Monday, June 27, 2005


Cervantes realised some way into writing the first book of Don Quijote that something was missing - something that would allow him to fully explore the comic possibilities of his deranged don. That something turned out to be a fat little man and a donkey. The laughs in Shrek owe a lot to the ogre's four-legged sidekick too - remove the burro, and you'd have a much less flavoursome movie.

We were about 20 minutes in before we switched to the Spanish audio track. Somehow it just seemed more 'dubbed' in the English, and you've got to ask questions about Mike Myers' Scottish accent. (Apparently Myers asked to re-record the entire voiceover using this accent once he had already completed it once.) Grouching away in castellano, Shrek became the very image of the kind of hobnail you typically encounter at the reception desk of rural hostales in northern Spain.

It's not quite up to Pixar standards, but Shrek makes the most of a simple story, with a few (but not too many) knowing postmodern winks, and it's all charmingly and inventively written and realised.

Lord Farquaad's conformist drawbridged-community must surely be a sideswipe at Disney's Magic Kingdom and the Small World attraction. His facial features apparently resemble those of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. (a.k.a. Fuckwad)

Shrek 4 has already been announced and Shrek 5 is thought to be on Jeffrey Katzenberg's to-do list.

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