Starring: voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy (animation film)
Director: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon
It’s a pleasure to say how enjoyable Shrek 2 is.
The first Shrek had the element of surprise as well as delight which made it such a success. Now we have the element of pleasant familiarity as well as delight.
The animation is as good as ever, the details of the characters, the backgrounds, the city of Far Far Away. The range of characters, the welcome return of the old as well as some exciting new, is large.
The songs, however, are not particularly memorable and are usually subdued by the action.
As before, the fairytale element is the opposite of what we might expect – the romance of the ogre and the large, green princess; the ever chattering donkey; a completely narcissistic Prince Charming and a scheming fairy godmother. That, of course, is part of the entertainment and charm.
The actors have made the characters their own and voice them perfectly.
Mike Myers can be forgiven The Cat in the Hat for his Shrek voice. Eddie Murphy reminds us of how funny he can be. Cameron Diaz is charming (and tough) as Fiona.
This time round, Julie Andrews and John Cleese are the king and queen. Jennifer Saunders tries some absolutely fabulous querulousness as the vampish and scheming fairy godmother while Rupert Everett is excellently self-absorbed.
However, they are often upstaged by the brilliant creation of Puss in Boots, both visually as a latterday Zorro and as playfully voiced by Antonio Banderas.
It was a pleasure and a surprise to hear a theatre full of critics actually enjoying themselves!