Shrek the Halls
Produced By: DreamWorks Animation
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I love the traditions of the holidays. One tradition my family always had was to watch the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree on television. So, this year, like every year before, I sat in front of the television preparing to watch my Christmas special. About a half hour into the show, which has been expanded to two hours from its original one hour, I started getting angry. The tree lighting ceremony had changed. Instead of stars ringing in the holiday by singing Christmas carols, we had stars promoting their new CDs.
Instead of caroling, I got to hear Ashley Tisdale sing her new song, Celine Dion sing something from her new album, some reggae/rapper guy sing his new song. No Hark the Herald Angels Sing! No Jingle Bells! What was this?! Instead of a show filled with Christmas cheer, this was a show filled with album promotions and one or two Christmas carols. And then something wonderful happened – I remembered that Shrek the Halls, a new Christmas special featuring that lovable green ogre from the movies, was scheduled to be on ABC. I quickly changed the channel.
Here was a Christmas special I could sink my teeth into. Shrek the Halls opens as the Christmas season arrives. Shrek has been living in the swamp with his wife, Fiona, and newly born children. He discovers that Christmas is a special time for Fiona and so, Shrek promises to make this Christmas a special one for her and the children. However, this is not only the first Christmas that the children will celebrate. This is Shrek’s very first Christmas and he hasn’t a clue where to begin. He goes to the local bookstore and buys a copy of Christmas for Village Idiots which tells him everything from decorating to caroling to storytelling.
Of course, Shrek wouldn’t be Shrek without a little frustration on his part. When Donkey stops over to spread a little Christmas cheer and finds Shrek to be extremely out of sorts, Fiona tells Donkey that Shrek just wants to spend the Christmas holiday with his family. Knowing Donkey as we do, it becomes no surprise when he rounds up every member of Shrek’s extended family for a party at Shrek’s house. Shrek is overcome by the crowd of friends that enter his home and begin to take over his celebration. Of course, Shrek freaks out and almost ruins things until Fiona explains that this is what Christmas is all about. Finally, Shrek goes to his friends and explains that this is HIS very first Christmas and that he would be happy to celebrate with all of them.
Now this is what I call a Christmas special. Shrek the Halls was a half hour of fun animation with a lesson to be learned at the end. I couldn’t stop laughing when Shrek pulled out the Christmas for Village Idiots book and the scenes when everyone gathers in front of the fireplace and tells their stories about Santa are hilarious. My favorite has to be the tale by the Gingerbread Man and how he freaks out at the sight of Santa Claus at the end of the show. Like the movies, Shrek the Halls has all of the fun of a children’s television special with just enough veiled adult humor to make the show enjoyable for the entire family.
I’m so happy I changed the channel from a commercial nightmare to a tried and true holiday special. Shrek the Halls has earned a place in my list of Christmas holiday traditions and I intend to watch it every year from this day forward.