Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2001. DreamWorks Animation, DreamWorks, Pacific Data Images. Screenplay by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger S.H. Schulman, additional dialogue by Cody Cameron, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon, based on the book by William Steig. Produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Aron Warner, John H. Williams. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell. Production Design by James Hegedus. Costume Design by Isis Mussenden. Film Editing by Sim Evan-Jones. Academy Awards 2001. American Film Institute Awards 2001. Cannes Film Festival 2001. Golden Globe Awards 2001. National Board of Review Awards 2001. New York Film Critics Awards 2001.
Computer-generated masterpiece produced by Dreamworks that takes traditional fairy tales and turns them on their wistful little ears. Mike Myers ably voices the role of the title character, a mean and grungy ogre who sets himself on a quest to rescue a princess (Cameron Diaz) in return for the evil Prince Farquart (John Lithgow, deliciously menacing) giving him the title to his swamp. Along the way he befriends an overly talkative donkey (Eddie Murphy, assuring himself Hall of Fame status in animation history with this and his work in Mulan), and upon meeting the fair princess finds himself charmingly drawn to her personality. The animation is exceptionally well designed, the screenplay is ripe with humour and very funny puns involving the fairy tale characters we all know so well (my personal favourite: the Gingerbread Man telling the Prince to “Eat Me!”). Conclusion with the musical number is a plus.