A film by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon

Shrek 2 is the animated follow-up to 2001 s enormously successful Shrek . In the first film, Shrek (Mike Meyers) went on a quest, accompanied by a donkey (Eddie Murphy) to rescue the Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a dragon. While the outline of the story was familiar, there were numerous twists that made Shrek original: the hero was an ogre, so was the princess (it turned out), the dragon fell in love with the donkey, and the film turned so many fairy tale conventions on its head all the while poking fun at Disney. Shrek 2 promises to be more of the same.

Shrek and Fiona are now married and are just returning from their honeymoon and they are to travel to the Kingdom of Far, Far Away to meet Fiona s parents, the King (John Cleese) and Queen (Julie Andrews). Fiona s parents do not know that she married an ogre, or even that she is still an ogre. It was the King who locked Fiona in that tower with the intent that she be rescued by Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) and his kiss would keep her from ever turning ogre again. The King takes an immediate dislike to Shrek and with prodding from the evil Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), hires an assassin to take out Shrek. The assassin: Puss-in-Boots (Antonio Banderas). Failing to kill Shrek and hearing his side of the story, Puss decides to join Shrek in his new quest to ensure Fiona s love.

To say that Puss steals every scene that he is in would be an understatement. He is the funniest character in the movie, and his animation was so great that when tries to be a cute kitty the entire theatre audience said awww every time. Shrek 2 has, perhaps, the best animation that I ve seen. At times the characters look so real that I forgot that they were supposed to be animated, and this doesn t even touch on the beauty and realism of the background. It makes one wonder where the animators can go from here, and what the animation could be like in five years. There is less of straightforward plotline in Shrek 2 , at least compared to the original Shrek , but the film more than makes up for it in humor. The jokes are great and work on several levels, some for the kids, some for the adults, and others for people who have seen a whole lot of movies. There are sight gags a plenty, with a personal favorite being the giant Gingerbread man (think Ghostbusters ), having a Farbucks (Starbucks) right across the street from another Farbucks, and the whole sequence of Knights (Cops). In fact, the only thing I didn t like was the songs that have always felt out of place to me (though not as out of place as Smashmouth being in the first Shrek ). The bottom line is that this was one of the more enjoyable experiences I ve had recently at the theatre, and I would certainly recommend Shrek 2 .