Transcript of 70mm’s Shrek (2001) Bonus Episode.
SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is a special bonus episode of 70mm, a podcast for film loversss. In this episode we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the animated classic Shrek. I’m joined by famous artist Danny Haas.
DANNY Shrek is a disgrace to cinema.
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO Ugly animation, poop jokes, Shrek being gross. I can’t think of a worse opening.
SLIM The buzz in our VHS Village Discord about a potential Shrek episode was palpable. However, they may come to regret their decision. Enjoy!
SLIM There was a buzz in the air over the last few weeks, it was palpable. Not just in the VHS Village Discord. The world at large.
DANNY It was everywhere.
SLIM You couldn’t escape it. We’re getting tweets. We’re getting emails. We’re getting postcards about this buzz around Shrek, the classic animated movie. And it just so happens that this is the 20th anniversary of when Shrek hit theaters. [Proto gasps]
DANNY 20 years.
SLIM I got goosebumps just thinking about how it’s all worked out. I’m all chilled up.
PROTO 20 years. 20 years of Shrek. [Danny laughs] 20 years of the green ogre. The Mike Myers, his legacy, some say.
SLIM Danny, how do you feel? This bonus episode is going out to our entire listening audience. You were dreading this moment. Before we even get to Proto’s intro. What’s your state of mind right now?
DANNY I mean, if I can be honest.
SLIM Yeah, please.
DANNY I feel sick. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Having to have watched this film 20 years later. I don’t even know if I have — I mean, I don’t, I think I’ve seen it once.
DANNY Vowed never to return again. But for this show…
SLIM For us.
DANNY For us and the Village. I’m here.
SLIM This is streaming on Hulu right now. So if you want to pause it and get in there, and then come back, by all means. But before we get into the nitty gritty, Proto. Are we ready for one of your patented bonus episodes off the cuff descriptions for Shrek? [music from Shrek fades in]
PROTO Are you ready? If you’re not ready at home, you might want to pause the tape and get ready. [Slim laughs] Because it’s coming right now. Picture this. It’s a, you know, it’s a year — who knows? 1998, 1999 you’re at DreamWorks and you’re getting your lunch eaten by Disney and you’re thinking you know what? We can’t compete with these Imagineers, we need to, we need to think outside the box. And they decided the place they were going to go was the toilet. [Slim & Danny & Proto laugh] They were gonna go where Disney wouldn’t date to go? [Slim & Danny can’t stop laughing] They went right to the toilet bowl. Because if there was ever a movie that just circled the drain — [Slim & Danny still can’t stop laughing] — the whole way through, it’s Shrek. [Proto laughs] We meet our hero in, in the stall. You know, he’s in his swamp. He comes out after dropping a load, an ogre load which by his own account would kill you. [Proto & Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY Ah, my chest!
PROTO So he gets his business done. We hear — man I forgot how soon this comes — we hear Smash Mouth —
DANNY Ugh fuck. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Within the first, you know, two minutes of this movie starting. And so you know, Shrek, he’s a green ogre. He lives alone in a swamp. And but the, you know, Prince Farquaad — [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh] — the kingdom that Shrek resides in is full of fairytale creatures, his kingdom, and Farquaad wants to get rid of them. So he goes to work. He’s, you know he’s doing a census of all these and shipping them out to I guess ultimately, the ogre’s swamp.So, but there’s also this donkey, whose name is Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy. And he, he runs in with Shrek. And, you know, Shrek wants nothing to do with him but Eddie Murphy won’t leave them alone. So they become pals and then you know Shrek’s upset that all these fairy tale creatures are at his swamp. So he goes to the Farquaad to get him to remove them, but he says no, you have to get me a princess. This princess who resides in this castle in like a volcano or something like that, and bring her back to me. Close enough. So he goes, Shrek and Donkey they go, they get this Princess, Princess Fiona. And they begin a beautiful relationship. You know, it’s a little rough at the start. But we come to realize that Fiona is also a ogre at night when the sun goes down. And that’s kind of the curse that’s on her, if you will, that you know the classic princess curse.
PROTO And, you know, the relationship grows, this becomes revealed to Shrek eventually. And with the true love’s kiss Fiona, rather than staying human, she is fully curse to be an ogre for the rest of her life. [Danny laughs] With Shrek. And they live happily ever after.
SLIM My god.
PROTO And that’s Shrek!
DANNY Thank you.
SLIM That was like five star intro to what I would presume is a one star rating from Protolexus on Shrek. [Proto laughs] I don’t know what direction you’re gonna go for this movie. But this is also the first time I have seen this movie in maybe 15 years? And but I remember everything about this movie. I don’t know about you guys. I had watched this probably a million times when this had come out. This is a shocking revelation.
SLIM I haven’t revealed this anywhere.
SLIM You know, Mike Myers, my boy, from Austin Powers fame. So I Married an Axe Murderer. You know he was hot to trot before this movie came out. Austin Powers ‘97.
DANNY What’s that one movie he did with Dana Carvey?
SLIM Uh… Spies Like Us. Spy Who Shagged Me, 1999. Shrek, 2001 Shrek 2, 2004 and I don’t think he made any movies after that. The jury is out. If he made anything post that period.
PROTO Was he that guy in Love Guru? Was that him?
SLIM I’ve never heard that movie. That might be Jim Carrey. But so you said this movie circled the toilet, the drain, ogre load, which I think we might need to put on a shirt of some kind. [Proto laughs] Maybe the back end of some booty shorts. [Slim laughs] How much — back to the beginning of this movie — how much Shrek hate you think is based solely on the song at the start of this movie? All Star. It’s gotta be a high percentage, right?
DANNY It’s like a perfect combination of bad. Like he’s taking a dump. And then Smash Mouth All Star kicks in. Like it couldn’t get any worse to start off with, like at all.
SLIM Did you just reveal your rating right now? This is a bonus episode. [Danny chuckles]
DANNY Oh, it’s a half star, Matt!
SLIM Half star rating!
DANNY There’s no way! This movie is so bad!
DANNY In any part where it could possibly get good, they play a terrible song.
SLIM The soundtrack doesn’t do it any favors in 2020.
DANNY No! It’s so bad! No, this movie is absolutely horrible.
SLIM Proto, let’s keep it going. What is your rating for Shrek? [Danny laughs]
PROTO Oh my gosh.
SLIM Are you ready for this?
PROTO Am I ready? Ohhhh man. Well, I didn’t really take a lot of notes with this. And, you know, I really didn’t — I know I’ve seen this a couple times. And I didn’t really remember much of it outside of the first 10 minutes. Like once after they like him and donkey leave the swamp.
SLIM [Slim in Shrek voice] Donkeeyyy!
PROTO I couldn’t remember what happened! I had no idea. I mean, I knew Fiona eventually and like she’s an ogre or whatever. But I couldn’t remember the middle at all. But — and I agree with Danny totally. I wrote two notes for this movie. The first one is ‘ugly animation, poop jokes, Shrek being gross, I can’t think of a worse opening.’ [Danny laughs] Just absolutely disgusting. Everything in this was just like a total turnoff, this first five minutes. But [Slim gasps] for me, Eddie Murphy is the saving grace of this movie.
DANNY Oh my gosh!
SLIM How come — did Oscar not shine favorably on him that year, 2001? He deserved it.
PROTO He’s just so funny! I just, I loved him in this. Like everything that came out of his mouth. I mean, this movie should have been Donkey, if I can be frank. [Danny laughs] It should have been about him. Because he’s, Eddie Murphy is just a treasure.
PROTO I love him. And everything he said was hilarious. Oh, man, you know, I’m waffling between two and three stars.
SLIM Wowww. Woww.
PROTO I watched it with my kids. And —
SLIM Tell me they loved it.
PROTO You know, we had a good time watching it together! Maybe that’s why I’m like, I’m considering three stars because, you know, they thought it was funny. It’s always fun to laugh with your kids and enjoy a movie. That always raises it a little bit because at least I was having fun with them.
SLIM Proto’s voice got so high there that my dog’s ears perked up across the room. [Danny & Proto laugh]
PROTO Yeah, I mean, that’s where I’m at. Yeah, I’m two or three stars right now.
SLIM I’m gonna just blow minds right now. This is an easy four star movie for me. Shrek!
DANNY You’re outta your damn mind. You’re outta your damn mind!
SLIM This is so much fun. This Shrek.
SLIM If I can try to defend the toilet humor to start this movie. I mean, it’s all over the movie, really. But you’re DreamWorks, how do we try anything? Let’s poke fun at the stud, you know, male in these Sleeping Beauty movies. Or the star of the Disney Princess films. Let’s make him disgusting. Let’s just do that right off the bat in this movie. He’s using the toilet. You know, like oh, what are we getting into here?! This isn’t Disney!
SLIM This ain’t your daddy’s Disney or whatever, you know, you could say there. The whole movie, actually, there was a few jokes that I thought were like, you know, borderline PG-13/R.
DANNY Quiet down.
SLIM There was the one word they mentioned I think like the princess on her back or something like that. I did like a doubletake watching the movie. I didn’t remember that one at all. [Danny & Proto laugh] Like adjusted my glasses looking at the TV. But one thing that I really love about this movie is the poking fun at fairy tales. And Peter, like when Peter Pan appears on screen. I was howling, you know, and just Pinocchio. Just the joking and poking fun that all these classic stories. I think they’re still funny now. And at the time, if I remember correctly, that was like, why it was so revolutionary. Like, oh, they’re having fun with all this stuff where it’s like sacred text. You know, it’s like untouchable. I don’t know if you feel that way, Proto.
PROTO Well, one thing that I did think of, the scene when it came up to with Robin Hood. I was like, oh yeah, there’s a Matrix spoof in this! And that was just so, so, well at the time, it was like very — I feel like that like that meta cultural stuff in a cartoon, was there stuff that was doing that earlier? Like now it’s all over the place. Like, there’s so many animated movies that do this. But at the time, I feel like that was kind of surprising and new and fresh for an animated movie like this.
DANNY Looney Tunes was doing meta.
PROTO That’s true.
SLIM Yeah, like sixty years ago.
DANNY Right. It’s nothing new. Shrek did nothing new.
SLIM Nobody did it for like 30 years after Looney Tunes. DreamWorks was the first. Danny — if you just look at Dave’s face right now. [Danny laughs] If you’re listening this podcast, he looks like he’s about to strangle me.
DANNY Four stars! I am baffled.
SLIM The animation obviously is rough. It doesn’t hold up.
DANNY It’s terrible!
SLIM The soundtrack.
DANNY It’s terrible!
SLIM Catastrophic in terms of holding up over 20 years, just catastrophic.
SLIM But with that said, I think it’s still hilarious. I love Shrek! He’s the guy that’s like lived alone his entire life. He laughs at his own jokes. I can see myself a little bit in Shrek. He makes these terrible jokes. He’s cracking himself up because he’s never like talked to anybody. Their relationship with Donkey. When she comes into play and they have the three of them, one of my notes is like ‘is this Lightning in a Bottle right now?’
DANNY Oh my God.
SLIM It’s so much fun for me. [Proto laughs] The end, like, the problem is they made like eight other Shreks after this, obviously, they had the TV, directed TV movies, whatever. Cat in Boots. But for my viewing, this does feel like a Lightning in a Bottle. It doesn’t hold up as well over time, but I still had a lot of fun. Danny just shook his head. [Slim laughs]
DANNY I have no rebuttal anymore. I could not wait for this film to get done. Casey had asked me, she was like, ‘why don’t you just watch it with the kids?’ and I’m like, two reasons. I don’t want them to like this and have to have it on in the background for the rest of my life, and second, I would have to call Child Services on myself because this is abuse. [Slim laughs]
SLIM What are you — we don’t what you’ve done for the art for this episode. What are you gonna do for the art for this episode?
DANNY I haven’t done any art for this yet! I have no idea! A turd. [Slim laughs] In a toilet bowl. A green turn.
SLIM It’s gonna be like the Princess’ castle or something. [Danny laughs] Something so unrecognizable to the idea of Shrek that you could cast this off.
DANNY I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m afraid to even look back in on what art I’m gonna have to do for this.
SLIM I mean, the gingerbread man. It’s iconic. No?!
DANNY The muffin man bit?
DANNY The only —
SLIM The gingerbread man with no legs, ‘member he’s getting like surgery on?
DANNY Yes. Yeah, it… it just doesn’t hit for me.
SLIM Hmm. Interesting. Proto why do you think that is?
DANNY The only thing — hold on — the only thing that I do enjoy about this, which is why I’m giving a half star is John Lithgow as Farquaad.
SLIM Amazing performance.
DANNY It’s funny! But that’s about it.
PROTO I was, you know, I was surprised. You know, the reason we’re doing this is, yeah, a lot of our Villagers wouldn’t shut up about it. And I was surprised at how much love like, like passionate love there is for this as if this is like a keystone of their childhood. And that, you know, there’s this kind of, you know, people are younger than us. So like maybe that’s, you know, part of it. Maybe they saw it, like they grew up with this movie, you know, under 10 and it was just part of the the repertoire of movies that they watched. But like for me that doesn’t work. Like for me that’s like Aladdin and Lion King. Like you know, Shrek isn’t, maybe I was too old for this to have that kind of effect on me. But that’s interesting just knowing that this holds that kind of place in you know, a younger generation’s heart.
SLIM This is probably the first time, if I remember correctly, the first time I heard that Hallelujah song. That was pretty popular because I believe of this mainstream release.
DANNY I can’t believe they would disgrace that song on this movie.
SLIM This was the big one. This put it mainstream that song, if I remember. I’m not researching that. So just take my word. [Danny laughs]
PROTO This is where Jeff Buckley heard it.
SLIM Ohh gosh. Some of my other, the enchanted mirror was a hoot. There was like wrestling in-jokes when he was doing the fight inside the courtyard.
PROTO Oh yeah.
SLIM And people were like yelling at him to give him the chair. When she sings and that bird explodes, I thought that was funny. [Slim & Danny laugh] Danny is so revolted! I love it.
DANNY I’m just dying right now.
PROTO I wish I would have wrote down some of the things Eddie Murphy says but I just like everything he says, he’s like ‘That’s a nice boulder! That’s a nice boulder!’
[clip of Shrek plays in-sync with Proto]
DONKEY That’s a nice boulder! That’s a nice boulder!
[clip of Shrek ends]
PROTO Everything out of his mouth! I just loved.
SLIM That was actually, a lot of my notes were just the fairytale characters. I liked the the poking fun at them. You know, it’s, I would be curious to know what people think watching this today. You know, compared to, you’re so used to growing up in the last 15 years with like Pixar stuff. Even the last 10 years, like just insane animation. And storylines. I wonder what like a first time viewer Shrek today would be like.
PROTO Well, yeah, compared to the mainstream, like theatrical released animated movies. Yeah, this is like a joke. [Slim laughs] But when you look at the shows that Amazon is putting out, like my kids watch a lot of garbage.
SLIM It’s filth on Netflix.
PROTO There’s a ton of like garbanzo animated shows that my kids will watch.
PROTO That look like this, which is weird! Like these shows that you can tell have like very low budgets, you know made by interns. [Danny & Slim laugh] They look as good as Shrek! So they’re used to, I think they’re in some way they’re used to it. But yeah, if your kid just watches like Pixar, you’re going to be revolted by this. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I mean also we mentioned it a couple weeks ago that that Shrek ride at Universal, that needs to be torn down. They need to, I mean, what is going on that that ride still exists at Universal Florida? Danny, please, enlighten us.
DANNY Well, if you would just look into our Discord and see that the people that are younger than us still love this movie for some reason. So a Shrek 4D ride. You know, they’re gonna go do it. They’re not scared about Alfred Hitchcock anymore! You know? It makes me sick! Taking out that Alfred Hitchcock show for this garbage.
SLIM You think these young kids have seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie?
DANNY You’re at a movie theme park and Shrek is a disgrace to cinema. [Slim & Proto laugh] They came out that same year as Monsters, Inc. So they’re already behind in design with a monster. Because Monsters, Inc. leaps and bounds still does better than this movie. But also Miyazaki, rockin 2d animation, winning an Oscar for Spirited Away that year! So it’s like, DreamWorks, what do you, just give up.
SLIM You talk about an R rated movie. Spirited Away.
DANNY Those pigs.
SLIM My God. That is a haunting film.
PROTO You mentioned the character designs, the thing that has always, I struggled with Shrek is I do not like the look of Shrek. He’s, you know of course he’s ugly, but he’s just, you can you can make something ugly, but still, like a good design, to me is ugly and he’s not pleasing to look at. And at the end it’s actually a letdown, to see you know, this Princess turned into another ugly ogre. [Danny laughs] It’s so dissatisfying to see them come together! Like I’d rather her with Farquaad. And you know, stay human. I’m, I am pro-human! Okay? [Danny laughs] And I’m just always kind of disappointed at the end of this.
SLIM This is, this is probably going to be a very different divisive episode, I think, based on the comments that I’ve heard so far. If you remember in Shrek 2 —
DANNY No, no one does, Matt.
SLIM If I remember correctly, the main storyline is that he reverts to a human in Shrek 2. He gets some kind of potion.
DANNY Who does he look like?
SLIM He looks like Ben Grimm animated. [Danny laughs] Before he became The Thing. That’s what he looks like. I don’t remember what happens in Shrek 3. I don’t even know if I saw Shrek 3. But that’s neither here nor there. I can guarantee you that we will not proceed with this film franchise after this point.
DANNY We won’t. Not with me at least. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Danny will be on assignment for any episodes that involve Shrek. Proto, do you have any closing thoughts for Shrek? We already heard your rating, between two and three stars, but anything you want to say about it?
PROTO No, that’s really it. I don’t have much more to say. Yeah, I don’t have any plans to revisit this. It’s serviceable. It’s not really a movie I want to watch again. I’m sorry.
SLIM Wow. Danny, thank you for watching it.
DANNY Oh, you’re welcome.
SLIM Your bravery right now.
SLIM It’s through the roof. [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh] Congratulations to Shrek for 20 years.
DANNY Congrats Shrek. You did it.
SLIM Since you hit theaters. And I hope you enjoyed this special presentation. We will see everybody next episode. Goodbye.
SLIM 70mm is a VHS Village production, featuring original artwork provided Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies, provided by Protolexus. Producer emeritus, dale_a. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. And you can support our Patreon for access to our Discord to talk movies with other Villagers, get early access to episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. If you would like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links on 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!