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4.2 out of 5 stars
Shrek 2 (Widescreen Edition)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I first saw this with some friends, then took my parents to see it the next day. I was amazed at how many little nuances I missed the first time around. This film is jam-packed with hidden tongue-in-cheek jokes and visual humor - there is so much detail. This film is a delight for young children to the senior set and everyone inbetween.
Eddie Murphy is back as the lovable Donkey - his is perfect in this role and personally, I think he (Donkey) should have his own spin-off movie. This one character is a movie unto himself.
Joining the crew from the original Shrek installment are Julie Andrews (Fiona's mother), John Cleese (her father), Antonio Banderas (Puss-n-Boots) and Jennifer Saunders (the naughty Fairy Godmother).
The clever ways in which the screenwriters twisted the fairytale characters while still giving them reverence and respect is enough to make you cry from laughing so hard. There are inferences to movies such as "Flashdance" and "Mission Impossible" and many others. Pinnocchio is no doubt a wooden embodiment of Michael Jackson (high-pitched voice, good dancer, longs to be a little boy, etc.) and there are many inferences to famous people... there is even a helicopter view of police chasing a white bronco!
There were very few moments in this film in which I was not laughing outloud or doubled-over - and in those few instances, it was to catch my breath.
This film is an instant classic that is safe to show to your kids and grandkids from now until generations to come.
On top of the fantastic animation and lovable characters, the underlying story is an awesome theme to teach to children: it's not how you look or how other people treat you that matters - it's the content of your character and how much you love others. I cannot recommend this film enough - it is one of the best of the year.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 22, 2004
STORY: This fairy tale satire continues right from the first movie as Shrek and Fiona are on their honeymoon. Prince Charming finally reaches the castle only to find the "gender confused" big bad wolf reading Pork Illustrated. The movie is basically focusing on the self awareness of who Shrek and Fiona really are. The fairy godmother of Fiona and the mother of Charming is out to make sure that Fiona falls in love with Charming and not Shrek. As Shrek is lost in the woods he stumbles upon the masterfully crafted character that is Puss In Boots. Puss is probably one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, he is played to perfection by Antonio Banderas. The first Shrek was a slight satire on the fairy tale genre. Shrek 2 is an unbelievable high on satirical parody (if that makes sense). The pop culture references come flying in one after the other. I really feel that any body under 12 will not get most of the jokes made in this movie. For the kids we have the farting and the burping and for the more learned individual we have references to gender confused wolves, cats on catnip, meeting the in-laws, crazy wooden boys with strange fetishes, the ass, and tons more. There is no way that anybody cannot watch this movie and not laugh. If you need to compare Shrek 2 to something look at it as a lighter version of a Family Guy, Airplane, or Hot Shots type of thing. While the references are not as exaggerated as they are in parodies such as Hot Shots, they are very well placed and well executed. While many people feel that the story and the "heart" that the first movie had was lost within the many gags there is still that "heart" that the characters possess. Yes, the ending is your typical fairy tale ending that has a valuable moral, but then again this is a fairy tale. This movie is smart, funny, and overall a well-crafted piece of work.

ACTING: All the former cast members return as well as the noticeable additions of John Cleese, Julie Andrews, and Antonio Banderas. I can't express just how funny Puss In Boots is. Without Puss the movie would without a doubt have been really boring and "kiddyish" if you will. The most humorous jokes are deployed in the film's ending which is a hysterical romp. John Cleese plays the enraged father and Julie Andrews as the accepting mother. Prince Charming is played by Rupert Everett, and really his only funny scene was when they stopped by drive thru and he got a kiddie meal and was wearing one of those paper crowns as found in burger king. The cast makes the film, Puss makes the film.

BOTTOM LINE: The kids will not find this one funny except for the small amount of fart gags. The people who will find this the most amusing will be in the range of 15 to about 50. Anything above 50 might find any kind of animation too childish and will probably stay away from this one unless they have young kids. The animation by Dreamworks is fantastic as well, make note of the scene in the rain and just how realistic the natural surroundings look. Shrek 2 is faster and funnier than the original and should become a classic just because of how smart the movie is.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The story begins somewhat where the last Shrek film left off, with a twist.
Get used to there being a twist...
The story begins with the recitation of another standard fairy tale opening, that one might think as an ending, where Prince Charming (charmingly voiced by Rupert Everett) dashes through incredible perils to reach the unfortunate-cursed princess, Fiona, as his kiss is the only thing that will break the curse. The only problem here: when he arrives to kiss the fair princess, he is greeted by another story-book character who informs him she is on her honeymoon.
The stage is set for a frolic of fairy-tale proportions. The main characters are back - Shrek (Mike Myers) in his typical ogre self (who knew ogres spoke with muddled Celtic accents?); Fiona, every inch the ogre herself night and day (reprised by Cameron Diaz - remember the tale from the first film where she was beautiful by day and hideous by night), is blissful on her honeymoon with Shrek. They return home to be greeted by Donkey (once again the humourous Eddie Murphy), to almost immediately be summoned to Fiona's home by her parents, the king and queen, so that they may meet the husband (not quite the prince they were expecting) and be welcomed into the kingdom of Far, Far Away, which is, true to its word, far, far away (are we there yet? is the constant refrain during the journey).
It is quite delightful to imagine John Cleese and Julie Andrews as the king and queen; their characters do not imitate their features physically, but their standard screen personae come through their voices and characterisations. Rupert Everett as Prince Charming, the scheming social climber, is very well done, with typical British fop panache. However, there is no mistaking Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) as the Fairy Godmother (who, it turns out, is Prince Charming's mother, and given that it is Rupert Everett, well, enough said...) - the animation captures the twinkle in her eye and the sardonic smile as she holds the king to ransom for the secret that he hides (she once granted a wish to him, which is hinted at early on in the film - see if you can predict what it is!).
The king and queen are not surprisingly shocked to discover the ogre-ific state of their only daughter, not to mention the son-in-law; the king decides to do away with Shrek, hiring a hit man (in this instance, a hit cat), Puss-in-boots, voiced by an over-the-top Antonio Banderas. Attacking with the grace of a cat, he is nonetheless thwarted in his charge by a nasty hairball, and joins with the quest to find Happily Ever After-effects with Shrek and Donkey.
There are some good songs here, remakes of popular songs sung with style that befits a fairy-tale, medieval recreation of Hollywood/Hollyweird. Just as Fiona had her surprise chance to be an ogre in the first film, Shrek gets his chance to be drop-dead gorgeous in this film, by stealing the Fairy Godmother's potion for Happily Ever Afters. Donkey shares in this potion and becomes a dashing stallion. So, everyone will live happily ever after, right?
Right, but again, there's a twist (and I'm not going to tell you what it is).
There are lots of cameos - Larry King voices the ugly sister, and Joan Rivers voices her own characters as the red-carpet announcer at the royal banquet akin to the Oscar ceremonies. There are one-liners galore, so many it is hard to recall them all - take a notebook with you to the cinema!
One of the trademarks of Shrek is its homage to various other films - try to make all the connections - Flashdance, Lord of the Rings, Ghostbusters, you name it, it is satirised. The same holds true for various fairy tales - the three blind mice, little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, even Pretty Woman!
The animation quality is superb, and shows just how astonishingly lifelike modern computer-generated graphics have become. An interesting effect, rather like a cross between clay-mation types of physical movements and hand-drawn facial expressions, the type of animation here is approaching lifelike and realistic, again with the twist of being almost puppet-like, to fit the fairy-tale aspect of the film.
Stay through the credits! Why people get up and leave the cinema as soon as the names start I shall never understand, but they missed out the bonus scene at the end, that is well worth the wait (Banderas, as Puss-in-boots, heading off for the Kit-Kat Club, begins the scene, and it just goes on from there).
This is a film for children of all ages, with enough humour for adults to keep them interested, and a classic tale, with modern twists, to delight all audiences.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
The people writing reviews here need to remember, we aren't reviewing the movie. We are reviewing the DVD. We all know its a great movie. In fact, most of us have already seen the movie at least once. That sad fact here is that the dvd is a RIP OFF.

I agree with all the previous complaints.

1 Disc, as compared to most major budget kids movies being released with an entire extra disc of features.

Movie Previews, that they actually LOCK YOUR KEYPAD so you are forced to watch everytime you put the dvd in. This I find SO insulting. I paid good money for this dvd. It shouldn't be like this.

The release of this dvd is even so cheap, there isn't even an INSERT inside the dvd case. The total presentation of this DVD is so shoddy and pathetic. I really wish I could take it back, but sadly most places I know have a firm policy that you cant return dvds, only trade them for the same title. Sad. Because this DVD is a total rip off.

Buy this DVD ONLY if you *LOVE* this movie and can't possibly wait to see if a Special Edition or two disc set is released in a year. Because if you are a true DVD collector, you *WILL* be dissapointed with this DVD.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2004
I have never seen an animated movie of this quality. Finding Nemo was impressive visually, but the story, character expression and humour is geared more to children.

IMO Shrek 2 edges it in visuals and production value, and trounces it in terms of soundtrack, story, characters, humour and dialogue. The wit is on an adult level while keeping a childish verve and innocence. I have never come across this before in animated feature films.

Myers, Murphy and Saunders are brilliant. The visuals are wonderful. Bravo Dreamworks!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2004
In the 1980s and in the 1990s, the sequels used to be a terrible follow-up to a successful movie. Thankfully in recent years, Hollywood's biggest franchises have sequels as good or even better than the originals. "The Lord Of The Rings" was getting better every year, in "Harry Potter" each movie is better than the predecessor, "Spider-Man 2" is better than "Spider-Man", "X-Men 2" is better than "X-Men", and to be honest, "Shrek 2" is an improvement over the original "Shrek".

The most important characters are back, and the additions to the roster are impressive and funny: Fiona's parents, Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews) and King Harold (John Cleese) are funny and believable, the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) is much more dangerous than Lord Farquaad, and the delicate Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) is very funny. But the character that steals every scene is the furry Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas), Puss is funny, cute, and as complex as the real cats. Banderas did an outstanding work in "Shrek 2".

The original cast is as efficient as in the first movie: Shrek (Mike Myers) is the hero of the movie, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is lovable and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is one of the best sidekicks in a movie.

"Shrek 2" is packed with satire, funny jokes, spoofs, lovable characters, hilarious characters, good music, smart dialogues and much more. The animation is more fluid, the characters are more detailed, and the backgrounds are richer and believable. "Shrek 2" is better than the first movie, and it's also one of the best animated films of all time. Can't wait for the DVD release.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't help it - I loved this sequel to Dreamwork's 2000 hit movie "Shrek" and can't wait till I can own it on DVD for myself. With beautiful visuals, hilarious gags, wonderful characters and the continuing satire on modern-day references and fairytale cliches, "Shrek 2" is one of the best movies I've seen this year.

It begins directly after the happy ending of the original in which Shrek rescued the Princess Fiona, first from a fire-breathing dragon and then from the much more dangerous adversary: Lord Farquaad who was out to marry Fiona himself. Sadly John Lithgow didn't return for this sequel (he was one of the funniest parts of the original) but the movie compensates well. Enjoying their honeymoon, Fiona and Shrek rush through several movie send-ups including "Spiderman", "Lord of the Rings" and "The Little Mermaid", but quickly get onto the real story.

After hearing of their daughter's marriage, Fiona's parents King Harold and Queen Lillian invite Shrek and Fiona to their kingdom of Far Far Away in order to celebrate at a grand ball. Shrek, Fiona and of course Donkey are off to meet in the in-laws. However, Shrek is certainly not the son-in-law that the king and queen expected - in Fiona's childhood Harold made a deal with her fairy godmother (voiced wonderfully by Jennifer Saunders) that she would one day marry her son Prince Charming (Rupert Everett in a funny but slightly under-used performance). None of these three groups are particularly satisfied with each other, with Harold in particular rather fearful about what will happen should Fiona and Charming not get together.

What's he so afraid of? That's the secret that will be revealed by the end of the movie, but until then, Harold hires a hit-man to kill Shrek and clear the way for Charming. Herein lies the true gem of "Shrek 2" - Antonio Banderas as Puss-in-Boots, who gives Donkey a run for his money in terms of sheer hilarity! Whether he's instigating his "cute-face", slashing his rapier or coughing up hairballs he is utterly fantastic in every scene he's in.

Also, are bigger parts for the original's Big Bad Wolf, Pinocchio, Three Blind Mice, Three Little Pigs and Gingerbread Man, whose reaction to the Magic Mirror's "cop-show" is priceless! Likewise, the before-mentioned Jennifer Saunders as the fairy-godmother is wonderful, sweet as sugar one moment and then nasty and vicious the next.

The plot of the movie is paradoxically both predictable and confusing: Shrek and Donkey seemed to do a lot of stomping around the countryside without any clear idea of where they're going or why, and even though he was my favourite character, when I analyse it closely, Puss-in-Boots didn't actually contribute to the continuation of the story. The final act which involved a giant gingerbread man, a Mission-Impossible style rescue, and a gatecrashed party is nothing less than hectic. On the other end of the scale, the smallest child will be able to guess that Harold has a Deep Dark Secret, that he'll hate Shrek and that the Fairy Godmother is a rather spiteful character.

But none of this gets in the way of what the Shrek franchise is becoming best known for: its play on modern and traditional ways of life. Where the original's Dulop was a clean and sterile version of Disneyland, Far Far Away is a satire of Hollywood, complete with red carpet and Starbucks cafes. On the fairytale side of things, we are treated to guest appearances from Little Red Riding Hood who goes screaming at the sight of the ogre couple, Hansel and Gretal ("What are the crumbs for?" wonders the befuddled red-carpet presenter) and a wonderful array of fairytale villains at the hangout "The Poisoned Apple".

Best of all, the story ends on an important note: that beauty doesn't buy happiness, a message that is sadly missing from the Hollywood arena. Though Dragon wasn't in the movie as much as I would have hoped, and Monsieur Hood wasn't in it *at all*, I eagerly await the coming of "Shrek 3", which at this time is rumoured to be centred around the idea of Shrek vs. the Knights of the Round Table. That premise is already making me smile, and I hope that we see more of Puss, more of Donkey's rather surprising brood of children and more of this delectable brand of humour on the big screens again soon.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 31, 2004
I enjoyed Shrek, but a month later I couldn't remember much of it, so I bought the DVD strictly for the kids.

Shrek 2 was a different experience. Outrageously funny throughout, I am probably looking forward to the DVD release more than my kids are, and they saw the film several times.

Shrek 2 has a story that pulls you through the film, and plenty of laugh lines. What makes the film so good, however, is the visual take-offs on other films and things the parents will recognize instantly, including many from, the um, that other family-oriented animated film company.

The addition of Antonio Banderas gives a boost to the film as, and Myers and Murphy are both very funny once again.

Shrek 2 may actually be funnier on DVD than it was in the theatres. There were quite a few scenes where visual references went by so fast I am sure I missed some of the humor. The DVD will let us pause and rewind to make sure we miss nothing.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2004
After watching the dvd and reading other peoples reviews here online, I agree. The marketing Dreamworks has done is absolutely HORRIBLE to do to their paying customers. They should just be thankful we already bought one item of theirs and just let us watch that. Instead, they make us sit through LONG previews that after the first time, we're never going to want to watch again. Shame on you dreamworks.

In addition, to that, it is somewhat upsetting that instead of a normal Tuesday release, their marketing at Dreamworks desided to push it off for Friday... a day when Pixar released their next masterpiece to theaters. Is that a marketing scam? I would say so. Dreamworks undoubtably was trying to take customers away from the first day release of "The Incredibles" to stay home and watch their previews instead. Dreamworks is obviously all about $$$.

Another, kind of marketing related, issue I have is that my dvd did not come with a chapter selection pamphlet on the inside. Hello Dreamworks! The first Shrek had TWO discs and practically a book pamphlet in that case, and now Shrek 2 only has ONE disc with no pamphlet? Surely those inserts couldn't cost too much money... Perhaps it was only my dvd that did not come with a pamphlet...but I don't think so, because I did exchange it for another one, and no pamphlet.

The movie itself is ok. Now however, I am beginning to realize that there is very little plot that makes up the movie. Instead, it is a small plot that could be resolved in a matter of minutes filled with an hour of making fun of other more notable and original works, such as "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" both from Disney.

Shrek and Shrek 2 were ok, but I think after a while, the oher infinite Shreks will soon turn into those Land Before Times...they just never end and ruin the original.

Before all of you who simply loved Shrek 2 put down that this review was not helpful, just stop and think. I am not putting down the movie, so much, but rather the dvd. Dreamworks seems to be taking advantage of us through their marketing scams. If you haven't bought the dvd already, don't let them take advantage of you as well!!!

Thank you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Most people coming here know the story of Shrek 2 (Return of the Donkey?). I know I didn't come to amazon to see if anyone could tell me the story (and inexplicably get a "Spotlight" review),I typically read the synopsis to get a feel for the story. No, I came to find out if this DVD is really as crappy as my experience has told me. After reading a half-dozen reviews, I'd have to say yea. It seams most DVD players won't let you skip the commercials for "Shark Tale" and "Madagascar". However, when played on my computer, I was able to skip right to the menu. Perhaps some tech-head out there could explain why this is, to us "lame-o" consumers.

Another couple of things to be aware of:

-The sound, though Dolby 5.1, is really flat sounding. I don't have a great DVD system, but the difference between "Shrek" and "Shrek 2" is noticable. (NO THX Here). I had to crank it up to get that "theater feal".

-At first glance, the extras appear plentiful, but also come up flat. It seams that the producer of this disk were all about appearances and not about content. The games are for those with brain damage (so symplistic) or those who like being quizzed to be sure they watched the entire film. The "juke box" simply takes you to a musical part of the film... ...then keeps going. If you want another song, go through the menu again.

-Not even a one page insert. NOTHING!! For a film they keep bragging about as the #1 comedy of all time, I'd expect, at least, a folded insert, and at most a little booklet.

I wish I could return this, but now I'm stuck. If I had known how "cheap" this disk really is, I would have waited for the 2 disc, special edition (which I will not buy until this disk is worn out).

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