A fairytale with a difference!
Shrek is a fairy tale with a difference.
No Prince Charming or demure princesses seen here.
Instead, there's Shrek. A fluorescent green, wide-eyed, tousled, grotesque ogre with funnel-like ears and Scottish accent.
Basically a loner who doesn't want anything to do with the outside world, Shrek is content with his daily mud baths, parading in his swamp and gobbling rats.
Life is a party for this ogre. Until the dwarfish Lord Farqaaud (John Lithgow) banishes all fairytale creatures from his kingdom Duloc.
The first to seek refuge under the reluctant Shrek is the hyperactive chatterbox Donkey (Eddie Murphy). Followed by a horde of other fairytale characters like The Three Blind Mice, Pinocchio, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs and The Three Bears.
Finding his privacy under strong invasion, Shrek decides to confront the cowardly Farqaaud.
They strike a deal: In exchange for rescuing Princess Fiona from the Dragon, whom the tiny lord wishes to marry, Shrek must get rid of the undesired dwellers on his swamp.
Shrek and the yapping Donkey rescue the giddy-headed and enchanted Fiona in no time.
Predictably, a bond of friendship and love develops between the improbable trio.
Another Beauty And The Beast? Not really. Like I mentioned earlier, Shrek is not your regular fairy tale.
Dreamworks, whose earlier computer animated Antz received a lot of critical acclaim, challenges the Disney monopoly over animated films in a bigger way with Shrek, which has some out-of-the-world visual effects.
Loosely adapted from William Steig's children's book, this film doesn't overtly preach. Instead it fulfils the purpose of providing wholesome entertainment.
Unlike Dr Seuss's Grinch, Shrek isn't a loud prankster out to make the lives of the innocent miserable. He is just naturally conceited and unapologetic about it.
A lot of credit in balancing his topsy-turvy character goes to Mike Myers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me)
After Meg Ryan (Anastasia), Demi Moore (The Hunchback Of Notre Dam), Drew Barrymore (Titan AE), another top actress to join the bandwagon of animated voices is Cameron Diaz.
Not only does she add the extra toughness and straightforward attitude to Fiona, but you can actually witness her cartoon performing the same Kung Fu stunts as she did in Charlie's Angels!
John Lithgow (Third Rock From The Sun) packs in a great deal of spunk with his towering voice.
But it is Eddie Murphy who is the real scene-stealer. If he was the clumsy dragon in Mulan, it is his overactive larynx in Shrek that has the viewers in splits.
Fed up of clichéd Cinderellas, Snow Whites and The Frog Princess? Watch Shrek.
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow
Director: Andrew Anderson and Vicky Jenson
Producer: Dreamworks SG
Screenwriters: Ted Eliot and Teddy Rossio