In 2007 children and families were treated to the third installment of the Shrek movie franchise. All of the voices and characters from the second film returned for the next one as Shrek, Donkey, Puss in Boots, and Fiona embark upon another whirlwind adventure.
Moviegoers also made Shrek the Third a huge financial success as it grossed over $120 million in its first weekend and then made over $67 million the next weekend. My wife and kids went to see the movie in its second week and we were very disappointed.
The plot of the movie is simple. Fiona’s father, King Harold, dies and leaves no apparent heir to the throne except Shrek. Shrek doesn’t want to be king so he is instructed to go find Artie, Harold’s nephew. There are a few things the compound the situation. First is that Artie lives overseas in another kingdom and is in high school. He really doesn’t want to give up his life as an aspiring jouster.
Another complication is that Fiona is pregnant with ogre triplets, a fact that she reveals just as Shrek is departing by boat. Prince Charming is aware that the big green ogre is leaving and he plots a coup in his absence. Thus the adventure begins.
Shrek takes Donkey and Puss in Boots along to bring back Artie even though he doesn’t want to come. Even though Artie’s life is in the dumps it is far better than being a sudden king. Shrek needs to impart any fatherly advice upon the boy quickly if he is to succeed.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, Fiona and Queen Lillian are having a baby shower then the castle is attacked by Prince Charming and all of the other evil-type outcasts including none other than Rumpelstiltskin (who figures prominently in the fourth movie).
It’s up to the maidens to mount a break out and meet up with Shrek who delivers Artie into a dangerous situation. All is resolved in a play gone awry as Prince Charming tries to silence his critics but then Artie steals the show and takes his kingdom as his own. The ogre babies are born and Shrek has a happy family at last.
My family and I disliked this movie very much for the simple reason of there wasn’t much humor in it. What was hilarious in the first two movies was strangely absent in Shrek the Third probably due to a totally different creative team from the director and writers.
The movie starts out very dark, even for younger children, as Fiona’s father dies and there are dark storm clouds and nothing cheery going on at all. The inside jokes such as Queen Lillian singing parts of “These are a few of my favorite things” are funny for adults but the humor for children just wasn’t as prevalent as the first two movies.
The funniest moment was when Shrek finds Merlin, voiced by the always hilarious Eric Idle. When he accidentally switches the minds of Puss and Donkey they finally have a funny moment together that made the original two movies so great. That kind of banter needed to have a more prominent place in Shrek the Third but it just wasn’t there.
Another hilarious part was Pinocchio attempting to not lie about the whereabouts of Shrek after the castle was taken. Again, it was probably funnier for adults then it would be for children.
My family saw this movie once and that was it. We didn’t even buy it on DVD and we only purchased a few video games because in general we do like the characters and the first two movies. As far as Shrek movies go, the third one has been the worst of the three even though it does have some entertainment value as just about everyone in America seemed to go and see it.