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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shrek the Third is the third movie in the Shrek franchise. There are several references to alcohol and drugs that are clearly meant to entertain parents and likely will go over kids' head. Real brands such as Foot Locker, Versace, and Hooters are parodied for humor. Profanity and insults include "butt," "dork," "loser," "poop," "stupid," "twit," and "suck." There's quite a bit of innuendo: Puss starts to explain where children come from (a man is "full of urges" for his wife) but is cut off; Doris says Charming makes her "hotter than July." The villains and heroes of fairy tale lore engage in face-to-face battles with sticks, swords, fists, and more. Some bullying -- one of the main teen characters is shown hanging from a clock in the auditorium of the high school; characters openly discuss "wedgies" and "swirlies." There's also frequent slapstick violence -- pratfalls and clumsiness leading to exaggerated destruction.
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 fairy tale 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 the fourth film.
Is it any good?
It's not an animated masterpiece like the enchanting first two classics, but it's 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 also will 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 "Cat's in the Cradle" after hearing Shrek's daddy issues. But the slightly watered-down third installment really isn't an improvement on its predecessors.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what made kids want to see Shrek the Third: the story or all the product tie-ins. Do kids want a product because Shrek is pictured on it?
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?
Why do you think the Shrek franchise is so popular?
- In theaters: May 17, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: November 13, 2007
- Cast: Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
- Director: Chris Miller
- Studio: DreamWorks
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Book Characters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Integrity
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.