All of the citizens of Far, Far Away turn out to greet their returning Princess, and her parents happily anticipate the homecoming of their daughter and her new Prince. But no one could have prepared them for the sight of their new son-in-law, not to mention how much their little girl had…well…changed.

SHREK 2
(2004) Film Review by Chris Utley and Mike Utley

This page was created on May 19, 2004
This page was last updated on May 26, 2004


Review by Chris Utley
Review by Mike Furches

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Dial up modems will take a few moments

CREDITS
Click to enlarge   Click to enlarge
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Click to enlargeDirected by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon
Characters by William Steig
Screenplay by J. David Stem , Joe Stillman and David N. Weiss

Producers
Jeffrey Katzenberg ... producer
David Lipman ... producer
Aron Warner ... producer
John H. Williams ... producer

Cast - in credits order
Mike Myers ... Shrek (voice)
Eddie Murphy ... Donkey (voice)
Click to enlarge Cameron Diaz ... Fiona (voice)
Antonio Banderas ... Puss-in-Boots (voice)
John Cleese ... King Harold (voice)
Julie Andrews ... Queen Lillian (voice)
Rupert Everett ... Prince Charming (voice)
Jennifer Saunders ... The Fairy Godmother (voice)
Other credited cast listed alphabetically
Norika Fujiwara ... Fiona (voice: Japanese version)
Larry King ... The Ugly Stepsister (voice)
Conrad Vernon ... The Gingerbread Man (voice)

Original Music
Harry Gregson-Williams, with Stephen Barton for additional music

Non-Original Music
Click to enlargeDavid Bowie (song "Changes")
Kathleen Brennan (song "Little Drop of Poison" from "End of Violence")
Christopher Carrabba (song "As Lovers Go")
Nick Cave (song "People Ain't No Good")
Desmond Child (song "Livin' la vida roca")
Steven Greenberg (song "Funkytown")
Robby Rosa (song "Livin' la vida roca")
Pete Shelley (song "Ever Fallen in Love")
Jim Steinman (song "Holding Out For A Hero" from "Footloose")
Tom Waits (song "Little Drop of Poison")

Edited by Michael Andrews

Rated
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
Trailers, Photos
CD
Shrek 2 (with bonus magnet)
Various Artists - Soundtrack - 2004

1. Accidentally In Love - Counting Crows
2. Holding Out For A Hero - Frou Frou
3. Changes - Butterfly Boucher
4. As Lovers Go (Ron Fair Remix) - Dashboard Confessional
5. Funkytown - Lipps, Inc.
6. I'm On My Way - Rich Price
7. I Need Some Sleep - Eels
8. Ever Fallen In Love - Pete Yorn
9. Little Drop Of Poison - Tom Waits
10. You're So True - Joseph Arthur
11. People Ain't No Good - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
12. Fairy Godmother Song - Jennifer Saunders
13. Livin' La Vida Loca - Eddie Murphy
14. Bonus Track: Holding Out For A Hero - Jennifer Saunders

BOOK
Shrek 2: The Movie Novel
by Jesse Mccann (Author)


Everyone's favorite green swamp-loving ogre is back. Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey are trying to live "happily ever after" but it isn't easy, and you can get in on all the fun just by reading this book
Book Description: Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon to find Donkey living happily in Shrek's house in the swamp. Before they can discover the reason why, a herald from the Kingdom of Far, Far Away arrives with an invitation. Fiona's parents, the King and Queen, want to meet her Prince Charming. But the reunion does not go smoothly. With the addition of a Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, and a fierce ogre-hunter named Puss-in-Boots, chaos ensues. Join your fairy tale favorites for a hilarious adventure that proves that nothing is quite what it seems and that living happily ever after isn't easy.
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SYNOPSIS
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeThe natural order of fairy tales is interrupted in the sequel to the Academy Award-winning blockbuster "Shrek." "Shrek 2" sends Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona on a whirlwind of new adventures with more fairy-tale favorites to lampoon along the way. After battling a fire-breathing dragon and the evil Lord Farquaad to win the hand of Princess Fiona, Shrek now faces his greatest challenge: the in-laws. Shrek and Princess Fiona return from their honeymoon to find an invitation to visit Fiona’s parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. With Donkey along for the ride, the newlyweds set off. All of the citizens of Far, Far Away turn out to greet their returning Princess, and her parents happily anticipate the homecoming of their daughter and her new Prince. But no one could have prepared them for the sight of their new son-in-law, not to mention how much their little girl had…well…changed. Little did Shrek and Fiona know that their marriage had foiled all of her father’s plans for her future…and his own. Now the King must enlist the help of a powerful Fairy Godmother, the handsome Prince Charming and that famed ogre killer Puss In Boots to put right his version of "happily ever after."
Review by CHRIS UTLEY
Film Reviewer

Chris received his BA in Theatre from Grambling State University in Louisiana. He is an IT Techie by day and armchair film critic/analyst/lover by night. Upon coming to the Lord in 1994 and learning the Word, Chris began to notice Biblical principles and attributes displayed in Hollywood movies and began to apply them to his own life. It's his passion and mission to show the world (Christians and non-Christians) how to apply these principles to their own lives as well.

This film shows a creature that will do whatever it takes to please his love. It is evident that Shrek (Mike Myers) has totally surrendered his heart to Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Fiona loves Shrek as well. Even in the midst of a fight after their arrival at her parents’ castle in the land of Far Far Away, her love beams like a shining light. Not even a charming, snooty prince could drive away that love . . .

A strange thing happened in the middle of watching this film.

Click to enlargeAs I watched Shrek’s struggle to gain the acceptance of his new in-laws as well as to please his wife . . . while also struggling to be the Ogre he was created to be, I turned to my wife and said, “This is a story about us.”

My wife, now my queen, was first and foremost her parents’ princess. They had hoped and dreamed that she’d find her Prince CharmingClick to enlarge (rich, handsome, and armed with Bible in hand) and live happily ever after. Instead, I was the one who walked through the door. In my in-laws' eyes, I was an ogre. They made every attempt to remind me that I was an ogre and prophesied doom and gloom over our marriage. She was distraught. I was forced with a choice: do I conform myself to the Prince Charming image? Or do I remain the man she fell in love with . . . a love so deep that she eventually followed me into the swamp? ("Swamp" -- in my case, the ghettos of South Los Angeles.)

Four years later, we’ve abandoned the swamp for the O.C. (oh, yes . . . Orange County, CA, the same as the one on that show!) The ogre in me is giving way to the Prince Charming that Jesus placed inside me, and as I watched this animated sequel in a plush Newport Beach theater, God gave me yet another watermark to remind me how far He’s brought me!

OK, back to the charming, snooty prince --

Click to enlargeThat Prince’s mom, who also happens to be Fiona’s Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), will stop at nothing to drive away that love. The fairy godmother that little girls have dreamed about since reading and watching Cinderella for the first time is shown in this film as a conniving, scheming trickster with her own evil intentions. [Spoiler here -- You see, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) wants to be next in line as King of Far Far Away. And Fairy Mum has made a deal with Fiona’s dad, the current King of FFA, to insure that her sonny boy’s wish will come true. The unveiling of those plans will also explain certain events that took place in the first “Shrek” film.]

Click to enlargeNow that Fiona and Shrek are married, the King of FFA must do away with him. So who does he employ? The ever popular Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas . . . who apparently used his vocal performance to dust off that Zorro impersonation in preparation for the upcoming Zorro sequel!). But . . . as things seem to go in fairy tales . . . Puss in Boots goes from enemy to ally in 2.2 seconds -- much to the chagrin of our noble steed, otherwise known as the nonstop chatterbox Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

Click to enlargeOnce Fairy Godmum’s plan is revealed, it’s a race against the clock for Shrek and his cohorts to foil the great scheme, which -- since this IS a fairy tale -- involves yet another kiss. Will they succeed? Will Shrek be reunited with his true love? Can a loudmouth donkey and a Rico Suave kitty cat coexist without driving each other crazy???

Click to enlargeOnce again, it’s a fairy tale. We all know the answer in our heart of hearts. But, of course, the journey is what makes it all worth it. On this year’s journey, we are treated to magic potions that turn Shreks into Studs and Donkeys into Debonair Stallions, we see ugly stepsisters who sound like Larry King, a laugh-out-loud escape plan that involves the opening credits and theme music to Mission: Impossible, the Gingerbread Man, the 3 Blind Mice, and Pinocchio (who tells a big lie about a big secret he’s hiding!), and Fairy Godmum doing big production numbers from the movie Footloose.

Most important, what God would have us know through this "footloose and fancy free" summer romp is that we should be the person He created us to be. We may be ogres in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of the ones (and The One) who love us, we are princes and princesses, kings and queens. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and worthy to receive love and blessings from those who love us . . . especially The One who loved us first!

Review by MIKE FURCHES
mike@furches.org
Web sitewww.furches.org


Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66."
Shrek, Shrek 3-D and Shrek 2
By: Mike Furches

There was a time, a long, long time ago, when there was a movie company that was known as a “family” company. This company had wonderful television programs the whole family could sit around the television together to watch. These programs were so good, they were usually a good reason to skip church on Sunday nights. They were broadcast right after that crazy program sponsored by an insurance company, you know, the one with this guy named Jim who would go out and catch a Rhino so we could see up close the markings on the Rhino’s horn? Both those shows presented a wonderful world. In fact, the first one mentioned was even called the "Wonderful" World of Disney. And the family was drawn into the television programing so much that when the same company released a movie, Mom and Dad would gladly fork out the $10 needed for the entire family to go to the movie. Such was that far off time when family programing could be trusted, and values and lessons could be learned.

However, as time went on, somewhere along the way the company producing that programing somehow got lost in a strange forest. Families quit getting together to watch television programs. There just wasn’t as much that could be trusted. Mom and Dad quit going to the theaters because for some reason the lessons about telling the truth, loving someone's inner beauty, giving selflessly -- and all those other valuable lessons learned from childhood tales and fable -- had been lost. It was a long dry season. Children rebelled, the family fell apart, and the lessons for the family around the television set were replaced with Cops, Fear Factor and American Idol, to name a few. It wouldn't be until much later, after a great deal of tragedy within the family, before "family" could come back together to enjoy a good story.

Click to enlargeAlong came a mean old, nasty Ogre and his little loudmouthed, blabbering donkey. What kind of lessons would this unlikely twosome be able to teach us? They came onto the scene with little more than initial notice, but then one reviewer happened to see them and was impressed with the lessons of old that had been taught. There was Shrek, lonely and isolated, and Donkey, who didn’t know when to shut up but mainly talked in order to get attention. But in that little trash-talking mouth of his, once the good was sorted from the bad, there was some wisdom, some understanding. Then there was the selfish lord of the land. He wanted the lovely princess Fiona all to himself, so he hired the Ogre to go get her. After a great deal of adventure, on the way back to the selfish lord, somehow the Ogre and the beautiful princess fall in love. Little does Ogre Shrek know that Princess Fiona is under a spell that causes her to become an Ogre herself after midnight. Once again, lessons of inner beauty are learned and the family can enjoy a movie that follows the old formulas that worked so well. Meanwhile, that first review has been translated into different languages all over the world, from Spanish and German to Arabic and others, and people from all cultures have learned about an Ogre named Shrek, his donkey, and of course his lovely bride Fiona.

After my recent viewing of a worthy little film, Shrek 3-D, available on DVD, I knew I wanted to see the new movie Shrek 2. What kind of lessons would he be able to teach us this time? What would life be like after marriage, for instance? I was excited, so excited in fact that I wanted some "waffles!" Not just any waffles though, I wanted mine with pecans for a nice nutty and flavorful treat. That is, I remembered my first taste of the Shrek waffle so well, I just knew that seconds would be great. By the way, was I ever glad I watched that little 3-D feature on DVD. It was good 3-D for the red and blue glasses stuff, and the story was good, tying up loose ends between the first Shrek and Shrek 2.

Click to enlargeThe lessons in Shrek are repeated quite nicely in Shrek 2 but with a little different flavor. Instead of pecan waffles, it was more like black walnut waffles, still nutty, but not a flavor I liked quite as well as pecan. Hard for some to tell the difference maybe, but for me -- just a tad off. Don’t get me wrong, there is value in the storyline. There is an underlying message of values like learning to accept yourself but also learning to allow others to accept and love you for who you are. In many ways, Shrek 2 is a very different story from the first Shrek, but both are valuable and both necessary if truly learning to be happy.

Click to enlargeYou know, there was once this wise man who said something that was really hard to understand, at least for me. He was asked about what one had to do in order to be good, and he responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and then you must love your neighbor as yourself.” Now the loving God part made sense, but what about loving yourself? How do you DO that? I mean, isn’t it possible that it is really hard to love yourself? Some people have a really hard time with this. One of the beautiful things about Shrek 2 is that it deals with this issue. It deals with making sacrifices, but it also deals with not just loving others for who they are but learning to love yourself for who you are. Somehow, it is only when we truly love ourselves that real love can be given to another.

Oh, and along the way we learn other lessons as well, lessons like sacrifice, honesty, and so many of those values we used to learn about while sitting on the couch with our family watching the Wonderful World of Disney, Father Knows Best, Lassie, Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show and -- I could go on and on. These are lessons that it seems our families and especially our children are starving for. I mean, how can we all be beauty queens?

I remember reading Tim Downs' Cartoon Book; “The Laylo Papers, The Complete Guide to Relationships.” There is a section in there from his cartoon Downstown that deals with the Miss America Pageant, which is in many ways a symbol of what our society has become. Downs writes in the introduction to the section that deals with the perspectives given by the Miss America Pageant:

“My critics have pointed out to me that the Miss America Pageant is a legitimate contest of talent and achievement. All I can say is, Beethoven never performed in a swimsuit.”*

Shrek 2 helps illustrate these types of lessons on the screen in a way that is greatly appreciated.

Click to enlargeOne aside here: it amazes me at how little respect this form of entertainment sometimes gets. Animation can still tell valuable lessons like no other form of media. It is a shame that the talents of these entertainers like Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas will be lost to many. Thankfully, the Shrek films may just be the venue that brings more recognition to this media. Banderas hasn’t done better work in a long time, and the same can be said for Eddie Murphy, who is a natural at this media. Don’t be put off by the idea of animation. With the advent of the computer generated graphics, it is not the same. In many of the opening scenes, you will be hard pressed at times to tell if this is animation or not.

Click to enlargeI must also say this: most critics have been saying this movie is better than the first Shrek. Perhaps it seems that way to others, but that was not the case for me. I personally enjoyed the first Shrek more. That is not to say that this isn’t a worthwhile movie, it most definitely is. I just enjoyed some of the subplots in the first one, as well as the incorporation of more satire throughout the first Shrek. But Shrek 2 is still worth seeing, and it is nice to see that it is doing as well as it is as the box office. The lessons taught are lessons that we all need to hear, some, for the first time, while for others, they are a needful reminder.

On a scale of 1-10 just as good as the first one, so a wonderful and enjoyable 7.

*The Laylo Papers, by Tim Downs Pg. 10 ISBN: 0-9623125-0-9, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 89-090224 © 1989 Tim Downs

Continue:
Review by Chris Utley
Review by Mike Furches

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