Movie reviews: “Shrek”

Already the most-talked-about film at the Cannes Film Festival, DreamWorks’ animated Shrek is opening in New York and Los Angeles Wednesday to some impressive accolades by critics in those cities. Jami Bernard in the New York Daily News predicts that “this exuberantly irreverent cartoon … will be minting green all summer long, and not just from an audience too short to get on the rides. Among the many reasons why Shrek is such heady entertainment is that it represents a leap in computer animation, and the ‘wow’ factor is extraordinary.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post adds: “The incredibly detailed computer animation is a breakthrough that makes such past efforts as Antz and even Toy Story look almost primitive. But it’s old-fashioned, solid storytelling that will have audiences on their feet for this instant classic, whose characters are far more involving than those of most live-action movies these days.” Elvis Mitchell in the New York Times calls it “a giggly cocktail, though it’s more foam than drink, a return to the frothy riffing on pop culture that started back on Bugs Bunny’s watch in the Vitaphone days.” And Kenneth Turan, in the Los Angeles Times concludes that the film “not only knows there’s no substitute for clever writing, it also has the confidence to take that information straight to the bank.” Nevertheless, Shrek does not come to the screen, gripe-free. “Don’t hurt your brain bothering to look for a plot,” writes Christy Lemire for the Associated Press. “What little story the film offers is merely an excuse for the animation.”