Shrek’s cinematic universe is the best. Period.

the Shrek franchise is the best cinematic universe. Let me explain!

It’s hard to think of the shrek franchise as being on par with other older, widely-loved franchises. But as modern cinema sinks deeper into the realm of long-running franchises that intertwine and grow more complex with each episode, it’s hard to decide which franchise does it best, especially when casual viewers have a hard time. hard to follow. Stand-alone films have become virtually non-existent in the MCU universe: for example, all the connections between TV miniseries and films that depend on precedents for complete context make it increasingly difficult to follow the main plot for every little story.

This doesn’t just happen with superhero stories from the MCU or DCEU. Any long-standing franchise, such as star wars and star trek, as well as new franchises of all genres, including horror, sci-fi, and action thrillers, encounter this problem at some point. (How many times can we watch Wine Diesel drive fast cars and talk family?) However, one franchise stands out above all others as the best cinematic universe for a myriad of reasons. I’m going to make a bold statement: the shrek movies are the best cinematic universe. Period.

The Shrek franchise succeeds because of its accessibility

One of the main reasons shrek succeeds so well that a franchise is that it is accessible. With only four films to follow (and possibly a fifth installment on the way) in the first set of films, the series isn’t so long that it gets repetitive or runs out of ideas. While it’s true that each subsequent episode requires the previous one for complete context, they can also make up a complete story. of Shrek (Mike Meyers) first adventure sees him with Donkey (Eddie Murphy) save Fiona (Cameron Diaz) of his castle, allowing Shrek to learn to fall in love and Fiona to accept herself. The second movie starts with Shrek and Fiona already married, and there’s enough subtext in the early scenes to piece together what might have happened before their wedding, especially because of Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) comic account of events in the opening minutes. Shrek 2 then focuses on Shrek’s desire to be “good enough” for Fiona and learn to get along with her parents, while King Harold (John Cleese) accepts its own shortcomings.

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Just like the second movie, Shrek the Third starts out strong with a quick edit of Shrek replacing the king, who has fallen ill. It’s clear that Shrek is uncomfortable with the new status quo (and the concept of fatherhood), which leads him to go find Fiona’s cousin, Artie (Justin Timberlake) to become the next king so he can return to his swamp. just like Shrek 2full context is provided by previous films but is not necessarily necessary to enjoy the story as a whole.

Of all the Shrek sequels (so far), shrek forever needs the context of all the previous films the least. Shrek makes a well-meaning but ill-conceived deal with Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) and accidentally finds himself stuck in a version of reality where he never saved Fiona. Shrek’s reliance on fairy tale parodies provides the perfect backdrop for the princess who was never saved, so Fiona’s characterization feels multi-dimensional for the first time since the first film. Even the Puss in Boots movies starring our favorite cat Zorro (Antonio Banderas) are able to fend for themselves without Shrek’s involvement, following smaller stories without getting sucked into the workings of a larger and much more complex universe.

The Shrek Franchise Uses Parody Well

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Shrek is not only accessible; each film is also a clever amalgamation of parodies, from classic Disney plots (pre-subversion) to fairy tale tropes in general. Even if a viewer has never seen shrek movies and not familiar with them as well, most viewers know Disney as the biggest animation company in terms of popularity. If that’s not enough, the use of fairy tales is even more familiar. Everyone knows the details, or at the very least the basic story structure, of age-old fairy tales.

shrek uses parody not only as a way to add humor, charm, and self-awareness to his stories, but also as a way to involve context without spending too much time spelling it out. The character dynamics are much more complicated than their fairy tales would suggest, but Shrek movies in the cinematic universe use the archetypes found in fairy tales to serve as a launching point for character arcs without relying too much on them to form a superficial character. For example, the story of the frog prince becomes much more interesting when one wonders what would happen after the transformation if the prince, having become king, met another “animal” who married his daughter? The starting point is familiar, but the direction these characters take becomes unique not only through subversion, but also through a serious look at how these types of characters would behave after their fairy tales are over.

Plus, parodies are just plain fun! It’s always a great moment to recognize a tribute to another story in the movie you’re watching. Even pop culture references like The Lord of the Rings make it into the movies somehow: Shrek fumbles in forging Fiona’s wedding ring, throwing her in the air; it magically lands on Fiona’s finger, much like the One Ring does for Frodo. There really isn’t much reason for this to happen, except that it’s an oddly fun reference to make.

Every installment of Shrek maintains the tonal balance of the franchise

Shrek and Fiona in bed with their babies in Shrek Forever After
Image via DreamWorks Animation

Although it is completely infused with humor, Shrek can take himself very seriously when necessary. Each episode follows Shrek on the next stage of his journey of self-discovery: 1) Shrek learns to find outer acceptance, 2) Shrek learns to accept himself, 3) Shrek copes with the idea of ​​taking on more responsibilities for himself and the people he cares about, 4) Shrek is learning to appreciate what he has after years of having his dream life. It seems a little funny to say, considering how shrekParody and crude humor of Shrek are peppered throughout the franchise, but Shrek’s story is one of acceptance and discovery, almost like a coming-of-age story. Despite the franchise’s cynical portrayals of some of its fairy tales, Shrek’s story is ultimately positive.

This positive journey is a great way for kids to see and learn, but it’s also balanced with hidden adult jokes for parents in the audience, making the experience enjoyable for families unlike other family movies. . Thanks to shrekthe succinct way of summarizing the pre-film context, the accessibility for new viewers who drop in anytime after the first film, the productive use of parody, and an odd but strong balance of humorous and serious tones, shrek stands out as the best cinematic universe, even when there are a surplus of franchises to choose from.

Shrek’s cinematic universe is the best. Period. – CBS