make this the biggest animated film of 2001 (Disney released Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Monsters, Inc.) and broke the Disney stranglehold on successful animated movies.

This movie contains references to bad language, innuendo and unpleasant scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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