The Shrek movies have always been cleverly subversive — and have great soundtracks. The first Shrek rips the whole Disney princess narrative to shreds, to the strains of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation,” maybe the greatest feminist rock anthem of all. Shrek 2 wasn’t quite as brilliant, but it has that hilarious Puss N Boots hairball scene, and Tom Waits.
I was disappointed with Shrek the Third for the first half of the film. The songs are lame, MOR alt-rock, many of the jokes contrived and flat. But then came Revolution Shrek Style: The princesses run riot, complete with a shot of a burning bra. Snow White mesmerizes the castle guards by singing the sort of treacly schmaltz featured in Disney’s first animated feature, accompanied by the cutesy forest creatures of yore. She ends the soprano serenade on a high note: ah, how sweet. Then suddenly, the guitars of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” kick in, la-la-la turns into ah-ah-ah-AH!, and Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Fiona et al storm the castle. They’re even joined by the extremely butch ugly stepsister from Shrek 2; it’s more rad than the Michigyn Women’s Music Festival. Go, grrrls, go!