Retro Reviews: Shrek (2001)

Get Out Of My Swamp!


Image Credit: Dreamworks Animation

Angela Donato, Entertainment Editor & Social Media Manager

It’s the Greatest Fairy Tale Never Told! Shrek (2001) is anything, but your ordinary fairy tale and goes completely off course to tell its hilarious take on the genre.

Synopsis: In a faraway swamp hidden away, lives an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) who enjoys nothing more than his priceless solitude. This all changes though when Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) who aims to be king, attempts to rid the kingdom of all fairy tale beings.

To reclaim his swamp Shrek makes a deal with Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) who he has decided to marry. Along with Donkey (Eddy Murphy), Shrek sets out on a quest to regain his quiet life but soon finds himself falling in love with Princess Fiona, who is keeping quite the secret.

. . .

Is 'Shrek' on Netflix in Canada? Where to Watch the Movie - New On Netflix Canada
Image Credit: Dreamworks Animation

At the start of the film, Shrek’s soon-to-be best friend Donkey is running away from kingdom guards. While escaping he ends up near Shrek’s swamp who then scares the guards off.

With Donkey having nowhere to go he decides to stick with Shrek but soon becomes quite the handful for the ogre. Shrek attempts multiple times to try and scare away Donkey but fails miserably.

The pair eventually reach the swamp and Donkey throws a quick little jab at the way it looks, but immediately retracts his statement once Shrek says it’s his home.

It’s when day turns to night though when the pieces slowly begin to come together to kickstart the quest to rescue Princess Fiona.

Now, aside from the occasional deep moments between the trio (Shrek, Donkey and Fiona) the movie to its core is a comedy. And rather than being plot-driven, the characters are what truly carries the film.

Top 30 Shrek Dragon GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat
Image Credit: Dreamworks Animation

Despite being radically different from one another the three bounce well off one another.

You have Shrek who is very to himself and a bit arrogant. Donkey whose quite talkative and outgoing. And finally, Princess Fiona who is both independent and loyal.

Which ends up being great because it pushes each of them to grow in unusual ways and to become close.

However, despite all this good fun, a big downside to the film is that many of its jokes have not aged well. Which can make the film a bit of a turn-off at points during the film.

Overall Shrek (2001) isn’t a masterpiece, but for what it is it’s good. The other films on the other hand of the franchise are far better than this first installment and worth the time they take to watch.