Shrek the Third (2007)

Movie


Shrek the Third (2007)

When King Harold (John Cleese) of Far, Far Away dies, the clumsy Shrek (Mike Myers) becomes the immediate successor of the throne. However, Shrek decides to find the legitimate heir Artie (Justin Timberlake) in a distant kingdom with his friends Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to be able return to his beloved house in the swamp with the pregnant Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Meanwhile, the envious and ambitious Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) joins the villains of the fairytales plotting a coup d'état to become the new King.
USA
Japan
IMDb   6.1 /10
Metacritic   58 %
TheMovieDb    6.2 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   5.9 /10
Information
Release Date2007-05-17
Runtime1h 33mins
GenreAnimation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Content RatingPG (PG)
AwardsNominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations.
CompanyDreamWorks, DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images (PDI)
CountryUSA, Japan
LanguageEnglish
Shrek (voice)
Donkey (voice)
Princess Fiona (voice)
Puss in Boots (voice)
Queen (voice)
King (voice)
Prince Charming (voice)
Merlin (voice)
Evil Queen (voice)
Pinocchio / Three Pigs (voice)
Doris (voice)
Blind Mice / Heckler / Evil Tree #2 / Guard #2 (voice)
Lancelot (voice)
Captain Hook (voice)

Shrek the Third

Shrek the Third is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film loosely based on the 1990 picture book Shrek! by William Steig. Directed by Chris Miller (in his feature-length directorial debut) and co-directed by Raman Hui, it is the third installment in the Shrek film series and the sequel to Shrek 2 (2004). The film stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, and John Cleese reprising their voice roles from the previous films, along with new additions such as Justin Timberlake as Arthur Pendragon and Eric Idle as Merlin. In the plot, Prince Charming is plotting to overthrow Shrek and Fiona, who have inherited the throne following King Harold's death. Shrek, who does not want to rule the kingdom and does not believe an ogre is fit to be king, attempts to convince Fiona's underachieving, 16-year-old cousin Artie to reign instead.

Shrek the Third premiered at the Mann Village Theatre, Westwood in Los Angeles on May 6, 2007, and was released in the United States on May 18, 2007, exactly six years after the first film was released. The film grossed $813 million on a budget of $160 million, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2007. It was nominated for the Best Animated Film at the 61st British Academy Film Awards. Shrek the Third was the final film in the Shrek franchise to be co-produced by Pacific Data Images, which folded in 2015. The sequel, Shrek Forever After, was released in May 2010.


Plot

Shrek and Princess Fiona are set to succeed the dying King Harold, but Shrek's attempts to serve as the Regent during the King's medical leave end in disaster. He insists that an ogre as king isn't ideal and that there must be someone else. Before he dies, Harold tells Shrek of another heir: his nephew, Arthur "Artie" Pendragon. Meanwhile, Prince Charming vows to become King of Far Far Away and avenge the death of his mother, the Fairy Godmother. Charming goes to the Poison Apple tavern and persuades fairy tale villains to fight for their "happily ever after".

Shrek, Donkey, and Puss in Boots set out to retrieve Artie. As they sail away, Fiona reveals to Shrek that she's pregnant, much to Shrek's horror who doesn't believe he's capable of raising children. The trio journey to Worcestershire Academy, an elite magical boarding school, where they discover Artie as a scrawny, 16-year-old underachiever. At the school pep rally, Shrek tells Artie he's been chosen for king of Far Far Away. Artie is excited until Donkey and Puss inadvertently frighten him by discussing the king's responsibilities. Immediately losing confidence, Artie tries to take control of the ship and steer it back to Worcestershire; following a scuffle with Shrek, the ship crashes on a remote island where they encounter Artie's retired wizard teacher, Merlin.

Charming and other villains attack the castle, but Wolfie, Pinocchio, Gingy, and others stall them long enough for the castle's occupants including Fiona and her mother Queen Lillian to escape. One of the Pigs accidentally reveals that Shrek has gone to retrieve Arthur, and Prince Charming reacts by sending Captain Hook and his pirates to track them down. The ladies are locked in a tower after Rapunzel betrays them, having fallen in love with Charming.

Captain Hook and his pirates catch up to Shrek on Merlin's island. Shrek avoids capture, and Hook reveals Charming's takeover of Far Far Away. Shrek urges Artie to return to Worcestershire. Instead, Artie cons Merlin into using his magic to send them to Far Far Away. The spell causes Puss and Donkey to accidentally switch bodies. They find Pinocchio and learn that Charming plans to kill Shrek as part of a play. Charming's men arrive, but Artie tricks the knights, and they avoid capture. Later, they break into the castle during rehearsals for the play. Caught in Charming's dressing room, the four are taken captive.

Charming prepares to kill Artie to retain the crown. To save Artie's life, Shrek tells Charming that Artie was a pawn to take his place. Charming believes Shrek and allows a disheartened Artie to leave. Donkey and Puss are imprisoned with Fiona and the ladies, where Fiona grows frustrated with their lack of initiative. Queen Lillian smashes an opening in the stone wall of the prison with a headbutt. While the princesses launch a rescue mission for Shrek, Donkey and Puss free Gingy, Pinocchio, and others along with Dragon and Donkey's children. Puss and Donkey mollify Artie by explaining that Shrek lied to save Artie's life.

Charming stages a musical in front of the kingdom. Just as Charming is about to kill Shrek, Fiona, Puss, and Donkey, the princesses and other fairy tale characters confront the villains, but quickly lose in a showdown. Artie shows up and gives a speech to the villains, convincing them that they can be accepted into society instead of being outcast. The villains agree to give up their evil ways, while Charming refuses to listen and lunges at Artie with his sword. Shrek blocks the blow and it initially appears that he was stabbed. Charming decrees himself the new king, but Shrek reveals that the sword actually went in between his arm and torso. Shrek tells Charming that he needs to keep looking for his "happily ever after" and pushes him aside, and Dragon knocks the tower down onto Charming, trapping and defeating him for good.

Artie is crowned king, and the kingdom celebrates, while Merlin reverts Puss and Donkey's body swap. Shrek and Fiona return to their swamp, where they become the parents of ogre triplets, coping with parenthood with the help of Puss, Lillian, Donkey and Dragon.


Voice cast

  • Mike Myers as Shrek
  • Eddie Murphy as Donkey
  • Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona
  • Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots
  • Julie Andrews as Queen Lillian
  • John Cleese as King Harold
  • Rupert Everett as Prince Charming
  • Eric Idle as Merlin
  • Justin Timberlake as Arthur "Artie" Pendragon
  • Conrad Vernon as Gingerbread Man, Rumpelstiltskin, Headless Horseman
  • Cody Cameron as Pinocchio, the Three Pigs, Fergus
  • Larry King as Doris the Ugly Stepsister
  • Christopher Knights as The Three Blind Mice
  • Amy Poehler as Snow White
  • Maya Rudolph as Rapunzel
  • Amy Sedaris as Cinderella
  • Aron Warner as Wolf
  • Cheri Oteri as Sleeping Beauty and actress
  • Ian McShane as Captain Hook
  • Susanne Blakeslee as Evil Queen
  • Regis Philbin as Mabel the Ugly Stepsister
  • Mark Valley as Cyclops
  • Chris Miller as the Puppet Master
  • John Krasinski as Lancelot
  • Seth Rogen as Ship Captain
  • Tom Kane as Guard No. 1
  • Kari Wahlgren as Old Lady

Production

Following the success of Shrek 2, a third and fourth Shrek movie, along with plans for a final, fifth film, were announced in May 2004 by Jeffrey Katzenberg: "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie."

DreamWorks hired screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman and Jane Park (of both Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Doc Hollywood and How the Grinch Stole Christmas fame) to write the script of the film and Jon Zack, who wrote The Perfect Score, came on board as a consultant. Unlike the first two films, the film was not directed by Andrew Adamson due to his occupation with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Adamson was still involved as an executive producer, and was giving advice approximately every four months on the state of the film. Shrek the Third was instead directed by Chris Miller, a story artist on the first film and a head of story on the second, and co-directed by Raman Hui, a supervising animator on the first two films.

The film was developed under the working title of Shrek 3. By March 2006, the title of the film was changed to Shrek the Third. According to Miller, the reason behind the title change was because they "didn't want to just sort of title it like it was just a sequel," instead they wanted "something to make it stand on its own, give it its own personality and really try to treat it as a chapter in Shrek's life." Hui also remarked: "It's about Shrek becoming the new king of Far Far Away; the title sounds kind of royal as well."

The film was originally going to be released in November 2006; however, in December 2004, the date was changed to May 2007; "The sheer magnitude of the Shrek franchise has led us to conclude that a May release date, with a DVD release around the holiday season, will enable us to best maximize performance and increase profitability, thereby generating enhanced asset value and better returns for our shareholders." Katzenberg explained. Flushed Away, another film from DreamWorks Animation, was instead given the slot of November 2006. The release date change was also the day after Disney/Pixar changed the release date of Cars, from November 2005 to June 2006.


Reception

Box office

Shrek the Third opened in 4,122 North American theaters on May 18, 2007, grossing $38 million on its first day, which was the biggest opening day for an animated film at the time. It grossed a total of $121.6 million in its first weekend, the best opening weekend ever for an animated film, and the second-highest opening for a 2007 film in the United States and Canada. It held the animated opening weekend record for nine years until it was surpassed by Finding Dory's $135.1 million debut. At the time, its opening weekend was the third-highest of all time in these regions.

Shrek the Third grossed $322.7 million in the United States, and $490.7 million overseas, bringing its cumulative total to $813.4 million. The film was the fourth-highest-grossing film worldwide of 2007, and the second-highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada that year. In addition, it was the highest-grossing animated film of 2007, and the third-highest-grossing animated film ever. The film sold an estimated 46,907,000 tickets in North America.

The film was released in the United Kingdom on June 29, 2007, and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends, before being dethroned by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, Shrek the Third has an approval rating of 42% based on 214 reviews with an average rating of 5.50/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Shrek the Third has pop culture potshots galore, but at the expense of the heart, charm, and wit that made the first two Shreks classics." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, a step down from the first two films' "A".

Some critics were confused as to the film's target demographic. Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times felt themes about career and parenting anxieties, the lifestyle of celebrities, as well as its humor, would be above children: "Does a kids’ movie really need, among other similar touches, a Hooters joke? I, for one, wouldn’t want to have to explain it." Nonetheless, she also found certain moments to be funny: "Shrek’s anxiety dream about procreating is fabulously surreal, and King Harold’s deathbed scene, with its grimaces and false alarms, is pure kiddie comedy at its best." David Ansen of Newsweek wrote that the film's "slightly snarky wit is aimed almost entirely at parents... this one never touched my heart or got under my skin. It's a movie at war with itself: a kiddie movie that doesn't really want to be one."

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, saying the film "wasn't awful, but it's bland, with a barrel-scraping averageness. There are no new ideas, no very funny new characters..." He called the character Merlin a "frankly unfunny new character" and considered the character to be a "rip-off of Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter franchise". He stated that the film contained "no decent musical numbers, incidentally, and the one cover version is bizarrely chosen. For Harold's funeral, we get a rendering of ... Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die". Er ... huh? Because it's kind of sad and it has "die" in the title?"

The Times of London rated it 2 out of 5.

A. O. Scott from The New York Times described the film as "at once more energetic and more relaxed, less desperate to prove its cleverness and therefore to some extent, smarter."

Awards and nominations

AwardsCategoryRecipientResult
Annie AwardsDirecting in an Animated Feature ProductionChris Miller, Raman HuiNominated
BAFTA AwardsBest Animated FilmChris Miller
Golden Reel AwardBest Sound Editing in Feature Film: Animated
Kids Choice AwardsFavorite Animated Movie
Favorite Voice From an Animated MovieCameron Diaz
Eddie MurphyWon
Mike MyersNominated
People's Choice AwardsFavorite Family MovieWon
VES AwardsOutstanding Effects in an Animated Motion PictureMatt Baer, Greg Hart, Krzysztof Rost, Anthony FieldNominated
Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion PictureJohn Cleese, Guillaume Aretos, Tim Cheung, Sean Mahoney

Home media

The film was released on both DVD and HD DVD on November 13, 2007. The DVD was released in separate pan and scan and widescreen formats. The film and special features on the HD DVD version were presented in 1.78:1 widescreen high-definition 1080p and feature a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio soundtrack, and special features for both formats include several deleted scenes, features, trailers, commentary, music videos, and exclusively on the HD DVD version, some web-enabled and HDi Interactive Format features such as a special trivia track, a film guide, and an interactive coloring book which can be downloaded as of street date.

Following Paramount's decision to discontinue HD DVD production (making Shrek the Third the only DreamWorks Animation film to be released on that format), the film was subsequently released on Blu-ray Disc on September 16, 2008. It was re-released on Blu-ray as part of the Shrek: The Whole Story boxset on December 7, 2010 before receiving another separate release on August 30, 2011, and on Blu-ray 3D on November 1, 2011 as a Best Buy exclusive.

As of August 30, 2014, DVD sales gathered revenue of $176.7 million from about 11,863,374 units sold.


Marketing

Shrek The Third was widely anticipated and DreamWorks backed the film with a large marketing campaign, with toys, books, games, clothes, and many other items becoming available throughout 2007. A video game based on the film has been released for the Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, PC, and Nintendo DS.

In May 2007, Shrek The Third was made into a mobile video game, developed by Gameloft. Shrek n' Roll, an action puzzle game based on the film, was released for the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade on November 14, 2007. A pinball machine based on the film has also been produced by Stern Pinball.

Satirical marketing effort

Adult Swim comedy team Tim and Eric, annoyed by the amount of advertisement they had witnessed in the months approaching the release of the film, decided to independently "promote" Shrek the Third in a series of internet videos as well as appearances on television and radio to encourage people to see the film.


Controversies

In the beginning of the film, in Prince Charming's dinner theater, coconuts are revealed to be the source of the sound effect for horses' hoof beats. This same joke was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which also starred John Cleese and Eric Idle. Idle walked out of the premiere and claimed to be considering suing the producers of Shrek for the unauthorized use of this gag, while the producers claim they were honouring Idle and Cleese by putting the part in.

The conservative Illinois Review blog criticized the inclusion of Doris the Ugly Stepsister, accusing the writers of including the character to "desensitize" children and parents to transgenderism.


Sequel

The film was followed by the sequel, Shrek Forever After, which was released in theatres on May 21, 2010.