Shrek 2 (2004)


I remember seeing Shrek 2 when it was first released in 2004. It was one of the first times I felt disappointed walking out of a movie theater.

Yeah, it was funny… Yeah, the story is there… But where’s the heart of the original? Where’s the narrative tension and sense of danger that made the first movie such a multi-dimensional success? I didn’t detect it.

So while I’ll certainly respect the opinion that Shrek 2 is the best of the trilogy, it’s not where my own heart resides.

I guess I was doomed to judge any Shrek sequel harshly, because so much of the sequel comes off as parody-because-we-have-to. I’m actually not sure what type of movie I was hoping for. The constant pop culture references felt phoned in about 50% of the time, which is a much worse ratio than the original. New star Puss in Boots still seems like a character conceived in a boardroom, and the story — well-crafted though I’ve found it on repeat viewings — fails to connect with me emotionally.

One thing I did like was seeing Shrek as a beautiful human; I can appreciate the movie trying to reflect the conflict of the original film, it just never seemed to emotionally resonate the way the original — as Shrek gradually connected with Fiona and faced his own ugliness — did.

It’s an amusing movie, but in my mind, it’s a disappointment.

Verdict: Overrated

Favorite moment: Pinocchio says “I’m wearing ladies’ underwear” and his nose doesn’t grow. I laughed hard.


I agree with Brian Terrill. Shrek 2 is the best of the trilogy (are we trying to forget that a fourth Shrek racked up 750 million dollars?).

Now that Jeffrey Katzenberg had his stab at the Disney company (wasn’t 250 million dollars enough?) with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Shrek, he notches down the hate and ups the jokes for a more harmless–and mindless–sequel.

Simply put, Shrek 2 has more fun with itself than its predecessor. The secondary characters who deserved more screen-time from the first movie, namely Pinocchio and Gingerbread Man, get a chance to partake in the plot, rescuing Shrek from evil Fairy Godmother. There are a plethora of new characters, including the Fairy Godmother’s douchebag son (Prince Charming), Puss in Boots, Fiona’s parents, and an impossibly monstrous gingerbread hulk. I don’t think Puss in Boots’ performance demanded his own movie, but I like how he steals some lines that would have surely gone to the ever grating Donkey had he not been added to the screenplay as another one of Shrek’s sidekicks. The cast of all these colorful characters frequently diverts our attention away from the narrative, centered around a relationship I couldn’t care less for and uncomplicated protagonists who hit all the same story beats. Will they turn human again? Nope. Still ogres.

Shrek 2 is the best of the Shrek franchise. But is that really saying anything?

Verdict: Overrated

Favorite moment: Shrek eats dinner with Fiona’s family. It isn’t as funny as Pinocchio wearing a pink thong, but I love all the passive aggressiveness DreamWorks is able to smush into a minute long dinner “conversation.”

Final Grade: C (74%)—The best of the Shrek franchise. But is that really saying anything?

For the full article: http://earnthis.net/animation-evaluation-dreamworks-1998-2006/


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