Shrek the Halls Gary Trousdale

Shrek the Halls Gary Trousdale
Cashing in on the commercial spirit of Christmas and keeping the Shrek franchise alive between increasingly inconsequential sequels, Shrek the Halls acts as a passable holiday special with a message of family and unconditional love but speeds by almost incoherently with an endless parade of gags that rarely connect. Toilet humour and dancing donkeys should please children, while a Christmas love story between gingerbread people that ends in decapitation and death (because nothing says "happy holidays” like a Santa Claus that brutally murders cutesy cartoon characters) should amuse more cynical viewers, despite the entire ordeal being instantly forgettable. The story is fairly standard, examining the evolution of Shrek’s (Mike Myers) "bah humbug” attitude when Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) point out to him that having babies means acting like a cornball wank, at times. Being a softy at heart, Shrek responds by rushing through some Christmas For Dummies tutorials in an effort to please his doting wife but is none too impressed when the entire Shrek universe shows up on his doorstep come Christmas looking to be part of the festivities. A blow-up is inevitable, as is the rekindling and a valuable life lesson, which is truthfully only a secondary purpose, as the primary pedagogy is that of holiday gift giving. The DVD release includes both a widescreen and full screen version of the 22-minute special, along with some holiday sing-along videos for the kiddies. A DreamWorks animation jukebox has tunes from many animated titles, such as Madagascar, Flushed Away and Bee Movie, and should succeed in annoying parents with blasé tunes by Sheryl Crow, Billy Idol and a particularly obnoxious rendition of "I Like To Move It (Move It)” as sung by Borat. But again, the kiddies will be pleased, as they likely will be with the gingerbread man match-’em-up DVD game and the PC game demo that are included as well. (Paramount)