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In this computer generated fairy tale based on a book by William Steig, Shrek, an ogre (Mike Myers), together with his companion Donkey (Eddie Murphy), goes on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). She is guarded by a fire breathing dragon up a high tower in afar away land.Shrek is hired by Prince Farquaad (John Lithgow), who needs to marry a princess to become a real king. If Shrek succeeds in his mission, Prince Farquaad agrees to rid Shrek's home, a swamp, of all "creatures" who have intruded into his solitude and privacy. However, not everything goes well as Shrek's adventure takes on a few odd turns. Will the princess ever be rescued?

The moviegoer gets a mild shock and some amusement as this fairy tale runs counter to some fairy tale conventions: the knight in shining armor turns out to be an ogre, the damsel in distress is capable of defending herself with her martial arts skills, and Prince Charming is a height challenged twit. The very young audience will be delighted to see favorite storybook characters, among them, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Pinnochio, Three Blind Mice, The Three Bears, etc. Everyone will enjoy the astonishing visual effects involving the film's creatures that seem both real and fantastical, brought about by excellent animation techniques. The artistry of the lifelike but stylized locations and settings is equally skilled. Much of the movie's appeal lies in the casting of vocal talent. Eddie Murphy has never been funnier as the loquacious Donkey. Mike Myers gives Shrek a Scottish accent and some humanity. References to other movies and modern day culture are inserted for quick jokes.

Though this fairy tale is marred by toilet humor, it mirrors some truths of human life. Wanting to be left alone, Shrek seems gruff and anti-social, but this attitude is just a cover-up for his feelings of inferiority. He actually longs for friends and companionship. It is only Donkey who pierces the wall Shrek built around himself because Donkey alone sees beyond his ugliness. By ignoring Shrek's appearance, Donkey is able to reach Shrek's heart and form a true friendship. Donkey is not deterred by the indifference and unfriendliness of Shrek; he feels Shrek is worth saving. There is, indeed, much more to a person than his external looks. We cannot know and judge what is inside the heart of each one by just looking at his appearance.


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