Directed by Andrew Adamson and Kelly Asbury
All is well in the embattled kingdom of Dreamworks SKG after the phenomenal, record-breaking opening weekend delivered by the jovial green ogre, Shrek 2. Setting an all-time, single-day record box office of $45 million along with only the second opening weekend ever north of $100 million ( Spiderman is the only other movie in that rarefied company), Shrek 2 hit those numbers by delivering a film appealing to young and old, male and female.
The setup has Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) and his new bride Fiona (Cameron Diaz) visiting her royal parents who aren’t keen on having an ogre for a son in law. Evil forces are trying to separate Shrek and Fiona, but the filmmakers don’t generate any real suspense as to how thing will work out. There are numerous references to classic fairy tales as well as old movie references to entertain the adults (including Flashdance -- of all things!) The animation has the same basic look as the original Shrek but refined – more realistic skin tones and hair, for example. There is still plenty of room for improvement – when the characters walk, it looks like their ankles aren’t moving, only the hips and the knees. While the Dreamworks has not yet caught up with Pixar in the world of computer animation, I can see a definite improvement over the first Shrek movie.
All of the voice acting is first-rate but Eddie Murphy’s Donkey stands out – that character was the best thing in the first Shrek and Shrek 2 follows the same pattern. The donkey (both the artwork and the voice acting) is a sassy, stylized cartoon character in the best tradition of animation while the human characters in both Shrek movies seem a little stiff and lacking in visual expression – their faces show only simple emotions. I believe it would have been better to design the humans as more visually stylized and less realistic.
On the whole, this is a fine film which should appeal to all but the most jaded. I recommend it highly.
Images are copyright Dreamworks SKG.
For more information about this film including detailed cast and crew credits, check out The Internet Movie Database by clicking here.