Saturday, 26 September 2020
Shrek the Third
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 00:00
Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived an ogre. The ogre was a tall, hulking beast with green skin, enormous rotting teeth, and a fat enough wallet to hire the best dentists in Hollywood if he wanted to. That ogre of course is Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) one of the biggest, grossest – I mean biggest grossing – animated characters of all time. And now he’s lumbering into theatres in Shrek the Third.

In the first two installments we met some of the very memorable characters that inhabit this fairy tale kingdom. With Shrek now married to Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) he is next in line to rule the kingdom when her father the old Frog King finally, um, croaks. But all he wants is to return to his swamp and be left alone with his new bride who happens to be pregnant! It’s time for another quest! This time Shrek sets out with his usual entourage of Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to find the royal nephew, Artie Pendragon (Justin Timberlake). Artie, who wouldn’t seem out of place as a 1980’s Brat Packer, has been living out his days in the hallowed halls of Worcestershire Academy high school along with several other folks from Arthurian Legend.

Meanwhile back in Far Far Away, the flaxen haired Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) has been reduced to fighting fake ogres for laughs in a dinner theatre production. Nursing a bruised ego, he decides to front an attack to take over the kingdom along with an army of villainous cohorts. But he gets more than he bargained for from a troupe of very capable princess’s.

There’s a lot going on in this installment but I found it a little slow getting started but once the ball is rolling we settle back into the snappy little groove that made the first two films such a success. Another quick-witted script will have children roaring at the potty humor and adults chuckling at the more subtle jokes. Ok, ok! So the adults roar at the potty humor too.

In a summer of “threequels” Shrek the Third has also set a standard that Spiderman 3 fell far short of. At least fans won’t be so sorely disappointed by Shrek as they were by Spidey. Although I don’t think this film is quite as successfully executed as its prequels the craftsmanship, both story-wise and visually, is still far higher than most of the animated films we’ve been seeing lately.

Speaking of visuals, the bar for animation has risen once again to a level of realism that is almost disconcerting. The animation in this film is incredible, especially when it comes to facial expressions and hair, right down to the eyelashes. Beautiful, beautiful work.

This was an enjoyable third installment to a series that continues to be above average. But if the old adage is true and luck happens in three’s perhaps the studio should be smart and leave Shrek at his third happily ever after.

I give Shrek the Third 7 out of 10 stars.