FRED Watch Quickie Television Review: Shrek the Halls (2007)
SHREK’S MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS.
I’m a Fulya Kantarmaci and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today it is the television special Shrek the Halls…
All Shrek wants for Christmas is to spend quality time with his family. But first, he needs to discover what Christmas is all about…
Ah, yes! It’s that time of year again where everything is merry and bright. Everybody loves Christmas! Well, maybe everybody would if they knew the true meaning of Christmas which is Shrek’s dilemma in the 2007 television special Shrek the Halls.
Shrek (Mike Myers) is enjoying his quiet swamp life with his family. As Christmas approaches, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) keeps popping up out of nowhere to try and persuade Shrek into preparing for the festive season. It’s two days before Christmas and it’s snowing to Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz)’s delight. And although Shrek has been persistent in telling Donkey that he doesn’t care about Christmas, he now has no choice but to “surprise” Fiona and his ogre babies. Insert “O Fortuna” for dramatic effect. Shrek runs to Far, Far Away in order to create a memorable Christmas for his family. But there’s one problem: he doesn’t know where to begin and how to even make a Christmas. The shopkeeper (Marissa Jaret Winokur) hands Shrek a book titled Christmas for Village Idiots to guide him through the process.
On Christmas Eve, Shrek follows the steps in the guide book by decorating the house and getting what he thinks is a Christmas tree. This is a surprise to Fiona but she loves the effort that Shrek puts in. Donkey, on the other hand, arrives at the Ogre residence and voices his dislike for the shambles that Shrek calls decorations. Shrek is annoyed at Donkey’s presence and tells him to go away. Before he leaves, Fiona explains that Shrek just wants to have a family Christmas. Donkey seems to understand what Fiona meant so he leaves looking like he has a great idea. That night, sitting in front of the fireplace, Shrek begins to tell his family a Christmas story when Donkey bursts in with some very familiar faces including Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) who are all carrying in food, presents, decor, and of course, a Christmas tree. Shrek is not pleased and does his best to kick them all out but to no avail. The chaos of Christmas begins and apart from Shrek, everyone else seems to be having fun. Donkey and Puss decide to tell their own versions of The Night Before Christmas and even Gingy (Conrad Vernon) has a story he wants to share but it’s not quite a happy one according to him.
This half-hour Christmas special is really enjoyable and because it’s a short animated film, you will be left wanting a little more. The story depicts the reality of most Christmases where even though there is a lot of fuss and family chaos, being together during the festive season is most important and also very memorable. My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas because of our culture but that doesn’t stop me from attending my best friend’s family Christmas lunch every year.
Shrek the Halls doesn’t disappoint you in any way. You get the puns and side gags that the regular animated feature films include and one in particular is, how should I put this, so obvious that the joke is explained by the characters! All typical to a Shrek movie and I love it! The only gripe I have about the film is that, for me, it is a tad too short. It could have been better with a little more fleshing out but only by about ten minutes at the most. To me, the movie felt rushed. However, in saying that, it’s still a great piece of entertainment and the kids will most likely watch it from start to finish without any complaints. 3 / 5
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Conrad Vernon, Cody Cameron, Aron Warner, Christopher Knights, Marissa Jaret Winokur.
Director: Gary Trousdale | Producers: Gina Shay, Teresa Cheng, Aron Warner | Writers: Gary Trousdale, Sean Bishop, Theresa Pettengill, Bill Riling (based on Shrek! by William Steig) | Theme Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
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