It's obvious the Shrek films are enormously popular, but I had forgotten just how much so. As of 2007, Shrek 2 is the third highest grossing film, topped only by Titanic and the original Star Wars, and the first movie is sitting around number 30. Arguments about inflation and rising ticket prices aside, there's no question this ogre is living large.
Let's face it—Shrek the Third is a hit even before its release, with people flocking to it regardless of what critics will say. Is it beloved for its animation? The moral messages? Something to plop the kids in front of for 90 minutes? Probably all of those things to some extent, but I think it's the series' sense of humor that prevails. Above all, Shrek is a fractured-fairy-tale comedy that happens to be computer animated.
Fans of the first two will recognize this third installment as a reprise and reunion of their favorite characters. Shrek (voiced by Mike Meyers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are happily married but enormously busy attending various royal events and media functions in the land of Far Far Away. They're filling in for Fiona's father King Harold (John Cleese), who is terribly ill and still a frog after the second movie. On his deathbed, the king names Shrek as his successor, but the ogre is reluctant to embrace royalty—and for that matter, parenthood, upon news from Fiona. He'd just as soon move back to the quiet swamp with his beloved and leave it at that.
Which leaves the task of recruiting the only other heir: the king's teenaged nephew Artie (Justin Timberlake)—short for Arthur, naturally. And so our hero sets sail, accompanied by his faithful companions Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). If only things were so simple. A ...1