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Flashback 2001 ~ Shrek: deep meaning, thought provoking...and Oh so - CinemaDave

May. 23rd, 2010 10:24 am Flashback 2001 ~ Shrek: deep meaning, thought provoking...and Oh so

Classic folktales have been analyzed by academic
scholars since the Brothers Grimm began writing them
down. These nursery rhymes and tales have had a darker
edge that have been sanitized by modern sensibilities.
In one version of "Cinderella," a wicked step sister
cut off her toes to get her foot to fit the glass
slipper. Dreamwork's "Shrek" is a multilayered
animated movie that utilizes some of these darker
themes with a comic punch.

Mean Prince Farquaard (Voice of John Lithgow) wants
his kingdom to be as boring as he is. So the evil
royal one banishes all the classic fairytale
characters into an ogre's swamp. Before saying "there
goes the neighborhood'" Shrek the Ogre (Mike Myers)
becomes upset and confronts the Prince.

The Prince cuts a deal with the ogre; if Shrek can
rescue a princess, the prince will solve his
immigration problem. So Shrek the unlikely hero, goes
off on a Herculean quest with his sidekick Donkey
(Eddie Murphy.) Along the way Shrek and his faithful
companion battle a dragon with pretty eyes and rescue
a Princess in distress (Cameron Diaz.)

Things are not what they appear in William Steig's
novel of the same name. The comedic highlights are
formed by one's memories of the classic fairytales.
The team of 6 screenwriters garner big laughs when
mixing the mythological extreme with everyday
behavior. There are also many echoes from pop culture
and modern cinema. A wedding reception takes on a
Jerry Springer air when Cinderella & Snow White duke
it out for the wedding bouquet. One visual owes a
dept to Dreamwork's own "Gladiator" and one aural
highlight allows The Ginger Bread Man to sound like
Mr. Bill from "Saturday Night Live."

The Saturday Night Live alumnus play a significant
role in the creative process of "Shrek." Shrek was
originally designed for the late Chris Farely. Along
with John Lithgow, Mike Meyers undertakes the vocal
challenge with their usual consistency. However it's
Eddie Murphy's vocal performance as Donkey that steals
the show.

There are enough visual action to hold the interest of
children and there is enough depth and double
entendres to entertain the most ogre adult audience.
The rauckus grand finale will make one a believer in
"Shrek.".

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