An ogre makes a deal with an evil lord to rescue a princess in exchange for his land back, only to fall in love with the princess himself.
Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson
Written by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman,
Roger S.H. Schulman
Starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz,
John Lithgow, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights
Based on the book by William Steig
Oscar Wins - Best Animated Film
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay
Shrek is one of the most entertaining family comedies ever made and is undoubtedly Dreamworks' best animated film. It's one of the few family films that is also enjoyable for adults, mixing innuendo with traditional fairytale storytelling. Of the franchise, the first film is by far the best (which is usually the norm), and thanks to the voice talent and impressive script, it still holds up.
Mike Myers plays the eponymous Shrek with a Scottish brogue, which only makes the character more likable and hilarious. He has great vocal chemistry with Eddie Murphy, who plays the annoying yet lovable Donkey, and Cameron Diaz, who plays the unorthodox and charming Princess Fiona. Then, of course, there's the always enjoyable John Lithgow, who plays a villain that was basically created as a huge middle finger to ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, the possibly compensating Lord Farquaad. Altogether, the main voice cast could not have been a better ensemble.
What I love most about Shrek is how it takes traditional fairytale characters and turns them around. In this case, the evil and vicious ogre is actually the valiant hero. It helps make the characters feel more organic and fresh, instead of the conveyor belt fantasy tropes that most family fantasy films tend to churn out. I think Shrek is a brilliant film that has definitely earned its place among the franchise greats. Everyone can find something to like about it, particularly the well-written jokes and witty characters.