Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
A gleefully fractured fairy tale that never becomes cynical or crass.
Toy Story 2 had a higher in-jokes/laughs ratio without straining to demonstrate its hipness or to evoke heartfelt emotions.
It's a pleasure to be able to report that the movie both captures and expands upon the book's playful spirit of deconstruction.
The movie is helped immensely by its cast, who carry it through some of the early, sluggish scenes. But this is Murphy's movie. Donkey gets most of the good lines, and Murphy hits every one.
Swift, sweet, irreverent, rangy and as spirited in the writing and voice work as it is splendid in design.
A heck of a lot of fun -- even if you don't believe in fairy tales.
New York Post:
A fat green ogre with a grouchy disposition and worse manners, Shrek is the sort of unlikely hero that nobody could love -- except just about everyone who sees this hip and hilarious animated delight.
New York Observer:
What gives Shrek its special artistic distinction is its witty and knowingly sassy dialogue, delivered by vocally charismatic performers whose voices remind us of their stellar screen personae in live-action movies.
Wall Street Journal:
The charms of Shrek, which is based on the children's book by William Steig, go far beyond in-jokes for adults.
After a 90-minute onslaught of in-jokes, here's the real punch line: Shrek strives to have a heart. Supposedly there's a message about beauty coming from within, but somehow it rings hollow.
Shrek's ability to fit in a number of touching, funny moments says much about the intelligence and wit behind it. It's just a shame that the film is never as clever or as hip as it so desperately feels the need to be.
This romantic fantasy complicates the roles of beauty and beast, making it hard to guess what form a sensitive resolution will take.
DreamWorks Pictures again proves a name to trust for imaginative, funny animated movies that delight kids and adults equally.
Murphy steals every scene he's in with equal parts bounce and warmth.
The kind of movie that will entertain everyone of every age and probably for ages to come.
It doesn't take long to figure out that Shrek is not going to be your ordinary animated fairy tale.
New York Daily News:
The brilliance of the voice work, script, direction and animation all serve to make Shrek an adorable, infectious work of true sophistication.
New York Times:
Beating up on the irritatingly dainty Disney trademarks is nothing new; it's just that it has rarely been done with the demolition-derby zest of Shrek.
Shrek is not a guilty pleasure for sophisticated movie-goers; it is, purely and simply, a pleasure.
Am I alone in thinking that computer animation is the work of the antichrist?
Gag by gag -- and there's a stream -- it's merrily irreverent, visually and vocally. The bigger picture, though, is rather more conventional.
An exuberant Eddie Murphy gives the comic performance of his career.
Desperately avoiding the risk of even a half-second of boredom, the movie is wall-to-window-to-door noise, babbling, and jokes (the first minute sees the first fart gag), and demographically it's a hard-sell shotgun spray.
Despite all its high-tech weirdness, is really that most perdurable of human constructions, a tale told well and true.