Shrek Forever After

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Shrek Forever After
Shrek Forever After (2010 animated feature film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Mitchell
Written by
Based onShrek!
by William Steig
Produced by
Edited byNick Fletcher
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release dates
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$135–165 million[2][3][4]
Box office$752.6 million[4]

Shrek Forever After (also known as Shrek 4 and previously promoted as Shrek Goes Fourth and Shrek: The Final Chapter)[5] is a 2010 American computer-animated comedy film loosely based on the 1990 picture book Shrek! by William Steig. Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is the fourth and final film in the Shrek film franchise and the sequel to Shrek the Third (2007). The film was directed by Mike Mitchell and written by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke. It stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas reprising their previous roles, with Walt Dohrn introduced in the role of Rumpelstiltskin. The plot follows Shrek as he struggles with the responsibilities and stress of being a domesticated family man, yearning for the days when he was a solitary and feared individual. He is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into signing a contract that leads to disastrous consequences.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2010, and was theatrically released in the United States on May 21, 2010 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D formats. The film debuted as the top-grossing film at the box office, a position it held for three consecutive weeks in the United States and Canada. It received mixed reviews from critics, but grossed a worldwide total of $752 million and becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2010. In addition, Shrek Forever After became DreamWorks Animation's second-highest-grossing film at the foreign box office.[6] Although originally marketed as the final installment in the film franchise, a fifth Shrek film has been reported to be in production in the years since Forever After was released.[7][8]


Shrek has grown steadily weary of being a family man and celebrity, leading him to long for the days when he was feared and had privacy. While celebrating his children's first birthday at a restaurant in Far Far Away, an escalating series of mishaps further injures his ego, causing him to walk out in anger and lash out at his wife, Princess Fiona. Having observed the outburst, Rumpelstiltskin ("Rumpel") follows Shrek and stages a scene of being in distress, prompting Shrek to help. Inside Rumpel's carriage, Shrek laments that he is no longer a "real ogre". Following through on his scheme, Rumpel pretends to thank Shrek for his good deed earlier and offers him a deal: receive a day as a "real ogre" in exchange for a day from his childhood. Shrek signs the contract and is whisked away into an alternate reality.

Now feared by the villagers, Shrek seizes the opportunity to cause some lighthearted mischief until he discovers that Fiona is a fugitive and his home is deserted and desolate. Captured by witches, Shrek is taken to Rumpel, now the king of the derelict Far Far Away. Rumpel reveals to Shrek that he took the day he was born, meaning Shrek never existed in this altered timeline. Consequently, Shrek was not there to save Fiona,[a] forcing Fiona's parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, to sign the kingdom over to Rumpel in exchange for her rescue, causing them to disappear. When the day ends, Shrek will cease to exist.

Shrek escapes Rumpel's castle with Donkey, who is initially terrified of Shrek but befriends him after seeing him cry over his erased history. Donkey helps Shrek find a hidden exit clause; the contract can be nullified by "true love's kiss". The pair soon encounter a still-cursed Fiona leading an army of ogres in a resistance against Rumpel, and a lazy and overweight Puss in Boots being kept as Fiona's pet. Shrek tries to win over Fiona, who has since become disillusioned about the power of true love after not being rescued and is too busy preparing for an ambush on Rumpel. While sparring with Shrek, Fiona begins to take a liking to him, but they stop short of kissing. Puss encourages Shrek to continue pursuing Fiona.

During the ambush, the ogres are captured by the Pied Piper, but Shrek and Fiona escape with Puss and Donkey. Shrek insists that Fiona kiss him, assuring her that it will fix everything; she reluctantly obliges, but nothing happens. Rumpel then offers a wish to anyone who brings him Shrek, and after hearing this, Shrek turns himself in. Rumpel is forced to grant the wish to Shrek, and he uses it to free the other ogres. As Shrek is locked up, Rumpel reveals that Fiona has been captured and not released, since she is not "all ogre". Donkey, Puss, and the freed ogres form a plan to storm the castle; they capture Rumpel and defeat his witch army, while Shrek and Fiona take down Dragon.

As the sun rises, Shrek begins to fade from existence, but finally having fallen in love with him, Fiona kisses Shrek just before he disappears. Seeing that she is still an ogre in the sunlight, Fiona realizes her curse was broken and that she has assumed "love's true form" just as the alternate reality disintegrates, making everyone disappear. Shrek and Rumpel are then transported back to the original timeline to the moment before Shrek lost his temper at the party. Instead of lashing out, he embraces his family and friends with a newfound appreciation for them.

Voice cast[edit]


Following the success of Shrek 2, a third and fourth Shrek film, along with plans for a fifth and final film, were announced in May 2004 by Jeffrey Katzenberg.[9] In October 2006, DreamWorks Animation revealed that the fourth film would be released in 2010.[10]

In October 2007, Katzenberg announced a title for the fourth film, Shrek Goes Fourth,[11] explaining that "Shrek goes out into the world, forth!"[12] In May 2009, however, DreamWorks Animation retitled the film to Shrek Forever After,[13] indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series.[citation needed] In November 2009, Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DreamWorks Animation, confirmed with "All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film."[14]

Tim Sullivan was hired to write the script in March 2005,[15] but was later replaced by Darren Lemke and Josh Klausner. Klausner, about the script's evolution, said, "When I first came onto the project, it wasn't supposed to be the final chapter—there were originally going to be 5 Shrek movies. Then, about a year into the development, Jeffrey Katzenberg decided that the story that we'd come up with was the right way for Shrek's journey to end, which was incredibly flattering."[16] In May 2007, shortly before the release of the third film, it was announced Mike Mitchell would be on board to direct the new installment.[17] Much of the film was written and recorded in New York City.[18]


Like the other Shrek films, the film's original score was composed by British composer Harry Gregson-Williams.



Shrek Forever After premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2010.[19] It was publicly released on May 20, 2010, in Russia, while the American release followed the next day. The film was also released in IMAX 3D format.[20] In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures[21] and transferred to 20th Century Fox before reverting to Universal Pictures in 2018.

Home media[edit]

Shrek Forever After (marketed as Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter) was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 7, 2010.[22] As of April 24, 2011, the movie has made $75 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales.[23] The film is also included in Shrek: The Whole Story, a box set released on the same day that included all four Shrek movies and additional bonus content.[22] As of May 2012, 10.0 million home entertainment units were sold worldwide.[24]


Box office[edit]

Shrek Forever After earned $238.7 million in North America, and $513.9 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $752.6 million,[4] making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2010.[25]

Shrek Forever After had the widest release for an animated film (4,359 theaters, later expanded to 4,386) in North America. On its opening day (May 21, 2010), it ranked No.1, grossing $20.8 million, which was lower than the opening days of the last two Shrek films. The film then opened in three days with $70.8 million, lower than box office analysts' predictions of an opening of $105 million[26] and also lower than the two previous films of the franchise. Anne Globe, head of worldwide marketing for DreamWorks Animation, said they were "happy with the film's opening" since it debuted at No. 1 and also had the fourth-best opening for an animated film, at the time, in the United States and Canada.[27] Shrek Forever After was No.1 for three consecutive weekends.[28][29][30]

In North America, executives at DreamWorks Animation were impressed because the film earned $238.7 million in North America, although it was the fourth film in the series, seemingly being outgrown by its fans.[31]

Outside North America, it topped the weekend box office once on July 16–18, 2010 with $46.3 million.[32][33] In Russia and CIS, its second-highest-grossing country, it had a $19.7 million opening weekend which was a record among animated films. It earned $51.4 million in total.[34] Third in total earnings came the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta, where it opened with £8.96 million ($13.6 million) and finished its box office run with £31.1 million ($51.1 million).[35]

Critical response[edit]

As of May 2022, on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, Shrek Forever After had an approval rating of 58% based on 200 reviews and an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical consensus read, "While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries."[36] As of October 2020, on Metacritic, the film had a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[37] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by Shrek and Shrek 2 and a step up from the "B+" earned by Shrek the Third.[38]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times stated "What fortifies “Shrek Forever After” are its brilliantly realized principal characters, who nearly a decade after the first “Shrek” film remain as vital and engaging fusions of image, personality and voice as any characters in the history of animation."[39] Pete Hammond of BoxOffice gave the film 4.5 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Hilarious and heartfelt from start to finish, this is the best Shrek of them all, and that's no fairy tale. Borrowing liberally from Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, this edition blends big laughs and emotion to explore what Far Far Away might have been like if Shrek never existed."[40] James Berardinelli of Reelviews awarded the film three out of four stars and wrote, "Even though Shrek Forever After is obligatory and unnecessary, it's better than Shrek the Third and it's likely that most who attend as a way of saying goodbye to the Jolly Green Ogre will not find themselves wishing they had sought out a more profitable way of spending 90-odd minutes."[41]

James White of Empire gave the film four out of four stars, saying, "DreamWorks could be entering a period of fresh creativity. With How to Train Your Dragon and a balanced, darker-hued and very funny Shrek finale, they've found the magic again".[42] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B−" grade, saying "Everyone involved fulfills his or her job requirements adequately. But the magic is gone and Shrek Forever After is no longer an ogre phenomenon to reckon with."[43] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote "It's a fun ride. What's missing is the excitement of a new interpretation."[44] Mary Pols of Time stated in her review "Can an ogre jump a shark? I think so."[45] Giving the film one star out of four, Kyle Smith of the New York Post wrote, "After the frantic spurt of fairy-tale allusions and jokes in the first three Shreks, this one inches along with a few mostly pointless action scenes and the occasional mild pun."[46]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result References
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Animated Film Nominated [47][48]
Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2010 Favorite Movie [49]
37th People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie [50]
38th Annie Awards Animated Effects in an Animated Production [51]
Music in a Feature Production
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Cameron Diaz
Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Production Design in a Feature Production
2011 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Film [52]
Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie Eddie Murphy Won [53]
Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie Cameron Diaz Nominated [54]
37th Saturn Awards Best Animated Film [55]
9th Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Jason Reisig, Doug Cooper, Gina Shay, Teresa Cheng [56]
Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Jeff Budsberg, Andrew Kim, Yancy Lindquist, Can Yuksel

Video game[edit]

Shrek Forever After is an action-adventure video game based on the movie of the same name. It was released by Activision on May 18, 2010.

Possible sequel[edit]

In 2014, a Fox Business Network interview with Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg implied that more Shrek films would eventually be made saying, "But I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the Shrek series. We're not finished and, more importantly, neither is he."[57] Following NBCUniversal acquisition of DreamWorks Animation in 2016, President and CEO Steve Burke discussed plans to revive the franchise.[58] In July 2016, The Hollywood Reporter cited sources saying that a fifth film was planned for a 2019 release.[7] By late 2016, reports surfaced that the script had been completed.[8][59]


Puss in Boots is a computer-animated adventure comedy film that was released on October 28, 2011.[60] The movie is based on and follows the character of the same name on his adventures with Kitty Softpaws and mastermind Humpty Dumpty.[61]


  1. ^ As depicted in Shrek.


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External links[edit]