The Shrek Franchise
For a review of the final Shrek movie, click here: Shrek Forever After Movie Review: Happily Ogre After?
The best thing about the Shrek movies is that you are offered a patented comic blend of fairy tale tradition and pop culture references. These recreate a comic flavor and moral implications for its wide commercial range of movie audience. The main charm of the Shrek franchise is its organic ability to mix fairy tale sweetness and pop culture tradition with a horde of fun personalities and a lovable green ogre on the forefront. In its world of fanciful fable, its clever originality has bought genuine thrills and belly laughs to the world of animated films. And with the vibrant characters as original as Shrek, it takes advantage of the fairy tales known many generations.
No doubt, the Shrek movies have made a pretty good fan base that it somehow becomes complacent in providing more quality installments (branding now comes before quality).
Shrek the Third
The Shrek franchise comes up with its third installment quite inferior to the first two. Shrek the Third tries to do its best to bring out some laugh-inducing slapstick from the can. At the least, it has the very humor that Shrek fans have come to expect. The jokes and comic pacing and nearly constant, with enough silliness for its type of comedy.
It is tough to keep up with the pressure after offering two delicious treats in a row. Shrek the Third isn’t as smart as the first two; but it brings big laughs still. With its fun fairy tale, pop references and the satirical situations, it works as a light comedy offer.
Being a cash cow that it is, this movie still gives a dose of laughter while keeping up with its high-end computer animation. The corporate mind is very much apparent in its overall package. But this playful fable filled with vivid fairy tale characters and pop culture fun still engages its story with some moral lessons for the kids and some light streaks of feminism. It tries to give enough “Shrek-ish” ingredients for its all-ages audience: a joke for the kids, for the teens, and for the parents (jokes about parenthood, high school, girl power, among others).
Directors Chris Miller and Raman Hui make a collection of riffs and gags to spoof a number of movies, myths, and pop icons. The treatment generally chooses gags over character. It generally works for its level amidst some classic cartoon non-sense parts and obviously calculated jokes, probably due to the zestfully conceived slapstick that puts heart to the details that impress the most number of “Hollywood babies.” The fine supporting character moments help it soar a little more in the laughter department. Moreover, with the inclusion of satirical and moral undertones including the parallel threats of kingship and parenthood, the stinking but pure-hearted ogre radiantly renders a fairy tale world of wonders to the story. The spoofs of a number of blockbuster hits old and new add up to the light and fun entertainment: Titanic, Superman, Pirates of the Carribean, Harry Potter, King Arthur, LOTR, Peter Pan, Spiderman, and many others.
The green swamp creature, along with the rest of the characters, has a charm that really quite engages. The star voices for this third outing live up to their trademark animated characters: Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Cameron Diaz as Princess, Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots, Julie Andrews as Queen Lillian, John Cleese as King Harold, Rupert Everett as Prince Charming, Justin Timberlake as Artie/Arthur, and the rest of the comic characters. All of them deliver for the fun times.
Shrek the Third manages to package its predictable elements without losing its primary appeal. Its signature blend of realism and fantasy shows that the formula still works; maybe not as well as the first two, but it sure brings in more money to the franchise, like the first two. It has hit-and-miss moments, but this popular fairy tale spoof makes you have good enough laughs. And it keeps a bankable bearing both for the big screen and for home video sales (Blu-ray and DVD).