Features and Columns · Movies

Why the ‘Shrek’ Soundtrack is a Masterclass in Music Selection

SomeBODY once told us the ‘Shrek’ soundtrack absolutely rips.
Shrek Swamp
By  · Published on August 16th, 2021

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay on what makes the music in Shrek so ingenious.

Shrek is known for many things. You’ve got your crass toilet humor, not-so-sly digs at Disney, and truly unique computer animation. But arguably the most iconic aspect of the 2001 Dreamworks film is its soundtrack. With memorable hits featured heavily, it’s no wonder that many a millennial cannot hear “All Star” or “Bad Reputation” without it harkening back to cinema’s favorite ogre.

But is there something hypocritical about adoring the Shrek soundtrack while lamenting other films with heavy-handed tune selections? If we’re going to complain when other soundtracks are painfully on the nose, surely the same should apply to Shrek. And indeed, it is a little obvious to needle drop “Accidentally in Love,” for example, when Shrek and Fiona find themselves accidentally falling in love.

But there’s more to it than just soundtrack selections. The genius of Shrek‘s music is how its signature score is masterfully integrated alongside the soundtrack. The following video essay takes a look at exactly how the film pulls this off and why the film’s music is not only iconic, but integral to its success.

Watch “Why the Soundtrack to Shrek is Actually Genius”:

Who made this?

This video about the music of Shrek was created by Sideways, a video essayist whose work goes deep on music, movies, and music in movies. Their videos interrogate a lot of issues in movie music that may not be noticed by the untrained ear, but have a huge impact on the film. You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

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Anna Swanson is a Senior Contributor who hails from Toronto. She can usually be found at the nearest rep screening of a Brian De Palma film.