Obviously, this is not really my first time watching Shrek. It's a rare film that I actually ended up seeing in the cinema several times and went on to love so much as a kid that I must have seen it more than two dozen times since. That said, it's been probably a decade or more since I'd last watched it through, so I was a little wary going in. Not so much for the plot or script, as both of those elements were enjoyed by my parents, but definitely for the CGI and probably a few of the jokes as well.
Well, I'm happy to report that all elements hold up pretty darn well. There are moments when the CGI is a little shaky, most notably in low light situations, but for the most part it could have been released in the last couple of years fairly easily. Shrek's home, the entire castle fight sequence, and most of the characters all still look great. The jokes land just as well too. A few have dulled at the edges, and I definitely found some that used to be hilarious are now not so much, but wonderfully there turned out to be some additional ones I've never noticed before. Homages, such as the Matrix scene in the woods, are much clearer now I know the source material better, but there were even a few subtle jokes here and there (such as Farquaad ashamedly glancing beneath his sheets) that I've never picked up on before
Similarly, having recently rewatched several classic Disney films, I hadn't ever realised how much was almost directly ripped from them in pastiche. The opening storybook montage is almost blow-for-blow the intro to Sleeping Beauty, even down to elements of the animation style. In some films, learning that certain sequences are homages could be problematic, but for Shrek it just adds to it. Much like the oft quoted sequences, this film has layers, and they hold up well.
Voice work, scripting, sound design, music... it's all still great. It's a genuine classic which I'm really glad to see won't get lost to future generations just yet.