My earliest memory of a movie theater is seeing Shrek. I don’t remember much about it; but I do remember the expansive, dark room with the giant screen, and the chairs that should not be as comfortable as they are. Some films that I saw in the cinema later do stand out to me more (chiefly a showing of E.T. and Ice Age), but I am absolutely certain that Shrek was first.
While The Incredibles is one of my favorite Pixar films, and therefore one of my favorite animated films, Shrek easily gives it a run for its money. A comedic and touching adventure, Shrek is fit for viewers of all ages, with lessons that anybody can learn from. For every fart joke or belching gag it makes, Shrek offers us a view into the perspective of its titular character and his companion Donkey as they journey to rescue a princess so that Shrek can have his home to himself again. We are shown the challenges both characters face, discriminated against by everyone around them.
Later films in the series lose this unique perspective and the lessons about both society and how we treat others that came with it, and they suffer for it (among a variety of other reasons). For this reason, Shrek ranks as my favorite in the franchise – the concept is still fresh, refreshingly self-contained, the jokes funny, and the characters entertaining.
Rumor has it that a fifth Shrek film might be coming within the next several years – as I always do, I shall hope that it matches this one.
I’ll see you all on Monday!