Review: Shrek 2

Published 11 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 11:50 am,

By Vic Holtreman

Short version: A witty followup to the original film that while very funny, contains a few scenes that are inappropriate for kids and could have been left on the cutting room floor.

Well, you know how you look forward to a sequel to a really great movie while at the same time dreading it? You can rest easy, Shrek 2 was great (with a few caveats for parents). You’ll be laughing from the first five minutes.

The best thing a sequel can do is to take the same characters and go in a different direction. Take the story from the original film, change it only slightly and you’ve got a recipe for boredom. For an example, look at the Lethal Weapon movies. First one was great (for what it was). Second one wasn’t bad, but then the series became formulaic (Hey, it worked once, didn’t it?) and went down the tubes.

In the original Shrek, Dreamworks took aim at the classic Disney stories and characters with broad strokes… poking good-spirited fun at them. Been there, done that. It’s funny once, but if it was repeated here in the same way it would have gotten old fast. In Shrek 2, they’ve pulled in references to other well-known films with a nudge and a wink, and it’s great for bringing either just a grin to your face or a hearty laugh out of you.

Some of the memorable characters from the first film are back: Pinocchio, the wolf in grandmother’s clothing, the gingerbread man, and the three blind mice. Although they were funny, some of the jokes involving these guys bothered me a bit. More on that later.

Here we also learn that even fairy godmothers don’t give you something for nothing, and that there is a price to be paid for their good favors. I don’t want to give too much away, but the relationships in this story were inspired!

The CGI is incredible. I found myself pulled out of the movie at times, not due to poor animation, but because it was so fantastic. The detail and subtlety in the faces of the characters was such that it was almost eerie. Perhaps the animators went a bit too close to realism in the renderings…

Ok, here are my issues with this, a PG film. Why is it necessary to have sexual humour in a film of this type? It still would have been funny without this sort of thing. Every time one of these bits came up, it could have been replaced with something else. There were references to “being sexy”, tight tushes, a character being “gender confused” and one male character wearing women’s thong underwear.

While I really liked the film overall, these bits took away from my enjoyment of the film.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5

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  1. I am sure the filmmakers included the thinly-veiled sexual humor with the intention of appealing to the adults who take the kids, while trying not to be too offensive to the younger members of the audience. Did they succeed in striking the right balance? Probably depends on who you ask. I’m sure I would enjoy seeing the film more by myself than if I had to see it with a little child and explain what some of the references meant.

    I think Finding Nemo is a great example of how you can cater to adults and children alike without offending either group. Unfortunately, that lesson has already been lost on the makers of Shrek 2, who are undoubtedly laughing all the way to the bank after the latest box office report.


  2. I thought the movie was damn funny. You have to remember that the original Shrek was made with many jokes that made fun of Disney on purpose. The creators have freely admitted it. More of the same takes place in this film. They took plenty of swipes at the mouse king and his cast of characters. I think for the adults, the disney jokes are the in the know jokes for the older crowd.

    And I also thought Puss n’ boots was hilarious. Using Banderas as a voice actor for him was a stroke of genius. And bythway, if you hated, or were lukewarm to his one guys, they are already planning parts 3 and 4!!!

  3. I don’t deny it was funny, and I agree that Banderas was awesome. I just thought that some of the humor was too adult for a PG flick.


  4. PG-13 ain’t what is used to be

    Harvard researchers have determined that over the past decade there has been what they’ve termed “ratings creep” in regards to…

  5. Maybe it’s because I’m european, but too adult?? Come on, kids don’t even see most of the references and just laugh at pinocchio’s panties. I believe one can be overprotective too as a parent..

  6. Bas,

    You may be right, but I look at the films from Pixar which manage to be wonderfully entertaining and funny for children as well as adults without the need for risque humour. My daughter is 8 and the couple of scenes that I considered over the top (for a PG film) definitely caught her eye and she didn’t like them either.


  7. I completely agree with both Vic and Brian. No one’s denying that the film was funny, but some of the crude jokes and suggestive comments were inappropriate. I’m 17 years old and I shocked at some of the parts of the movie. Finding Nemo was a great example of how to entertain adults and children at the same time without ever being offensive as Brian already said. P.S. you should really give kids more credit to their intelligence. They understand a lot more than you think they do.

  8. Wow, Jett… a comment on our Shrek 2 review – that’s a blast from the past!

    But thanks for agreeing with us. :-)


  9. wellme and my sister were watching the movie with my six month old niece and we got to thinking, when shrek takes the potion it effects fiona as well so what happens to dragon when donkey takes the potion?? well it was just a thought but i thought there might actually be a good sotry behind it