Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley.
Quite recently, I saw a re-release of ‘Shrek 2’ at the cinema. I greatly enjoyed revisiting the film on the big screen since its release in 2004. Therefore, I’ve decided to share an overview of what I think of each of the four ‘Shrek’ films in turn. Hopefully, I’ll do in-depth reviews of the four films in future.
The first ‘Shrek’ film was released in 2001. I didn’t see the film at the cinema when it was released, but I did see it on DVD with friends in 2002. I enjoyed the film so much that I decided to purchase my own copy of the film. As a film, ‘Shrek’ has had a big impact, not just for me, but for the entire world.
The story of ‘Shrek’ features a bad-tempered ogre of the same name (voiced by Mike Myers). He meets a talking donkey named Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) and they set out on a quest to save a princess called Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz), trapped in a tower in the heart of a dragon’s keep.
They save her on behalf of Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow). As it turns out, Fiona is enchanted with a spell. By day, she’s human and by night, she’s an ogre. Through the course of the film, Shrek and Fiona fall in love and they end up becoming ogres all because of true love’s first kiss.
At the time I saw it, I found this to be an excellent children’s comedy film. I still enjoy it to this day, and I recall doing my own version of ‘Shrek’ with my best mate Stephen called ‘Vectrex’, featuring a raptor and a monkey. 😀 Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy, but I was really into ‘Shrek’ at the time I saw it. 🙂
‘Shrek’ is arguably an unusual fairy tale, especially when it features other fairy tale characters like the Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio, the Three Little Pigs, etc. I like the messages of being beautiful on the inside compared to the outside, and it helps the film features a reassuring and hopeful climax. 🙂
As established, the second film called ‘Shrek 2’ was released in 2004. In my opinion, this is the best ‘Shrek’ film in the series. I greatly enjoyed the comedy and the cast of characters featured throughout the film. It remains one of my absolute favourite films of 2004 along with ‘Spider-Man 2’.
In the film, Shrek and Fiona go to the kingdom of Far Far Away where they meet Fiona’s parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian (voiced by John Cleese and Julie Andrews). I was delighted to hear John Cleese and Julie Andrew’s voices in this film and knew the film had stellar voice talent thereon.
King Harold, who disapproves of Fiona’s husband being an ogre, hires an assassin in the form of a cat named Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) to get rid of the ogre. But Shrek befriends the cat and they with Donkey seek to defeat the Fairy Godmother (voiced by Jennifer Saunders) in her plans.
The Fairy Godmother wants her son Prince Charming (voiced by Rupert Everett) and Fiona to be together and to rid Shrek forever. I greatly enjoyed the comedic antics featured between Shrek, Donkey and Puss in a thrilling climax, as they rescued Fiona from those who would break Shrek and Fiona apart.
It’s no surprise that ‘Shrek 2’ ended up being re-released at my local cinema in 2022, as it’s one of the most highly rated children’s comedy films ever made. I always enjoy revisiting the film on DVD, as the comedy and drama is excellent throughout. I’ve no doubt this film will be cherished in future years.
And then, ‘Shrek the Third’ happened. 😦 This film was released in 2007. Initially, I wasn’t impressed by it. In revisiting the film, the story is decent, but my main issue is that it’s not funny compared to ‘Shrek 2’. Some of the jokes are in poor taste. I didn’t laugh so much compared to the first two films.
The film has Shrek coming to terms with the prospect of being a father, after Fiona tells him that she’s pregnant. Shrek also has to find a new heir for the throne of Far Far Away after John Cleese’s King Harold, who became a frog in ‘Shrek 2’, sadly dies. One should never kill John Cleese in a film. 😦
The sad thing about ‘Shrek the Third’ is that the film could have worked had the film ended with Shrek becoming a father as well as becoming the king of Far Far Away. Wouldn’t that be impressive and funny? It felt underwhelming when Shrek and Fiona ended up back in the swamp with their kids.
Shrek manages to find an heir in Arthur ‘Artie’ Pendragon (voiced by Justin Timberlake). They, Donkey and Puss, with the help of the wizard Merlin (voiced by Eric Idle), return to Far Far Away, only to find Prince Charming and an army of fairy tale villains have invaded and taken over the place.
I feel that ‘Shrek the Third’ has a lot of missed opportunities throughout it and some of the characters can often be mean-spirited. I sometimes wish that it was only the first two ‘Shrek’ films to enjoy and it’s a shame, as ‘Shrek the Third’ does have a decent story sadly let-down by poor comedy.
Thankfully, the film series does end on a decent note with ‘Shrek Forever After’, which was released in 2010. The fourth film isn’t as good as ‘Shrek 2’, but it’s way better than ‘Shrek the Third’. I also felt teary-eyed when I saw the end of this film. This is something I didn’t expect the film to do for me. 😀
In the film, Shrek becomes fed up with being a family man and longs for the days of being a ‘real ogre’ again. He soon signs a deal with the villainous Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walter Dohrn, and clearly not the same character as in ‘Shrek the Third’) and soon Shrek’s world is turned upside down.
Shrek finds himself in an alternative reality where he was never lived, and he never saved Fiona from the tower in the dragon’s keep. With time against him, Shrek has to find a way to break the spell by earning true love’s first kiss from Fiona, who has become a warrior and is leading an army of ogres. 🙂
I found the alternative reality situation that Shrek was in very interesting in this film. It was funny to see Fiona looking like a Boudica-type warrior queen as well as Puss in Boots who had let himself go. Donkey was also funny to watch, especially when Shrek was trying to get him to help him find Fiona.
Admittedly, the jokes aren’t as funny compared to ‘Shrek 2’, but I found myself gripped in the story compared to ‘Shrek the Third’. It was also touching and heartwarming when Shrek was saying goodbye to Fiona in the alternative reality and she kissed him before everything returned to normal.
‘Shrek Forever After’ is arguably a decent film to end the ‘Shrek’ film series on. I wouldn’t call it great, but it’s nice to have a heartwarming finale and not an unfunny finale. It’s nice that Shrek gets to reunite with his family and friends in the moment before he signed the deal with Rumpelstiltskin.
The ‘Shrek’ films have been worthwhile to watch. Whilst I prefer the first two film over the last two, there’s no denying that there are some worthwhile messages of being beautiful on the inside despite being ugly on the outside. The cast of characters are also enjoyable to watch in these films. 🙂
I look forward to when I can do some in-depth reviews on the ‘Shrek’ films as well as the TV specials like ‘Shrek the Halls’. The voice cast featuring the likes of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese and Julie Andrews are also a joy to watch when I watch these films. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!