This 3-D animated comedy exploits the endearing character of the ogre with a
display of creative talent that's nothing if not ingenious. Its computer
graphics achieves state-of-the-art expression while its writers produce a
steady stream of comedy, from one-liners to sight-gags to situational
hilarity. There's much fun in one more romp in the company of the monster
with a heart of green-gold.
In the first installment, Shrek (Mike Myers voicing) proves his ogre chops by
battling a fire-breathing dragon and defeating the evil Lord Farquaad in
order to rescue the fair Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Beyond his wildest
dreams and hopes, she accepts his hand in marriage, serves compatibility by
turning ogreish and, in this continuation, the happy couples domestic bliss
in the swamp is interrupted by an invitation from the in-laws. Together with
the inescapable Donkey (Eddie Murphy), they journey in a covered wagon to the
kingdom that her parents rule, Far, Far Away.
The entire population turns out to join King Harold and Queen Lillian (John
Cleese and Julie Andrews) welcome their long lost and refound daughter but
none is ready for the physical change nor her choice of husband. Something
will have to be done and the person to do it is the Fairy Godmother with her
tricks of magic. Of course, with all her powers, she's been unable to effect
her son Prince Charming from grasping his heirdom to the throne by waking the
princess with a kiss, and this has her enraged and determined to take Shrek
Most impressive in terms of human-like expression is achieved in the
character of Princess Fiona. Perhaps it's a feature of the facial design but
whoever concentrated on her animation never let his/her eyes off the little
newlywed. Her character is alive all the way and especially well realized in
the quiet, reactive moments.
Taste is tested, with some humor bordering on the crude. But there's so much
effective humor and hilarious one-liners in one-second throwaways to keep the
amusement meter high, it's hardly a concern. What it is, is a treat for the
On top of the voiced performances by an excellent cast, and the CGI mastery
by the animation team, major credit for this accomplishment go to directors
Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon.
~~ Jules Brenner