Shrek: The Soundtrack that Beats the Film

One of our Music sub-editors looks into films that have better soundtracks....

Lucy Bower
25th May 2022
Credit: Youtube
Film and music are two elements that are in a happy co-dependent relationship together. However, sometimes there are disruptions to the relationship. Have you ever watched a film that does not live up to its soundtrack? Sometimes, the soundtrack of a film is its only redeeming quality. This is very much the case for Shrek. We’re talking ‘I’m a Believer’, ‘All Star’, and ‘Hallelujah’ as just three of the iconic songs that plunge this film out of the dark.

Realistically, the plot of Shrek follows a green ogre in his mission to save his own isolated home. Without the soundtrack, I don’t believe it would be as good as it is. Imagine the same film but to jazz music. It just wouldn’t work.

Shrek was the first popular animated feature that decided to choose contemporary popular music as opposed to its own songs. This just heightens the fun and playful feeling throughout it. It's safe to say that Dreamworks knew exactly what they were doing when breaking the boundaries for animation conventions.

Upon re-watching this film at the weekend, I made sure to pay close attention to the choice of song and its placement. What makes the soundtrack that much better is the timing of each tune. Whether that’s comedic gold or gut-wrenching heartbreak, there is always an appropriate song to comment on the action happening on-screen.

The soundtrack of Shrek was a clever tool used by the filmmakers to lure people in to watch the film. Who knows whether it would have the same success had they decided not to include ‘All Star’ in the opening scene.

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