Shrek the Third
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like the previous two Shrek films, this movie includes jokes aimed at adults that will go over the head of most kids. While parents chuckle about Fuzzy Navels and Mojitos (is drinking necessary in a PG film, by the way??), the "Versarchery" logo, and Shrek's hesitance to face fatherhood, their kids will just laugh at the antics of their fairytale friends. There's some cartoon violence (sword-fights, punches), which is often played for laughs. Expect even your youngest kid to want to see this one -- if they watch TV, go with you to the supermarket, or eat at McDonalds, chances are they've seen Shrek in ads for everything from junk food to anti-obesity PSAs (talk about mixed messages!).
What's the story?
Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz return as happily married ogres Shrek and Fiona in SHREK THE THIRD. This time, the couple inherits the kingdom of Far Far Away from ailing King Harold (John Cleese). Shrek doesn't think he's fit to wear a crown, so he and dependably side-splitting sidekicks Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) set out to find the only other living heir to the throne, Arthur Pendragon (Justin Timberlake) -- but not before Fiona announces she's royally pregnant. While Shrek faces his fear of fatherhood and tries to get insecure teenager Artie to take the throne, wicked Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) and his motley crew of fairytale villains instigate a coup and imprison Fiona, Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews), and beloved princesses Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Snow White (voiced by comedians Amy Sedaris, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler). In a particularly hilarious scene, Fiona and the queen spur the princesses—who are hoping a valiant prince will save them--into action. When the baby ogres finally arrive, it's clear that the producers are clearing the way for a possible fourth film.
Is it any good?
It's not an animated masterpiece like the enchanting first two classics, but Shrek the Third is still one of those rare films that everyone from preschoolers to grandparents will find irresistibly amusing.
The princess-in-peril subplot proves to be the most entertaining, and one of the movie's most memorable moments is Snow White summoning her woodland animal friends with a sweet high-pitched song, only to start belting out Fergie's cover of Barracuda as she storms the castle. Parents will also get a kick out of the other hits on the soundtrack. Wings' Live and Let Die accompanies a key scene, and Donkey sings Harry Chapin's Cats in the Cradle after hearing Shrek's daddy issues. But the slightly watered down third installment really isn't an improvement on its predecessors, so perhaps it's time to let Fiona and Shrek enjoy their happily ever after once and for all.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what made kids want to see this movie -- the story or all the product tie-ins. Do kids want a product because Shrek is pictured on it? Parents can also discuss the movie's girl power issues. Why do the princesses respond to their situation by "assuming the position to be rescued"? How do Fiona and the Queen challenge the ladies to take matters into their own hands? In terms of the film franchise, should the Shrek movies continue, or this is a good one to finish it off? Which of the three movies is the best, and why?
|Theatrical release date:||May 17, 2007|
|DVD release date:||November 13, 2007|
|Cast:||Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Topics:||Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs|
|Run time:||93 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.|