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Article:    Shrek 2, Reviewed

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Shrek 2, The Movie

Remember the "happily ever after" feeling you got after the first Shrek movie? Shrek 2 reveals that there are more challenges facing the adorable couple, Shrek and Fiona, who prove once again that beauty comes from within.

One of the suspenseful and surprising moments in the original film came when the enchantment placed on Princess Fiona was broken and she was transformed —permanently— to her true form...an ogre! This was all fine and dandy for Shrek and friends, but what would her parents think of this transformation? This question is answered in the sequel. And, viewers learn more details about the original enchantment--who exactly was behind it, and for what gain.

Shrek 2 begins with the happy couple on honeymoon. They arrive home from the honeymoon to find Donkey, Shrek's charmingly annoying animal friend, holding down the fort. 

Shrek 2 - Cast
Shrek 2 - Cast
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They are then officially summoned to the kingdom in Far Far Away Land by the King and Queen themselves — otherwise known as Mom and Dad to Fiona. Shrek is less than thrilled about meeting Fiona's parents, but they set out on their long journey anyway, with Donkey in tow, while the Fairy Tale creatures "take care of" their home.

The multi-layered humor of the film is outstanding. Most of it is directed at adults, although children find much to giggle about. Some of the fun lines include the Queen telling her husband, "Stop being such a Drama King!"; Shrek, after borrowing clothes from a few men, says, "Some day I will repay you — unless of course I can't find you or I forget." Shrek asks Gingerbread Man if he still knows the Muffin Man, and the Gingerbread Man replies, "Yes, he lives down on Drury Lane".

Although most good children's movies have something for adults, Shrek 2 contains more humor for adults than most. There's an O.J. Simpson reference, for example, when a copter reports "a white Bronco heading north" (Shrek is riding a white horse). In a "Cops" spoof, Puss in Boots claims, "That's not mine" when a bag of catnip is pulled from his pocket. Frequent jabs at Hollywood, multiple pop culture references, plenty of double-entendres, and some cross-gender jokes are included. Note that not all parents will find the humor tasteful.

Shrek 2 - Puss in Boots
Shrek 2 - Puss in Boots
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The Dreamworks animation is even more impressive than that of the first Shrek film. The supporting characters are fantastic, with Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas) stealing the show. Kids and adults alike can't get over the cat's adorable expression when he uses his gigantic kitten-eyes to inspire sympathy. Viewers are treated to the shenanigans of the Three Blind Mice, Pinnochio, and other fairy tale creatures as well. 

It is inevitable that this sequel will be compared to the original. For the first thirty minutes or so, I thought the movie lacked some of the charm of the first Shrek, but as Shrek 2 moved along I realized that there is no real comparison to make. This movie has a different energy, feel, and edge, even though it carries a similar message. Shrek 2 is simply fun at first, and then quickly becomes high-energy, spirited, and downright hilarious. 

 

Shrek 2 is now available on DVD and VHS! 

For more information, user reviews, or to buy:

Shrek 2 (VHS) or Shrek 2 (Full Screen Edition), Shrek 2 (Widescreen Edition) (DVD) at Amazon.com.

To order in Canada: Shrek 2 (VHS) or Shrek 2 (Full Screen), Shrek 2 (Widescreen) (DVD) at Amazon.ca.

 

Shrek 2 Computer and Video Games

 

Shrek 2 games by Activision are now available for the PC, Nintendo's GameCube, GameBoy Advance, PS2, and XBox. 

Shrek 2 takes players on a twisted fairy tale adventure with Shrek and friends, revisiting locations from the movie sequel while discovering all-new locations and characters. Players can control their team of four and play as Shrek or any of his 10 friends, switching between each to best utilize the character’s unique abilities to solve puzzles, fight monsters and complete wild and dangerous adventures. Humorous dialogue, multiplayer options, and mini-quests are featured. The screenshot shown here is from the GameCube version.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Shrek 2 (PS2), Shrek 2 (GameCube), Shrek 2 (XBox), Shrek 2 (GBA) or Shrek 2: The Game ( Windows ) (CD-ROM).]

 

coverOur kid testers enjoyed Shrek 2 CD-ROM version, although they expected more from the graphics, and preferred the console versions (the console versions offer more options and are slightly easier to play). However, they find the gameplay absorbing. Although the voiceovers are not from the original cast, the actors have done a good job. Players control different characters, such as Shrek (in both ogre and human form), Donkey, and Puss in Boots, at different points in the game. They use magic potions to defeat enemies, beat up evil trees, use cherry bombs, and more. Note that the game is chatty and the humor is irreverent ("Who's stupid now?" and "Take that you psycho fruit tree" says Donkey, for example). 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Shrek 2 (CD-ROM)]

 

Shrek 2 Soundtrack

coverThe soundtrack for Shrek 2 is fun for both kids and their parents. It's an upbeat compilation of songs that include Frou Frou's version of Holding Out for a Hero, a cover of David Bowie's Changes, Eddie Murphy doing Livin' La Vida Loca, and a fabulous song performed by Counting Crows, Accidentally In Love, just to name a few. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Shrek 2 (with bonus magnet) (CD-ROM)]

 

See also: The Road Trippin' Back-Seat Shrek-tivity Book.

Learn with Shrek: Shrek 2: 2nd Grade, for the LeapPad and Quantum Pad:

 


 

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May 2004
 

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