I liked the first Shrek movie. It was new and shiny. Funny in a cruder way than the Pixar films. And the fact that the entire film was basically a giant “Chew on this” to Disney’s Michael Eisner just added to the enjoyment. (Sorry—he’s like Steve Jobs but without the geek cachet.) The second movie wasn’t memorable to me, other than the British dynamic duo of Julie Andrews and John Cleese. Were I an animated character, I’d want them to voice my parents. (Wait, should my first choice be my actual parents? My bad.)
In any “ostensibly for kids but with plenty of in-jokes for the adults” movie, the fun for me hinges on the winking humor put in for parental delight. When you’re a kid, going to see The Little Mermaid a million times is heaven. (Yes, I speak from experience.) When you’re a parent, going to see The Little Mermaid a million times is somewhere between the fifth and sixth circles of Dante’s inferno. (If you run out of Sno-Caps during the trailers, the situation gets bumped up to seventh circle.) So I enjoyed the satire of Far, Far Away. And Worchestershire (“Class of MCDIX!”)
The Gingerbread Man was threatening to become my favorite Shrek character. He’s smart. He’s sassy. He’s delicious. (Um, trifecta!) However, the revelation that Donkey loves shrimp, perhaps almost as much as I do, cemented his status as the one I’d want to hang out with. That and his waffles. NEVER underestimate the power of a baked good.