Why, 2K?!- “Shrek” and “Spirited Away”

The first decade of this millennium is often heralded as some sort of golden age for children’s films. Sure, most of Pixar’s best flicks came out in this period, and there were some winners in general, but I think people tend to view the films of their own childhood with rose-colored glasses. Most of these films are goddamn godawful. Just HOW goddamn godawful, you ask? Let’s find out together by checking out EVERY kids film between 2000 and 2009. From theatrical to direct-to-DVD to Disney Channel Original, we’ll look at ’em all because I am a glutton for punishment.

This week, what the fuck is this double feature? Like, seriously? THESE two movies? Really?

SHREK

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Look, separating this movie from its current internet presence is an impossibility. It’s never gonna happen. The shouty, joke repeating, meme-culture hellscape that took over this movie’s narrative has made watching it honestly an annoying task.

Like, This movie is not bad. It’s pretty solid and a good watch. But if you can watch it without thinking of dumb annoying memes the whole time, I want to live your life.

The film follows Shrek the ogre. He is unhappy and a loner. But when the evil Lord Farquad banishes the fairytale creatures to his swamp, he embarks on a journey to get his privacy back, encountering a best friend named Donkey and the lovely Princess Fiona, who harbors a dark secret.

The film stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz. Huh, does anyone in this film still have a viable acting career? Besides John Lithgow.

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This thing won the first ever animated picture Oscar. That’s a fact. Also, the film is almost impressively bitter about classic Disney films. Like, it takes so many digs at their Distinguished Competition you’d think they went through a bad breakup.

Also, the film is kind of impressively well animated. Like, I’ve reviewed a lot of CGI shit from this era and this one still looks good. The humans look pretty creepy, but the cartoonier characters come out really solid.

God dammit it makes me so mad that this movie became a “thing” because it would be a fine enough movie without that. But now it’s a thing and you can’t bring it up without people being annoying about it.

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Oh, but one actual complaint: fuck this movie’s soundtrack. Fuck it hard. It needs to shut up. It just feels like random songs that have nothing to do with what’s going on whatsoever. And it has entirely too much Smash Mouth.

SPIRITED AWAY

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This movie is really frigging good but also everything in it is an actual nightmare. The visuals of this film seem tailor made to develop insanity in its viewers. It’s all hideous slime beasts and blood dragons and faceless horrors.

You know, for kids!

It’s like the script for this movie was just written out screams and the animators decided to draw what they assumed that would look like. Jesus Christ it’s a scream factory over here.

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No Face is alternately cute and an endless source of terror. The rest of the characters follow suit. That fucking baby is nothing but horror. The animation is beautiful but the character designs creep me right the hell out.

It is simultainiously a very pretty movie and a very not pretty movie. The film itself is paced very strangely but it creates a fun environment of adventure and childlike problem solving that doesn’t really feel like anything else.

I will concede that the dialogue can a little exposition heavy, but it’s highly possible that was down to the dub I watched.

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God, look at it, IT’S SO PRETTY.

Just watch this movie. I hadn’t but now I have and I like it. It’s a good.

Verdict: given.

Next week, another hugely meme-d show so I want you all to pray for me.

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