It is often difficult to follow a strong movie with something of equal
or greater quality. Fortunately for us, The producers of Shrek 2
did just that: They improved on the original. I can’t remember that
last time I laughed out so loudly and so often that other people in the
audience were murmuring and pointing at me. My head hurt from laughing
picks up where the first Shrek left us, with Fiona and Shrek on their
honeymoon back at the swamp. They get the usual invitation for her
parents to meet the new addition to the family. Before you know it, the
Fairy Godmother is ordering take-out, Prince Charming has his panties
in a bunch, assassins are hired, Shrek is missing, and Donkey becomes a
beautiful stead. And that is what I can tell you without giving away
too much of the film.
Directors Andrew Adamson (Shrek) and Kelly Asbury (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) masterfully piece Shrek 2
into a web of parodies, stealing just about everything from every
popular movie or TV show ever created. Even the first five minutes of
film parodies The Little Mermaid, From Here to Eternity, Jaws, The Lord
of the Rings, Austin Powers, and Spiderman. It just keeps going and
going, with Parodies sprinkled throughout the film. As with any well
made comedy, pay close attention to the background action. You’re kids
will stare at you while you hold your stomach laughing. The screenplay,
written by J. David Stem (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Rugrats Movies), makes the film brilliant.
But the true comedy, the true genius of the film comes from the actors. Mike Myers (Austin Powers Series, Shrek, Wayne’s World) returns as Shrek, as do Eddie Murphy (Daddy Day Care, Shrek, Doctor Dolittle) as Donkey, and Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels Series, Shrek, Something About Mary) as Princess Fiona. New additions to the cast are Antonio Banderas (Spy Kids Series, The Mask of Zorro, Desperado) playing Puss in Boots, and John Cleese
(Harry Potter Series, Monty Python) as The King of Far, Far, Away.
Banderas’ voice is so animated, he breathes life into Puss in Boots,
and it seems that just the sound of Clease’s voice makes me laugh, but
his role in Shrek 2 is a perfect match for his talents.
The animation in Shrek 2
is amazing. The emotions of the characters, an important aspect
of the film, are the best I’ve seen in any other animated
feature. Disney: take note of this film. If Dreamworks gets
smart, and produces a few more like this, it will be the stake in the
heart of Disney.
Do not miss this film. You will love it, your kids will love it,
and you’ll want to see it again and again. A major part of the magic of
this film is the audience reaction, so don’t download it, don’t wait
for it on DVD. Avoid the whispering neighbors and bless your children
with the first truly wonderful film since the first Shrek.