Friday, Dec. 21, 2001


It's the donkey, dummy. He's a needy nuisance, a sweet-souled cynic, a brave coward, a bouncy optimist. In Eddie Murphy's brilliant vocal characterization, he's just the guy to lift Mike Myers' eponymous ogre out of his slough of despondency and serve as long-eared Cupid in his romance with Cameron Diaz's princess. The movie runs on his delightful spirit — and runs right past an adult's expectations for animation. We usually hope not to get too restless as we indulge the kids in their cinematic treats. But this pretty, fractured fairy tale offers us real wit — including some nice, satirical hits on the Disney tradition — while still giving the wee ones plenty of broad, silly fun.