IT MAY be the biggest blockbuster in Cannes this year but its main stars, a green ogre and a talking donkey, will not be walking up the steps of the festival centre. Shrek, the latest multimillion- dollar animation feature from Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks Pictures, has surprised pundits with its inclusion in the competition for the Palme d'Or alongside such auteur directors as Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch.
But it is already being spoken of as an "animation classic" capable of taking on the might of the Disney corporation, commercially and in spirit. Although set in a storybook world, Shrek offers a pithier style of fairytale than those served up by Disney.
Rather like Britain's Fungus the Bogeyman, Shrek is an anti- social slob with egregiously filthy habits: he uses his ear wax for candles and catches fish by farting. Based on a children's book by William Stieg, and co-directed by first-timers Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, Shrek is the story of a green ogre with a Scottish accent, voiced by Austin Powers star Mike Myers, who teams up with a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy) and a beautiful princess, Cameron Diaz.
The film is crammed with movie and TV in-jokes and parodies of fairytale characters familiar from Disney films, such as a Cinderella-like princess whose duet with a songbird proves explosive. For this reason, the film has been seen as a swipe at Disney by its producer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is a Dreamworks partner alongside Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. …