Movie Reviews: Shrek




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     Deamworks (89 min.)
     An ogre is sent to rescue a princess in distress, in exchange for having squatters removed from his property. The Lord of the land wants to marry the princess, so that he can become a King. She is being held prisoner in a castle protected by (what else?) a fire-breathing dragon, The ogre accepts the mission and a new fairy tale is born.
     Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, John Lithgow
Bottom Line:


   The ensemble cast of voices for this animated feature is headed by Mike Myers as Shrek, an ogre who likes to keep to himself, because townsfolk scatter when he comes on the scene. You see he's tall and get the picture. Not far away, in the town of Duloc, the malevolent Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) banishes all fairy tale characters from his land, to become squatters in Shrek's forest. All the characters vanquished are familiar to us, particularly the adults, from Disney animation over the years.
    Shrek goes to Lord Farquaad to appeal to him to remove these characters from his land. The diminutive Lord Farquaad (we're talking Tiny Tim size) at first wants his soldiers to destroy Shrek, but Shrek saves himself by doing a Russell Crowe imitation out of Gladiator and does them all in. Lord Farquaad decides to have Shrek rescue the princess being held in the tower of a castle protected by a ferocious dragon. Farquaad wants Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) as his bride, so he can be the king.
    Tagging along with Shrek is a donkey (Eddie Murphy); who always has something to say, as in he can never shut up. He becomes Shrek's sidekick and mentor as they go on their mission. Eventually the princess is rescued, thanks to Shrek's fortitude, and Donkey's wit and smooth talking. They set off for Duloc and Princess Fiona's marriage to Lord Farquaad.
    We enjoy Shrek on a greater level for the message it sends to our kids about their self-image. Unlike three recent films, which stumbled when trying to address the issue of beauty, Beautiful, Stardom, and Miss Congeniality, this one hits the target, right on the bull's eye. After Shrek has performed great heroics to rescue Princess Fiona, for good reason, he is afraid to remove his helmet because she will see that he is not a handsome Prince Charming. The magic moment in the film comes when the Princess gets her kiss from her first true love, for that is when she will be revealed in her true beauty.
    Shrek has many beautiful moments, and the best one is that you will have something to talk about with your children, especially since most of us are not among the "beautiful people" like Cameron Diaz or Tom Cruise. This fairy tale takes us into the real world.



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