Once upon a time there was an animated adventure that dared to take a traditional fairytale and give it that rare and wondrous thing: a sense of humour. And verily it was a ground-breaking, Oscar-winning treat, telling the story of a grumpy, green ogre (voiced by Mike Myers) who, together with a beautiful, butt-kicking princess (Cameron Diaz) and a motormouthed donkey (Eddie Murphy), stood up to a horrid little tyrant (John Lithgow). With gags coming from every direction (especially from the BAFTA-nominated Murphy) and a visual style all of its own, Shrek is truly a cause for celebration.
In the faraway land of Duloc, Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) is the midget ruler who has banished all fairytales because he believes they are too exciting and colourful.
He has three adversaries, in the form of Eddie Murphy as a motormouth donkey; Cameron Diaz, as tough cookie Princess Fiona (whom Farquaad is trying to marry) and a smelly ogre with a heart of gold, who farts to kill fish and makes candles out of his earwax. This is Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers.
Shrek has lead a pretty quiet life until he stumbles into Donkey who is fleeing soldiers rounding up all the fairytale creatures with the intent of resettling them.
Princess Fiona is held prisoner in a tower awaiting her knight in shining armour and Shrek is sent on the rescue mission, along with Donkey.
Inevitably the ogre and the beauty develop feelings for each other, which complicates the story even further.
Oscar-winning Shrek is a wonderful and whimsical animated family delight. Dreamworks has gone to town with the brilliant casting and spectacular digital effects.
The adventure is thrilling, the romance tear-jerking and the double layered dialogue hilarious.
Although adults will be laughing at slightly different means from the kids, everyone's sides will be splitting all through the cinema.
Toy Story 2 and Dinosaur demonstrated the advance of computer-generated motion pictures, but Shrek raises the bar once more and outshines them both.
The plot is clever, in an old-fashioned, fairytale style, and the hints of Beauty And The Beast are interspersed with quirky twists and unconventional turns as fast as any rollercoaster ride.
Another extremely clever aspect of the movie is the constant inclusion of cartoon cameo roles.
Cinderella, Pinocchio, The Gingerbread Man and many more make frequent amusing appearances throughout the movie.