Laughing in the face of innocence

Christopher Yocum

Shrek

Directed by Andrew Adamson and Victoria Jenson

(Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow)

Animated

Rated: PG

As children we are taught to believe all sorts of things we later learn to be untrue. Santa Claus is real, vegetables put hair on your chest and the Electoral College works. However, none of these innocuous fibs have the lasting, adverse effects on kids fairy tales have.

Sure, they seem innocent on the surface, but take a second look at the messages they convey. A woman is essentially worthless,
relegated to scrubbing the house all day, or hanging around with a bunch of whistling midgets until her knight in shining armor comes along to save her. A man must be brave and handsome in order to get the girl, or else he’s the comic relief.

Besides raising the bar for realistic animation, Shrek does a beautiful job of exposing the idiocy behind these tales. Often, your prince is no more attractive than an ill-mannered ogre, and your princess can’t fit into the slipper because she’s retaining water and her feet are swelled.

Great vocal performances by the actors (especially Eddie Murphy, a far cry from The P.J.’s) along with meticulous animation and all-ages-minded writing make this film an inevitable summer blockbuster. Which means that at least the bigwigs at DreamWorks will be living happily ever after (all the way to the bank).

– Christopher Yocum