When thinking about what this week’s article should be about, Shrek 2 came to mind immediately. Mostly because I just watched it two weeks ago. This idea was swiftly followed by the realisation that this was released during my teenage years. A quick google search revealed that this movie is twelve years old guys! Twelve! I feel old now.
These films don’t need any introduction. What you may be wondering is why I chose Shrek 2 over the original. Honestly, it’s because I prefer the sequel. Which, it would appear, opinion seems to be fairly divided on. It’s important to remember, of course, that there are two Shrek movies. No more. No siree. That’s how I remember it. And of those two stellar movies, the sequel just about pips it’s predecessor to the post, in my humble opinion.
I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. There is a plethora of amazing things about it! The sheer number of pop culture references, even excluding the fairy tale ones, is phenomenal. Allow me to refresh your memories. The trumpeter playing the Hawaii Five-O theme. The Mission Impossible-esque rescue mission pulled by Pinocchio and friends. Puss’ Indiana Jones hat grab when escaping the potions factory. The Spiderman kiss between Shrek and Fiona. Mongo’s last words – “Be good”, just like a certain lovable extra-terrestial. And my personal favourite – the “Knights” TV show, a brilliant parody of every cop reality show ever. The list goes on and on. And again, this is completely ignoring the fairy tale references!
Now, I’m going to allow myself to indulge my villainous side. How awesome is every scene in the Poison Apple tavern. All of the “misunderstood” villains rallying around a cause. On a slight tangent, I remember watching Tangled for the first time and immediately recognising The Snuggly Duckling as a less awesome version of the Poison Apple. Captain Hook is the pianist, one of the ugly sisters is the barmaid, the place is full with the villains we know and love to hate.
It’s also exceptionally good at making you feel. Who among us didn’t give an “Aww” when Shrek was at the bar with Puss and Donkey, accepting a life without Fiona for her happiness. And who didn’t crack a smile at the couple’s honeymoon video at the beginning? Who was not pumped up at the epic Holding Out For A Hero sequence?
Actually, I’m going to stop there. Because that sequence needs it’s own paragraph. That was epic. We got another introduction to the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane. We get an awesome Frankenstein reference as the cottage is framed under black skies and lightning while we hear Gingy shout – “It’s alive!” And then the song kicks in. Sung by the fairy godmother, as Shrek, his friends, and the newly created Mongo storm the castle. Here – I know you want to watch it again now.
And that segues perfectly into just one more thing in a long list that makes this film the masterpiece that it is. The soundtrack. Admittedly, it doesn’t compare to the soundtrack of the original. Though it is still absolutely amazing. Accidentally in Love accompanies Shrek and Fiona’s honeymoon video. Changes plays as a newly transformed Shrek and Donkey saunter through the streets of Far Far Away. Funky Town plays at they arrive in town. People Ain’t No Good plays as Shrek drowns his sorrow at the bar. And, of course, the aforementioned and absolutely epic Holding Out For A Hero scene.
Shrek was all he rage when I was in school. And it’s easy to see why. While I may have lacked the ability to actually analyse a movie back then, as I can now, I think I realised even back then that this movie was something special. I remember watching this in the cinema with tears going down my face as I laughed until it hurt. And that hasn’t changed. When I sat by myself in my apartment watching this two weeks ago, I full on belly laughed several times throughout.
Being twelve years ago, you may have forgotten how awesome this movie was. I can assure you, it has aged extremely well. Certainly better than I have! If you fancy a great time full of laughter to kick off your weekend, you could do a lot worse than fire up this old gem.