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Shrek Film Review Essay Example

The movie Shrek  has made a major influence on the  animated movie industry and the viewers. It gives more laughs and giggles than any other movie.  "Shrek" is jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart”(Ebert). It is one of those movies that are adored and watched by the whole family and so much more.

Realistic and Unique Design of the Characters and the Scenery

All the characters and the scenery in the movie have unique design. When they could have looked like clay or just mechanical and have that artificial feel to their movement surprisingly it is not so. It is almost like they are real, because every character was given the bone structure and was built from that point on, giving the audience the impression that the skin is actually moving over the bone and muscle structure. “No animated being has ever moved, breathed or had its skin crawl quite as convincingly as Shrek, and yet the movie doesn't look like a reprocessed version of the real world;”(Ebert) However, they don’t look as realistic as they could have been given their built, which provides the viewer with comforting the fairytale feel.   This is important to the viewer as it ultimately drives all the viewers in and makes mystical characters seem real.

Fiona is quite a character herself, she is nothing like normal princes. She appears first like gorgeous girl in a beautiful dress, she acts like princess, but not for long.  Everything changes when they get attacked in the forest, she puts up a fight that leaves Shrek and Donkey aside with their jaws on the ground. And from then on she lets go of  the princess front she has to hold, and  just goes to being herself. Fiona runs around gathering flies with spider web and hands it off to Shrek  like a cotton candy, as he passes the camera, we see Fiona licking her fingers with delight, she makes a snake balloon for Shrek. She simply starts acting like an ogre in human body.

The vicious dragon is not that vicious after all, she is reviled in absolutely different light when communicating with Donkey. She falls in love with him and eventually they end up being a couple. Her scary looks are the opposite of her tender soul and lonely heart.  She escaped from her castle and clearly didn’t want to go back to her old life. This not the classic image of scary vicious dragon we are used to.

The same can be said about the scenery, it was developed in such manner that it allows to appreciate the beauty of the sunset or sunrise and at the same time it does not take away the viewer out of the fairytale surrounding. At the moment the skill and technology applied in the making of this movie was sensational. Scenery is at the same time lifelike and fantastical which brings the viewer into realistic fairytale.

Interlacing Reality with a Fairy Tale in the Movie

The characters in this movie are quirky, witty and fun. Every character has its own personality even though this feature that defines the character in not necessarily positive in one way or another. However, despite of all the flows all character make us smile and provide us with enormous amount of joy. For example, the always talking Donkey character, this might seem annoying but as the Shrek says in the movie “the trick is to get him to shut up.” The supporting fairytale characters that come from the magical forest looking for a new shelter are the ones that we can find in the classical fairytales, but in many cases they are brought up in a different light than we are used to see them. Shrek is an ogre, he surrounded his place with the scary warning signs, however, this is done not to protect people, but to protect Shrek. Shrek is peaceful kindhearted creature who wants to be left alone at his swamp. He has no chances of surviving in the environment full of people, as his looks would scare them and they will be never be able to accept his personality beyond his looks. He goes on this entertaining journey, just to save his privacy.

There has been a lot of work put in development of the characters and their features, starting from Shrek’s morning routine and ending with his looks, particularly with his cute ogre tube ears that move in funny ways when he is reaction to one or another event or experiencing different emotions. “The movie is an astonishing visual delight” (Ebert) Out of all the damsels in distress that the Shrek could choose, he chose Fiona, the character that has never been developed in the fairytales before. He could have gone with any classic princess but then the whole movie and the atmosphere it gives you, would not be so refreshing and interesting, because the plot would be already laid out for the viewer. The ginger bread man, who when tortured was held over the milk. We know ginger bread man cookies don’t walk and talk, but we also know that they get destroyed when sunk in a glass of milk. This is very good example when the creators of the movie intertwined the reality with fairytale, so effectively, that for the duration of the movie you just live in that Far Far Away kingdom.

The plot is developed unlike any other movie we’ve seen before at that time and such powerful characters cannot be contained just within one movie. The voices have become one of the things that contribute and enhance the characters, not just provide them with means of communication. Well thought through characters, visual experience and jokes bring unforgettable experience to people of all ages. This movie is not only funny and beautiful, but it is the one that will bring the whole family together to watch it.  And what can be more precious than well spent family time watching great movie.

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There is a moment in "Shrek" when the despicable Lord Farquaad has the Gingerbread Man tortured by dipping him into milk. This prepares us for another moment when Princess Fiona's singing voice is so piercing it causes jolly little bluebirds to explode; making the best of a bad situation, she fries their eggs. This is not your average family cartoon. "Shrek" is jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart.

The movie has been so long in the making at DreamWorks that the late Chris Farley was originally intended to voice the jolly green ogre in the title role. All that work has paid off: The movie is an astonishing visual delight, with animation techniques that seem lifelike and fantastical, both at once. No animated being has ever moved, breathed or had its skin crawl quite as convincingly as Shrek, and yet the movie doesn't look like a reprocessed version of the real world; it's all made up, right down to, or up to, Shrek's trumpet-shaped ears.


Shrek's voice is now performed by Mike Myers, with a voice that's an echo of his Fat Bastard (the Scotsman with a molasses brogue in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"). Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp surrounded by "Keep Out" and "Beware the Ogre!" signs. He wants only to be left alone, perhaps because he is not such an ogre after all but merely a lonely creature with an inferiority complex because of his ugliness. He is horrified when the solitude of his swamp is disturbed by a sudden invasion of cartoon creatures, who have been banished from Lord Farquaad's kingdom.

Many of these creatures bear a curious correspondence to Disney characters who are in the public domain: The Three Little Pigs turn up, along with the Three Bears, the Three Blind Mice, Tinkerbell, the Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio. Later, when Farquaad seeks a bride, the Magic Mirror gives him three choices: Cinderella, Snow White ("She lives with seven men, but she's not easy") and Princess Fiona. He chooses the beauty who has not had the title role in a Disney animated feature. No doubt all of this, and a little dig at DisneyWorld, were inspired by feelings DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg has nourished since his painful departure from Disney--but the elbow in the ribs is more playful than serious. (Farquaad is said to be inspired by Disney chief Michael Eisner, but I don't see a resemblance, and his short stature corresponds not to the tall Eisner but, well, to the diminutive Katzenberg.) The plot involves Lord Farquaad's desire to wed the Princess Fiona, and his reluctance to slay the dragon that stands between her and would-be suitors. He hires Shrek to attempt the mission, which Shrek is happy to do, providing the loathsome fairy-tale creatures are banished and his swamp returned to its dismal solitude. On his mission, Shrek is joined by a donkey named the Donkey, whose running commentary, voiced by Eddie Murphy, provides some of the movie's best laughs. (The trick isn't that he talks, Shrek observes; "the trick is to get him to shut up.") The expedition to the castle of the Princess involves a suspension bridge above a flaming abyss, and the castle's interior is piled high with the bones of the dragon's previous challengers. When Shrek and the Donkey get inside, there are exuberant action scenes that whirl madly through interior spaces, and revelations about the dragon no one could have guessed. And all along the way, asides and puns, in-jokes and contemporary references, and countless references to other movies.

Voice-overs for animated movies were once, except for the annual Disney classic, quickie jobs that actors took if they were out of work. Now they are starring roles with fat paychecks, and the ads for "Shrek" use big letters to trumpet the names of Myers, Murphy, Cameron Diaz (Fiona) and John Lithgow (Farquaad). Their vocal performances are nicely suited to the characters, although Myers' infatuation with his Scottish brogue reportedly had to be toned down. Murphy in particular has emerged as a star of the voice-over genre.


Much will be written about the movie's technical expertise, and indeed every summer seems to bring another breakthrough on the animation front. After the three-dimensional modeling and shading of "Toy Story," the even more evolved "Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life" and "Antz," and the amazing effects in "Dinosaur," "Shrek" unveils creatures who have been designed from the inside out, so that their skin, muscles and fat move upon their bones instead of seeming like a single unit. They aren't "realistic," but they're curiously real. The artistry of the locations and setting is equally skilled--not lifelike, but beyond lifelike, in a merry, stylized way.

Still, all the craft in the world would not have made "Shrek" work if the story hadn't been fun and the ogre so lovable. Shrek is not handsome but he isn't as ugly as he thinks; he's a guy we want as our friend, and he doesn't frighten us but stir our sympathy. He's so immensely likable that I suspect he may emerge as an enduring character, populating sequels and spinoffs. One movie cannot contain him.

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