Shrek the Third
|Shrek the Third|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Miller|
|Produced by||Aron Warner|
|Story by||Andrew Adamson|
by William Steig
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Box office||$799 million|
Shrek the Third (also known as Shrek 3) is a 2007 American computer-animated, comedy film directed by Chris Miller and co-directed by Raman Hui. It is the third installment in the Shrek film franchise that serves as a sequel to 2001's Shrek and 2004's Shrek 2. 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 Shrek the Third, Prince Charming is plotting to overthrow Shrek and Fiona, who have inherited the throne following King Harold's death. Shrek, who believes he is not fit to be king and does not want to rule the kingdom, attempts to convince Fiona's underachieving, 16-year-old cousin Artie to reign instead.
The film 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, it was not as well-received as the previous two films, receiving mixed reviews from critics, but grossed $799 million on a $160 million budget, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2007. It was also 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. A sequel, Shrek Forever After, was released in 2010, which also received mixed reviews, but was better received than Shrek the Third.
Shrek and Princess Fiona are 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 is a bad idea and that there must be someone else to rule the kingdom. Before he dies, Harold tells Shrek of another heir: his nephew, Arthur "Artie" Pendragon. Meanwhile, Prince Charming vows to himself that he will 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 are sailing away, Fiona reveals to Shrek that she is pregnant, much to Shrek's horror, as he believes he is not capable of raising children; the trio journey to Worcestershire Academy, an elite magical boarding school, where they discover Artie is a scrawny 16-year-old underachiever. At the school pep rally, Shrek tells Artie he will be king of Far Far Away. Artie is excited until Donkey and Puss inadvertently frighten him by discussing the responsibilities of being king. Immediately losing confidence in being king, Artie tries taking control of the ship to go back to Worcestershire, and as he and Shrek fight over the steering wheel, it breaks and 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, the Three Little Pigs and the Blind Mice stall them long enough for Fiona and her mother Queen Lillian to escape along with Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Doris the Ugly Stepsister. One of the Pigs accidentally blurts out that Shrek has gone to retrieve Arthur, and Prince Charming sends Captain Hook and his pirates to track down Shrek; the ladies are put in a tower after Rapunzel betrays them, having fallen in love with Charming.
Captain Hook and his pirates track Shrek and his friends to Merlin's island, where they attempt to capture Shrek. Shrek and Artie defeat the villains, and Hook mentions Charming and the 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 into not taking them into custody and 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, believing he is the next king. To save Artie's life, Shrek tells Charming that Artie was a pawn to take his place as King of Far Far Away. Charming believes Shrek and allows Artie to leave. Donkey and Puss are imprisoned with Fiona and the ladies, where Fiona grows frustrated with their lack of initiative. Fiona's mother, 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, the Wolf and pigs, and Dragon and Donkey's children, they encounter Artie; Puss and Donkey mollify him 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, along with Puss and Donkey, the princesses and the fairy tale characters confront the villains, they lose: the pigs are kidnapped by henchmen, Gingy is held hostage by knights, Dragon is surrounded by guards and Fiona is tied up. Artie shows up and convinces the villains that just because they are being treated like losers does not mean they must be losers; the villains agree to give up their evil ways, while Charming refuses to listen and lunges at Artie with his sword, but Shrek blocks the blow, so Charming attacks him instead. As Shrek pushes Charming aside, Dragon knocks over Rapunzel's tower, crushing him to death.
Artie is then crowned king. While the kingdom celebrates, Merlin restores Puss and Donkey to their correct bodies. Shrek and Fiona return to their swamp, where they become the parents of ogre triplets and cope with the help of Puss, Lillian, Donkey and Dragon.
- 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 Puppet Master
- Seth Rogen as Ship Captain
- Tom Kane as Guard No. 1
- Kari Wahlgren as Old Lady
- John Krasinski as Lancelot
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 (of both Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Doc Hollywood 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.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Shrek the Third has an approval rating of 41% based on 211 reviews with an average rating of 5.44/10. 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".
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 [than its predecessors], less desperate to prove its cleverness and therefore to some extent, smarter."
Shrek the Third opened in 4,122 North American theaters on May 18, 2007, grossing $38 million on its first day, the biggest opening day for an animated film at the time, for 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 $476.2 million overseas, bringing its cumulative total to $799 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.
Awards and nominations
|Annie Awards||Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Chris Miller, Raman Hui||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Best Animated Film||Chris Miller|
|Golden Reel Award||Best Sound Editing in Feature Film: Animated|
|Kids Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Cameron Diaz|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Family Movie||Won|
|VES Awards||Outstanding Effects in an Animated Motion Picture||Matt Baer, Greg Hart, Krzysztof Rost, Anthony Field||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture||John Cleese, Guillaume Aretos, Tim Cheung, Sean Mahoney|
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 (being the first DreamWorks Animation film to be reformatted from its original ratio of 1.85:1 to 1.78:1). The HD DVD and DVD special features 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.
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. In addition, this film was released on Blu-ray Disc on September 16, 2008, it was re-released on Blu-ray 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.
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.
In the beginning of the film, in Prince Charming's dinner theater, coconuts are used for horses' hoof beats; this same technique was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which also starred John Cleese and Eric Idle. Idle 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.
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.
A thirty-minute christmas special titled Shrek the Halls picked up where Shrek the Third left off; the film was followed by a sequel, Shrek Forever After, which was released in theatres on May 21, 2010. This was followed by the spin-off Puss in Boots, in 2011. A fifth film in the series is in development. On November 6, 2018, it was reported by Variety that Chris Meledandri had been tasked to reboot both Shrek and Puss in Boots, with the original cast potentially returning.
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