Shrek (2001)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

More of a straight story than the sequels

Donkey is a bit overbearing

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Shrek

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  May 18, 2001

MPAA Rating:  PG


Oh yeah, this ogre’s getting lucky!!!

Shrek is an ogre that lives in a swamp.  When his swamp is overrun by other fairy creatures chased out by Lord Farquaad, Shrek will stop at nothing to get his privacy back.  Teamed with the talkative Donkey, Shrek sets out to rescue Princess Fiona for Lord Farquaad.  Fiona (who has secrets of her own) finds her rescue less than typical and reveals her desire for true love…but who can love an ogre?

Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, Shrek was based on the 1990 picture book Shrek! by William Steig.  The film received positive reviews from critics and was a big box office success starting a Shrek franchise.  The film also became the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and also was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.  The success of the film led to video games, comics, and even the creation of Shrek the Musical in 2008, and the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2020.


Do you know the Muffin Man?

Shrek isn’t a bad film, but it isn’t really my type of film.  When compared to the sequels, this Shrek is rather tame.  The story is much more linear and reality based, and though Shrek is chock-full of other movie references, it is much less than other Shrek films.

Shrek basically is a parody film.  I love parodies, but often Shrek feels like it is trying too hard to bring the laughs.  While many gave big accolades to Eddie Murphy’s Donkey character, I found him really annoying and not in a “Shrek finds him annoying” way, but in a way that I wish he would just have been quiet and let his jokes breathe more.  Donkey illustrates one of the big problems I have with the series and that is that I lose any sentimentality from the series due to its sometimes desperate attempts to make you laugh.  Yes, there is funny stuff…I think the interrogation of the Gingerbread Man by Lord Farquaad is a great moment in the film, but with every success there are one or two fails for me.


That’s going to be one ugly honeymoon…

Despite being a mock of a Disney film, it really just does feel like a Disney film.  It might be just looking at Shrek from the 2010s and that Disney and other films have followed in Shrek’s footsteps, but I remember expecting more from Shrek when I originally saw it and still want a little more now.

The movie does employ great voice actors in Mike Myers as Shrek and Eddie Murphy does bring heart to Donkey…I just wish he’d keep quiet more.  Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow also work well in the movie as the curse Fiona and the height challenged Farquaad, and the all characters are nice in the bright (slightly too clean) computer animated world.

Shrek is a good film, but I see areas for improvement.  It was a change in direction of films and other films like Ice Age and Madagascar really sprung out of films like Shrek, and though I know they would probably deny it, Pixar was highly influenced by Shrek also.  Shrek was followed in 2004 by Shrek 2.

Related Links:

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek the Third (2007)

Shrek Forever After (2010)

Shrek the Halls (2007)

Scared Shrekless (2010)

Puss in Boots (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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