Shrek: The Musical is a critically acclaimed Toni award winning stage play based on the 2001 animated feature. So why am I reviewing it? Because much like the fairytale creatures invaded Shrek’s swamp, this atrocity has entered my domain by releasing a video of the program onto Netflix. Not only is it terrible compared to the original work, but it is terrible as its own work.
The play lacked all the charm, wit, heart, and quirky fun that the movie was so well known for. The problem is that the casting in the original movie was perfect, and the chemistry between everyone was great. The thing about adapting something from one medium to another is that they are a careful blend of elements from the original work and new or altered elements. This play had a whole script of original and funny material, but it was trampled by the rushed by the incorporation of every joke (iconic or forgettable) from the movie. This gave the play a bi-polar tone. I’ll be honest half-way through the film I started getting absorbed into the plot, and that was when they threw away the original lines entirely.
They added a backstory for Shrek which really allowed him and Fiona to bond. I loved that, but instantly they were cutting back to Farquad. All of the comedic characters just came off as annoying. Donkey, Pinocchio, and Farquad were frustratingly obnoxious. They also added new subplot with the evicted fairytale creatures that just distracted from the flow of the plot. Besides the obvious high cost of production, this felt like a high school drama production. I could on and on about the all the other stuff in this overflowing bucket of crap I haven’t mentioned yet, but I’ll end it with this statement. All of these things culminated in a drawn out, splintered, play that didn’t know if it took itself seriously or was just as silly as the movie minus the charm. If this movie comes across your “suggested for you” section of Netflix just go, watch the original movie, and save yourself a lot of pain.