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The Quest for an Heir
on 16 November 2007
Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are still in Far Far Away. Fiona's father, King Harold the frog (John Cleese), is dying, and the two are filling in for him at state functions. Shrek's really trying to handle things correctly, but he always makes a mess of things.
Unfotunately, King Harold croaks. But before he does, he tells Shrek that Fiona isn't the only heir to the throne. She has a distant cousin, Arthur (Justin Timberlake), who could become king. Since Shrek wants to return to the swamp and give up life in the palace, he sets off with his faithful friends Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) to find the heir.
Meanwhile, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) has been reduced to acting in bad dinner theater. After one especially bad performance, he decides to take what he feels is rightfully his. So he enlists the aid of every fairy tale villain he can find. This time, they are going to get their happily ever after. Will his plan succeed? Can Shrek find Arthur?
Like the first two, Shrek the Third is a funny film. There is still plenty of the bathroom humor that was present in the first two, but the double meanings and suggestion jokes seemed to be gone. Frankly, I was thankful for this. Yet there was still plenty of satire for the adults to laugh at. In fact, I think I heard more adults laughing then kids in the packed theater when I first saw it.
All the previous main and minor characters are back, plus a plethora of new friends. We've got King Arthur and assorted other Arthurian characters for starters. Plus Fiona is visited by Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel. And having Prince Charming team up with the other villains was brilliant. Frankly, this is the film HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER wished it could be. Yet the story is still fast moving with a good moral. Yes, we're still talking about self-acceptance, but they find a fresh take on it that ties in with the first two.
A word of warning about the death scene. It is long and drawn out. While played for laughs (and it is pretty funny), it might be too much for some kids. Granted, it is a frog, but it also is Fiona's father. Every child is different, so you know best how your will react. But consider that before they watch.
I've spent most of the review praising the film. I really did enjoy it. But I did feel it wasn't as funny as the first two. While there were still plenty of laughs and satire, some of the bite was gone. It's good, but it doesn't live up to the other two. And, with all the characters, some got short changed. For example, Julie Andrew's queen has plenty of screen time, but she hardly has any lines.
In the end, this is another fun animated comedy that the entire family will enjoy.