When Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) does a spot of ethnic cleansing in the land of Duloc, he dumps hordes of fairy-tale creatures into the private swamp of an ogre called Shrek (Mike Myers). Miffed, Shrek tracks down the foul-tempered ruler and strikes a deal: in return for his privacy, he'll rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from the scaly clutches of a fearsome dragon and deliver her into Farquaad's arms.
Disney's dominance is seriously challenged here, with DreamWorks seamlessly laying adult and child humour over mind-blowing visuals. Eddie Murphy's jive-talking Donkey is straight out of the Disney sidekick mould... only better. The features aren't bad, either.