So, if you haven't already seen Shrek, it is about a green grouchy gross ogre who after meeting a talking hysterical donkey, has to go to the king of Duloc, Lord Farquadd, after he banished all of the fairy tales we all love that Disney popped out of his drawing pens. Or at least the fairy tales are in hiding from him and he owns their lands. And actually, Farquadd isn't actually a king, so he isn't the ruler. I'm not sure who is, but a magic mirror tells him that all he has to do is marry a princess and introduces three bachelorettes with laugh-out loud details mocking beloved Disney princesses. The one he goes for is Princess Fiona, who is locked away in a giant castle guarded by a terrible fire breathing dragon awaiting the day her knight would rescue her. Farquadd chooses Shrek to do this in exchange for the rights back to his swamp.
Now, the opening scene is great; after a gravity-encompassed picture book that sets up the halfway point of the movie, it goes to Shrek and really tests the boundaries for what can be shown in kids movies yet is funny simultaneously but it makes you wonder: is Shrek really happy? When he meets Donkey, the first person - er, living thing - that has needed and wanted him for protection, another controversial thing is how grouchy Shrek is to him. Is he simply used to all the hate that has grown around him and he all of a sudden doesn't know how to act differently when someone respective comes to him? Shrek admits he likes his privacy, but nobody - not even an ogre who can put out torch fires with his hand - truly loves privacy. The truth is, Shrek is the sort of guy who we want to be friends with and he shows hints of wanting this too during the arena scene when he and Donkey are fighting a bunch of knights and Shrek corresponds happily to the cheering crowd. Oh, and during that scene, did you ever notice how explicitly rendered the drink that flew out of the barrel was and the details of its flow? Not bad for 2001 or any time of animation for that matter. The movie also has a form of pop and classic songs, and whenever they're dumb, they're not groan-inducing, they make you smile. This movie also has enough romance to be allowed in the genre - and is exemplary in the department. So is its comedy, as I've already mentioned. To making jokes about Farquadd being thought "little of" to the bathroom humour, it's laughter is contagious, and from the genius mishearing of conversation to slow realization, as well as the In the End tune during a "shiny" sequence, the romance feels more real than most other love comedies out there. Finally, even in today's standards, the animation is so sophisticated to the character models to the trees to the water and mud to the clouds and even knight helmets that I understand clearly why this was the winner above Monsters Inc and Jimmy Neutron in the first ever Animated Feature Awards.
In the end, Shrek is a wonderful film where its qualities have been forgotten about; the animation, the soundtrack, the humour, the romance, the characters, the way it got me into animation. Hopefully someday we all will remember too.