Shrek (2001)

(In theaters, May 2001) An early contender for the Toy Story award for kid-flick-that-ends-up-being-one-of- year’s-best-films, Shrek is a full parody of classic fairy tales, handled with such wit and aplomb that kids and adults alike will love it. Most films are lucky to count one or two good scenes; Shrek has at least four, from action scenes parodies (not only The Matrix, but a screamingly-funny slow-motion escape-the-fireball shot.) to musical gags (from the exploding bird to a Jerry Lewis wink in the end “I Believe” singalong.) Good fun, and surprisingly smart too. Think of it as the film for those who grew up on the Disney animated films of the nineties, and are now ready to laugh about it. (And I haven’t talked about the great CGI yet.) And, as a bonus, there are enough unpleasant sub-themes to provide any undergraduate philosophy student with an ideal paper subject.

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