Shrek is Love, Shrek is Life: Anonus Watches Shrek

edited 2014-03-22 03:01:52 in Liveblogs
The original Shrek, the movie that put DreamWorks Animation on the map.

A movie I have not seen in more than ten years, it seems to be an object of praise and ridicule, depending on who you talk to. No doubt it was a massive hit, but unfortunately, thanks to executives misunderstanding its success, it left a negative impact on American animated movies that can still be felt, despite fading.

Basically, I want to see how well it's aged.
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  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Alright, I'm playing the original VHS of it, from DreamWorks Home Entertainment! Remember when DreamWorks SKG was still one company?

    There's a trailer here for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. DWA's second-to-last 2D feature, the trailer features lots of good art...and obvious computer compositing to add dimension to the animation. I will tell you that some of the more obvious CGI elements have not aged very well.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Here's a trailer for the 20th Anniversary version of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. This is here because it's a Spielberg movie, the "S" in the "SKG" is for Spielberg, and DreamWorks Home Entertainment's releases were distributed by Universal. Universal and Spielberg have been friendly for a long time...Spielberg owes his career to Lew Wasserman and Sid Sheinberg.

    And this trailer says "AOL Keyword: E.T." at the end. There's even an AOL logo next to it! I'm pretty sure that even by 2001 AOL Keywords were old hat.

    And now here's a trailer for Antz, PDI/DreamWorks's first feature film outing. And after that, Jim Carrey's Grinch.

    Don't worry, Shrek is on the way!
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Here's the DreamWorks SKG logo! The "S" characters in it change to match the Shrek logo at the end.

    Shrek reads to us the story of the princess with a terrible curse on her. It can only be broken by love's true kiss, and she is guarded by a fearsome dragon. Many knights have attempted to rescue her, but none of have prevailed.

    He thinks it's all a load of shit, rips off a page, and wipes his ass with it. He emerges from his outhouse as "All-Star" by Smash Mouth begins. Here we see Shrek showering in mud, brushing his teeth with slime...

    After putting up a "BEWARE OGRE" sign, we see men who want to capture Shrek for a reward, and the song stops. Shrek has snuck up on them, and explains to them the awful things ogres will do to them. Then he screams at them, causing them to freak out past the point when he's done. They then run away.

    I've got to say, the animation here has aged quite well...
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Shrek picks up a wanted poster for fairytale creatures, then he drops it and walks away. We cut to a scene of fairytale creature being turned in, one of which is a talking donkey. His owner attempts to make him talk in order to collect ten shillings, but he refuses to do so, resulting in her being taken away. She kicks a fairy in a cage, which ends up hitting Donkey and making him fly. "You might have seen a housefly, maybe even a Superfly, but I bet you ain't never seen a donkey fly, ha ha!"

    Just like that the magic wears off and he falls to the ground. He runs from his would-be captors, an army of knights, into the forest, and bumps into Shrek, who is painting a "KEEP OUT" sign with a green skull-and-crossbones symbol on it.

    The leading knight unfurls a scroll with a blue "f" on it (reminds me of the Facebook logo but color-swapped), says that under the order of Lord Farquaad that Shrek and Donkey are both under arrest, and Shrek scares them off with "oh really? You and what army?" and a grin (which a twinkle accompanies).

    Donkey attempts to make friends with Shrek, but Shrek does not want to be his friend.

    Thank god this movie wasn't motion-captured. The art style is an attempt to mimic the mo-cap aesthetic but it has far more life than actual mo-cap movies have shown.
  • edited 2014-03-22 03:31:07
    Just here to express my annoyance at Shrek becoming an internet meme. I don't get it and never will.



    The movie itself was pretty good, though. It was nice to watch Shrek and Fiona's relationship develop, and Fiona in particular was more three dimensional than you would expect. The fairy tale characters are underused, though.



    And yeah, it does hold up visually. It was innovative graphically in a few ways that you would mostly expect from Pixar.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    It was a creation of Pacific Data Images, which had actually wanted to make a movie before DreamWorks SKG took an interest in them. Their first feature animated outing was, as I said, Antz, but this got them recognition.
  • This case is closed.
    Weirdly enough, Shrek actually benefitted from being made so early on in the CG animation era.

    If it had been made later on, Shrek's realistic character designs would be well within the uncanny valley, just because we're used to seeing exaggerated designs from CG animation these days. 

    Since it was made so early on, we still didn't expect much from CG animation, so we were more willing to accept this kind of realistic design.

    This benefitted Shrek because the realistic designs serve the story more than exaggerated designs would. After all, this is a film about an ogre and the way he sees the world. Conventional appeal wouldn't really do his worldview justice.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Shrek finds himself annoyed by "little donkey's" signing, but Donkey is not deterred from attempting to befriend him. Donkey learns Shrek's name, and follows him home, jabbering all the while. He pleads with Shrek to live with him, as they are both "freaks", and Shrek agrees, but for one night only and makes him stay outside. Donkey proceeds to moan about how alone he is.

    Inside, Shrek drops an eyeball into a martini glass and drinks some drink with it. He pulls some was out of his ear and lights it on fire, eating his dinner as melancholy music plays. Donkey was watching him and tries to enter the house, but Shrek prevents him from doing so. Various fairy tale creatures enter his house, and it turns out they've decided to take refuge in Shrek's swamp.

    Michael Eisner Lord Farquaad has made them all come to Shrek's swamp. Shrek demands to know where Farquaad is, and Donkey enthusiastically claims that he knows where Farquaad is. Donkey follows Shrek on an adventure to meet Farquaad.

    We cut to Farquaad walking to a torture chamber as the Gingerbread Man is "milkboarded". I admit, Farquaad taunting Gingy with his broken-off legs always freaked me out.

    An amusing number in which Gingy coaxes Farquaad into reciting "The Muffin Man" ensues, then the Magic Mirror enters the room. His face has always looked kind of primitive to me...bearing a resemblance to the masks in the 1991 Reeves Entertainment logo!

    Farquaad can't become a king until he marries a princess, and here are his eligible bachelorettes:

    "Bachelorette #1 is a mentally abused shut in from a kingdom far, far away. She likes sushi and hot-tubbing anytime! Her hobbies include cooking and cleaning for her two evil sisters. Please welcome Cinderella!

    Bachelorette #2 is a cape-wearin' girl from the land of fancy. Although she lives with seven other men, she's not easy (rimshot). Just kiss her dead, frozen lips and find out what a live-wire she is, come on, give it up for Snooow White!

    And last, but certainly not least, Bachelorette #3 is a fiery redhead from a dragon-guarded castle surrounded by hot, boiling lava! But don't let that cool you off, she's a loaded pistol who likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain! Yours for the rescuing, Princess Fiona!"

    In choosing a bachelorette, Farquaad's minions urge to him choose Fiona, which he does.

    This exchange occurs between the Mirror and Farquaad:

    MM: But I probably shouldn't mention the little thing that happens at night
    LF: I'll do it!
    MM: Yes, but after sunset
    LF: Silence!

    Farquaad orders the knight captain to assemble his finest men, for he will have a tournament to determine who will rescue Fiona!

    Outside of Farquaad's castle and in a parking lot, Shrek remarks that his castle is compensating for something and chuckles. Shrek walks past the man wearing the huge Farquaad head and into Duloc, a Disneyland parody whose name is an anagram for "u clod". No one is around...
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat

    Weirdly enough, Shrek actually benefitted from being made so early on in the CG animation era.

    If it had been made later on, Shrek's realistic character designs would be well within the uncanny valley, just because we're used to seeing exaggerated designs from CG animation these days. 

    Since it was made so early on, we still didn't expect much from CG animation, so we were more willing to accept this kind of realistic design.

    This benefitted Shrek because the realistic designs serve the story more than exaggerated designs would. After all, this is a film about an ogre and the way he sees the world. Conventional appeal wouldn't really do his worldview justice.
    The later movies in the franchise demonstrate the designs getting creepier, too...
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    *clears throat*

    DONKEH

    *exits*
  • Yaaay, my favorite movie.

    Are you watching it with the commentary? No, you're not, you're using a VHS. Very well, I will provide tidbits from what I remember when they are relevant.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Starting it back up again
  • More people have said that and been killed than there are thorium decay products.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Anyway, it's quiet...too quiet, in Duloc. Donkey pulls a lever by a closed information kiosk, which opens to reveal various wooden dolls singing "Duloc Is A Perfect Place", an obvious parody of "It's A Small World". At the conclusion of the song, Shrek and Donkey have their pictures taken, their disbelieving expressions immortalized. Donkey says "wow...let's do that again!", to which Shrek responds by grabbing him by the tail and dragging him away.

    Shrek and Donkey walk into a stadium, while Donkey hums "Duloc Is A Perfect Place", which Shrek disapproves of. Farquaad announces that whoever is able to rescue Fiona is privileged, and that some of the warriors may die, but it is a sacrifice that he is willing to make. As the tournament is meant to begin, Shrek makes his presence known to Farquaad, who remarks that he is hideous (to which Shrek responds "What? It's just a donkey!"). Farquaad says that whoever kills Shrek may rescue Fiona, and after Shrek suggests settling this over a pint, he and Donkey promptly kick their asses.

    Various archers from above ready their crossbows to shoot Shrek, but instead Farquaad makes a bargain with Shrek: if Shrek rescues Fiona, his swamp becomes his property again and the fairytale creatures will be evicted.
  • Fun fact 1: There are actually no bolts in those crossbows. You think there are because of the gun-cock noise that they make, but the designers never put them there

    Fun fact 2: There was originally another sequence where Farquaad actually made Shrek the deal. It's kind of funny.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Ugh, sorry to be so brief with it tonight, but I should get some sleep.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Resuming
  • edited 2014-03-25 20:10:33
    I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Walking through a sunflower patch, Shrek expresses annoyance at Donkey's motor-mouthedness, and eventually goes into the famous "onions have layers, ogres have layers" speech.

    Donkey prefers cakes to onions, but Shrek does not think ogres are like cakes, or parfaits.

    "Parfaits may be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet," said Donkey in a bid to secure the film's PG rating. Shrek preferred his humming.

    Cue a montage of Shrek and Donkey walking to the volcano in which the castle resides. Donkey believes Shrek to have farted, but it was really brimstone emanating from the volcano.

    Climbing onto it, they catch a glimpse of the castle, on the other side of a rickety wooden bridge suspended over a lake of lava. Donkey expresses fear at crossing the bridge, and when they do so, a part of the bridge falls into the lava. Shrek offers Donkey the chance to go back, but then begins to taunt him by rocking the bridge back and forth. Donkey runs backward onto solid ground on the castle's side, and Shrek says "that'll do, Donkey. That'll do." Shrek and Donkey then enter the castle.

    There are cracks in the floor through which lava can be seen and steam emanates. Donkey bumps into a skeleton, which is wearing armor. The helmet ends up on Donkey's head, alarming him. Shrek takes the helmet from him and asks him to look for some stairs.

    Up the stairs, Donkey encounters the dragon, who he runs away from as it breathes fire at him. Shrek uses the dragon's tail to be swung to the tower containing Fiona. As Donkey runs to a platform, he ends up being trapped there as the dragon destroys most of it. Donkey ends up flirting with Dragon, who turns out to be female, and Dragon carries him off...presumably for sexytimes.

    Up in the tower, Shrek takes Fiona with him; though Fiona was hoping for a more perfect rescue, Shrek's rough-hewn-ness does not lend itself to this and he just takes Fiona with him.

    Shrek leaves Fiona behind in order to save his ass. Donkey is in a room with Dragon, filled with gold coins. Dragon plainly wants to have sex with Donkey, but Donkey is not ready. Shrek swings in on a chandelier chain and knocks Donkey away from Dragon as she moves in to kiss him, instead kissing Shrek's butt. The chandelier is around Dragon's neck now, and she is furious. Shrek evades her fire-breath and runs to grab Fiona, and the three slide down a set of bricks. On one of these, Shrek is hit in the groin, which distresses him only momentarily. Dragon ends up being trapped in a mess of chain, and Shrek secures the chains with a sword. The three of them run out of the castle and across the bridge, which is broken by Dragon's fire breath. As Dragon attempts to fly over to our heroes, she is trapped on her leash, and she moans with heartbreak.

    Out of the volcano, Fiona thanks Shrek for rescuing her, and implores him to remove his helmet and kiss him, believing him to be his true love.

    Donkey and Shrek and have a laugh at the notion of Shrek being Fiona's true love, but Shrek then removes his helmet, revealing himself to be an ogre. Fiona is distraught at Shrek being an ogre, but Shrek explains that it was Farquaad who sent him to rescue her.
  • Notes: 

    The chandelier's just big enough to fit around the Dragon's neck. It can't actually fit around the Dragon's head, despite the fact that that totally happened. You'll notice a jump cut between the chandelier falling and the chandelier settling on the Dragon's neck. That's how they fool you.

    During the journey to the mountain, the commentary starts talking about the big spoiler at the end of the film. They then chastise you if you watched the commentary before watching the movie, telling you to go back to the beginning and watch the movie proper.

    The fire going along the bridge was apparently a very tricky thing to animate. Something like that hadn't been done before in CGI (fire spreading across an object) so they had to do that from scratch.

    A number of pop songs were considered for the Dragon seduction scene in the treasure room. One of them was Puppy Love, as performed on a harp.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Cool.

    Fiona is very upset about Shrek having been sent on a rescue mission by Farquaad, and she sits on a hunk of wood, saying that that's where Farquaad can rescue her. But Shrek says that he's not a messenger boy, he's a delivery boy, so he picks Fiona up and takes her to Duloc. They come to a lake, where Shrek puts Fiona down and says that "men of Farquaad's stature are in short supply," while Donkey says that there are those who think little of him.

    After some arguing, they set up camp on a rock formation. Fiona shuts herself in a large rocky house that Shrek built, and Shrek points out constellations to Donkey. Donkey says that the stars are just "little dots", while Shrek says that things are more than they appear. He takes offense to the suggestion that the swamp belongs to anyone but him, and he says that he will build a ten-foot wall around it when he gets it back. The wall is to shut out the world, as Shrek is pained by his lack of acceptance by the world. Donkey was the first friend he ever had...they're both misfits, after all.

    In Farquaad's castle, a music box-y rendition of Fiona's theme plays, which is revealed to be coming from the Magic Mirror. He demands that the Mirror show Fiona to him again; the face in the Mirror winces at this demand, but complies anyway. Farquaad intends on masturbating to Fiona's image...

    The next morning, Fiona emerges into the forest and sings with a bird, which ends up exploding in an attempt to keep up with her pitch. The bird has left three eggs behind, which Fiona cooks. Donkey is dreaming about a sexual/romantic partner of his, but Shrek wakes him up before his dream-speech gets anymore detailed. Fiona says she cooked the eggs to make amends with Shrek, and after eating them, our heroes go on their way.

    In the woods, it is revealed that Fiona is not particularly concerned with being dainty, following Shrek in belching. She is "rescued" by Robin Hood, who then goes into a musical number with his Merry Men. Robin Hood announces his intent to kill Shrek, and Fiona swings in to kick Robin Hood and beat up his Merry Men. During this sequence, there is some bullet time, which is one of the few obviously dated elements of the movie.

    Shrek has an arrow stuck in his butt, which Fiona attempts to remove. She sends Donkey into an area full of blue flowers with red thorns, which Donkey says would be easier to find if he weren't colorblind. He grabs a few anyway, and while Fiona attempts to remove the arrow, she ends up falling onto him. The two almost kiss, interrupted by Donkey.

    There's a sequence where Fiona and Shrek demonstrate their rough-hewn-ness. Fiona makes a spiderweb-and-bees cotton candy analogue for Shrek, which Fiona licks her fingers after preparing, and the two inflate a frog and a snake to create balloons for each other.

    After this, though, Shrek says that Fiona will be living with Farquaad soon, and Donkey almost divulges that Shrek believes him to have a small penis, but is interrupted. Shrek makes rotisserie rats for Fiona, and Donkey butts in commenting on their romantic moment. It's almost sunset, which prompts Fiona to rush indoors. Donkey tells Shrek that he needs to tell her he's in love with her, but 

    Donkey goes in after Fiona, who reveals that she becomes an ogre at night. Donkey does nothing to console her in feeling that her transformation conflicts with her being a princess, and Fiona says that she must marry Farquaad in order to keep the transformation from ever happening again.

    It is sunrise, and Fiona prepares to confess her love for Shrek, but she turns back into a human. Shrek overheard Fiona and Donkey's conversation, and he is upset with Fiona. Farquaad and his cavalry arrive, and Shrek is all too happy to hand Fiona over to Farquaad. Fiona accepts Farquaad's marriage proposal, partially out of spite, and Shrek heads back to his swamp, rejecting Donkey in addition to Fiona.

    At the chapel in Duloc, Fiona prepares to marry Farquaad, though Fiona expresses reservation with doing so. Shrek is distraught over his loneliness, and Donkey, drinking from the swamp, sees Dragon, still "leashed", crying. Donkey decides to claim half of the swamp, and gets in a fight with Shrek, after which they reconcile and Donkey almost admits to Shrek that Fiona turns into an ogre at night. But he decides that Shrek should just ask Fiona himself, though they can't make it...unless Dragon helps them, which she does! Shrek and Donkey ride to Duloc, and Shrek interrupts the wedding.

    Farquaad ridicules Shrek for being in love with Fiona, and Shrek is able to delay the wedding long enough for Fiona to transform. Farquaad is disgusted and demands that the guards take Shrek and Fiona away. Farquaad demands that Fiona be locked away again for the rest of her days, but Shrek whistles for Dragon, who crashes through a window and eats Farquaad, burping his crown back out. Fiona and Shrek kiss, causing Fiona to "transform" into an ogre for good. They are married at the swamp, and ride off in an onion-shaped carriage. It is made abundantly clear, during "I'm a Believer", that no one liked Farquaad.

    "And then they lived ugly ever after. The end." With that, the book closes; the movie's logo is on the back cover.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    So, at the core of things, this movie has aged far better than the Flanderization of it (borderline plotless menagerie of gross-out humor and pop culture references) would suggest.

    Here's the "Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Party". Now this seems like that Flanderization.
  • ...And even when your hope is gone
    move along, move along, just to make it through
    I enjoyed this movie when I was young.  I don't intend to watch it again and spoil my memories.

    As a rather short person, I'd probably be quite ticked at how much mean-spirited fun is made of the bad guy.
  • edited 2014-03-27 00:17:43
    imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    Anonus said:

    "Parfaits may be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet," said Donkey in a bid to secure the film's PG rating.


    ...what do parfaits have to do with the rating?
    Anonus said:

    Farquaad intends on masturbating to Fiona's image...


    That line must have gone over my head.
  • Parfaits may be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    oh, right

    is that really PG-worthy?  i guess it might be.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    In the U.S., we still bleep out "fuck" and "shit" on broadcast TV. That should tell you what we think of swearing over here...
  • PG is kinda the default rating, G is for like ultra kiddie stuff
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Toy Story 3 was rated G and I wouldn't call that ultra-kiddie...
  • edited 2014-03-27 00:23:34
    imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    oh, i know what PG means, the BBFC uses that one too

    damn is a lot milder than fuck and shit, though

    i'll be honest, when i read Anonus' post it didn't even register as a swear word.
  • ...And even when your hope is gone
    move along, move along, just to make it through
    Really?

    You guys are swear-crazy, I know, but wow.  You guys don't even recognize it.
  • edited 2014-03-28 03:14:03
    imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    Well it's not really a swear word, is it?  You can put it in children's books.  You can say it in class and not get into trouble.  It's technically blasphemous, i know, but in practice it's a very mild cuss.

    And i'm not swear crazy.  i kind of resent that, although lately i have been thinking i should probably swear less often.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Damn is only considered a swear word in the US.

    And even then, only in parts thereof (I'm pretty sure it's not really considered a cussword down south).
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