When his new father-in-law, King Harold falls ill, Shrek is looked at as the heir to the land of Far, Far Away. Not one to give up his beloved swamp, Shrek recruits his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots to install the rebellious Artie as the new king. Princess Fiona, however, rallies a band of royal girlfriends to fend off a coup d'etat by the jilted Prince Charming.
Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the Ice Age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the wooly mammoths.
Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
A bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he's duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away -- where Rumpelstiltskin is king, ogres are hunted, and he and Fiona have never met -- he sets out to restore his world and reclaim his true love. Written by
Rumpelstiltskin begins a line with the words "If music has charms to soothe the savage BEAST." Though this quote has been used many times, it is actually a misquote of the line "Music has charms to soothe a savage BREAST, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak," (from "The Mourning Bride"  by William Congreve). However, in the case of this movie, as it pertains to Shrek (an ogre), the misquote ("beast" rather than "breast") is, in fact, appropriate. See more »
After Shrek visits the swamp and finds it dry, he is looking at Rumpel's contract while the witches are flying by. He has the contract on his right hand in one take, and after the witch is seen, the contract magically disappears. See more »
An entertaining diversion, even if the series is no longer magical
After three films of diminishing quality, more than anything, Shrek Forever After begs the obvious question: why? Unfortunately the answer is also all too obvious with the franchise having grossed one billion dollars domestically and oodles more overseas. For what it's worth, this instalment is better than the last but fails to hold a candle to Shrek 2 and pales to the point of apparition when compared to the original.
The characters that populate the "Shrek" universe remain as endearing as ever in principle, but after four movies there is little that can be done to keep them animated, so to speak. That is why it comes as no surprise that the plot of this film has the mythical land of Far Far Away being turned on its head by the devious Rumplestiltskin, morphing all familiarity into a bizzaro world of sort, and I'll admit, it does add an iota of charm to the proceedings. Shrek (Mike Myers) finds himself tired of family life with his ogre wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and longs for his bachelor days of terrifying townsfolk and signs a contract with 'Rumple' as he is less than affectionately called. Things don't turn out nearly as he imagined and Shrek must fulfil a loophole in the contract to turn things back to the way they were.
The original gang all return along with Shrek and Fiona. We have the swashbuckling Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), the chatty Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Julie Andrews and John Cleese as the Queen and King respectively. There are also a number of celebrity voice cameos including Larry King and Regis Philbin and all add up to a lively time at the movies. In the movies defence, the lack of freshness never translates to boredom.
The biggest issue with Shrek the Third was the weak attempt to inflate the voice cast, making things more monotonous yet. DreamWorks has clearly learned from this mistake and in addition to tweaking the familiar character's personas in this alternate reality, find a decent villain in Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) along with great comedians the likes of Craig Robinson and Jane Lynch. The animation is as stellar as ever and it never ceases to amaze how lifelike a film can look that has a talking donkey at its center.
What makes this descendant of Shrek somewhat distinguishable is that it presents itself more as homage then adhering to the spoof ideology that characterized the others. Shrek Forever After is part Aladdin, part Bedazzled and more than a sprinkle of It's a Wonderful Life. There are also many more laughs in this film than the previous, and can often be attributed to site gags sprung from the new universe (an obese Puss in Boots provokes more than a few guffaws).
What everyone has to remember, first and foremost, is that the "Shrek" franchise is meant for children and I don't believe any of the four instalments could disappoint an eight year old. It is the accompanying adults that need to be wary of the growing tedium in the franchise, but thanks to a plethora of talented actors and a significantly more satisfying storyline, Shrek Forever After makes for an entertaining diversion, even if it's no longer magical.
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