— by BEN FOWLER —
When Shrek hit in 2001, it became a fan favourite, mixing eye-meltingly good graphics and story for the kids with nudge-nudge wink-wink jokes for the adults. It covered all bases. “Shrek 2” continued the trend, but not quite as well as its predecessor, and “Shrek The” Third was so “meh” that I doubt anyone can remember what actually happened in it (something about Justin Timberlake becoming king?).
Next year’s “Shrek Forever After” (get it?) plans to get the lovable-yet-hygiene-challenged ogre back to his best.
“All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film,” Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DreamWorks, told USA Today.
A trailer is expected with “Avatar” at the end of the month and the film itself is to be presented in 3D. We find Shrek as an ogre who’s lost his mojo. In a “Brothers Grimm” meets “It’s A Wonderful Life” premise, Shrek feels he has become over domesticated.
“He has lost his roar,” director Mike Mitchell (of “Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo” — but don’t hold that against him …) told USA Today. . “It used to send villagers running away in terror. Now they run to him and ask him to sign their pitchforks and torches.”
In a moment of weakness, Shrek makes a deal with the sneaky Rumpelstiltskin. When the pact goes awry, Shrek sees what life would be like in Far Far Away if he had never existed.
It seems the team behind the film recognise where they went wrong previously or what didn’t click with audiences last time around. It’s almost like hitting a reset button on the franchise. That can be a tricky thing to do. On one side, you want to recapture the essence of the original and what made it so successful. Yet you don’t want to disappoint the fans who may have invested in this character from the beginning, seen him go through changes to become a better Ogre and then suddenly, at the start of “Shrek 4,” tell them to forget everything that has come before it.
About halfway through “Shrek 2,” the franchise seemed to lose its way. Hopefully, Shrek’s fourth and final outing may be able to send him off on a high note. The trailer will give us a glimpse of either the genius of the 2001 original or more “going through the motions” of “Shrek 3.” I don’t know about you but I’m hoping that Shrek, Donkey, Puss and Fiona go out with a bang.
“Shrek Forever After” is due for release on May 21 2010 in 3D.
USA Today had the following new pics from the forthcoming movie:
Follow Ben Fowler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Localboy99.