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Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/21/2002 Run time: 93 minutes Rating: Pg
William Steig's delightfully fractured fairy tale is the right stuff for this computer-animated adaptation full of verve and wit. Our title character voiced by Mike Myers is an agreeable enough ogre who wants to live his days in peace. When the diminutive Lord Farquaad John Lithgow evicts local fairy-tale creatures including the now-famous Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and the Gingerbread Man, they settle in the ogre's swamp and Shrek wants answers from Farquaad. A quest of sorts starts for Shrek and his new pal, a talking donkey Eddie Murphy, where battles have to be won and a princess Cameron Diaz must be rescued from a dragon lair in a thrilling action sequence. The story is stronger than most animated fare, but it's the humor that makes Shrek a winner. The PG rating is stretched when Murphy and Myers hit their strides. The mild potty humor is fun enough for 10-year-olds but will never embarrass their parents. Shrek is never as warm and inspired as the Toy Story films, but the realistic computer animation and a rollicking soundtrack keep the entertainment in fine form. Produced by DreamWorks, the film also takes several delicious stabs at its crosstown rival, Disney. --Doug Thomas