Shrek Forever After

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Shrek Forever After
Shrek forever after ver8.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Mitchell
Produced by
Written by
Based onShrek!
by William Steig
Starring
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
Edited byNick Fletcher
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$135[2][3]–$165[4] million
Box office$752.6 million[4]

Shrek Forever After (previously promoted as Shrek: The Final Chapter[5]) is a 2010 American computer-animated, comedy film by DreamWorks Animation. It is the fourth installment in the Shrek film franchise and the sequel to Shrek the Third (2007). The film was directed by Mike Mitchell from a script by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, and stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, and John Cleese reprising their previous roles, with Walt Dohrn introduced in the role of Rumpelstiltskin. The plot follows Shrek struggling as a family man with no privacy, who yearns for the days when he was once feared. 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. It was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on May 21, 2010, in 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, grossing 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 unofficially been reported to be in production with speculation it could be released as early as 2019.[7][8]

Plot[edit]

In a flashback, King Harold and Queen Lillian are about to sign the kingdom of Far Far Away over to Rumpelstiltskin, in exchange for lifting their daughter's curse. The deal is abruptly cancelled at the last second when a knight informs the King and Queen that Princess Fiona has been rescued by Shrek. An angry Rumpelstiltskin laments his loss and wishes that Shrek was never born.

In the present time, Shrek has grown steadily weary of being a family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to wish for when he felt like a "real ogre" again. When he takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children's first birthday, a series of mishaps further injure his ego, causing him to lose his temper and walk out in anger.

Shrek encounters Rumpelstiltskin, who seizes his chance, having observed Shrek's angry outburst. He follows Shrek and arranges for him to appear to save his life. He gives Shrek a day to live like a real ogre, in exchange for a day from his childhood that he would not remember being erased to "thank" him.

Shrek signs the contract and appears in an alternate reality where the events starting from Fiona's rescue are irrelevant. Now feared by villagers, he takes the opportunity to cause some lighthearted mischief until he finds "WANTED" posters for Fiona and his home deserted and desolate. He is kidnapped by witches and taken to Rumpel, now the King of Far Far Away, which has become derelict and run down.

Upon inquiry, Rumpel reveals that he took away the day Shrek was born. Therefore, Shrek never saved Fiona or met Donkey, and consequently Rumpel was able to trick King Harold and Queen Lillian into signing their kingdom over to him, making them both disappear. When the day ends, Shrek will disappear as well as he was never born in this timeline. Shrek escapes Rumpel's castle with Donkey. Initially terrified of Shrek, Donkey decides to trust him after seeing Shrek cry over his erased history, something he had never seen an ogre do before. After Shrek explains the situation, Donkey helps him find a hidden exit clause: the contract can be nullified by "true love's kiss".

They soon encounter an army of ogres who are resisting Rumpel. The ogres are led by a still-cursed Fiona who, after escaping from the tower where she was held captive, keeps the retired and overweight Puss in Boots as a pet. Shrek does everything he can to gain Fiona's love, but she is too busy preparing an ambush on Rumpel. She is also bitterly cynical and disillusioned about the power of true love and throws herself into planning Rumpel's capture. While sparring with her, Fiona begins to like Shrek, but stops short of kissing him. Puss encourages him to continue pursuing Fiona.

During the ambush, the ogres are captured by the Pied Piper, though Shrek and Fiona escape with the intervention of Puss and Donkey. Shrek insists Fiona kiss him, saying it will fix everything; however, because in this altered timeline Fiona does not truly love him, the kiss does not work. When he hears that Rumpel is offering a wish to the one who brings him Shrek, Shrek turns himself in and uses the wish to free the other ogres. Afterwards, Rumpel reveals a captured Fiona whom he is going to feed to Dragon along with Shrek. Donkey leads the Ogre army to storm the castle, battle the witches, and capture Rumpel, while Shrek and Fiona trap Dragon.

As the sun rises, Shrek begins to fade from existence, but Fiona, having fallen in love with him, kisses Shrek just before he disappears, restoring Shrek to his world just before he lashed out at the party. Shrek embraces his friends and family with a newfound appreciation for everything he has.

Cast[edit]

Production[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]

Soundtrack[edit]

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

Release[edit]

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.

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] This made it the 52nd-highest-grossing film,[4] the 12th-highest-grossing animated film, the fifth-highest-grossing of 2010, the second-highest-grossing animated film of 2010 (behind Toy Story 3)[22] and the second-lowest-grossing film of the Shrek series.[23]

Shrek Forever After had the widest release for an animated film (4,359 theaters, later expanded to 4,389) 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[24] 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.[25] Shrek Forever After was No.1 for three consecutive weekends.[26][27][28]

In North America, it was the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2010,[29] the fourth-highest-grossing DreamWorks Animation film, 2010's third-highest-grossing animated film, trailing Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me and the lowest-grossing Shrek film. 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.[30]

Having made $513.9 million in other continents, it is the highest-grossing Shrek film, DreamWorks Animation's second-biggest hit (behind Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted) and the seventh-highest-grossing animated film.[31] It topped the weekend box office once on July 16–18, 2010 with $46.3 million.[32][33] In Russia and the 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]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Shrek Forever After has an approval rating of 58% based on 191 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries."[36] On Metacritic, the film has 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.[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, writing "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 3 out of 4 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 concluded her review with "Can an ogre jump a shark? I think so."[45] Giving the film 1 star out of 4, 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]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category/Recipient(s) Result References
Teen Choice Awards 2010 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)

Home media[edit]

Shrek Forever After was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 7, 2010.[57] As of April 24, 2011, the movie has made $75 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales.[58] 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.[57]

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 February 2014, in an interview with Fox Business Network, Katzenberg hinted that a fifth film still may be made, saying, "We like to let [the characters] have a little bit of time to rest. 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."[59]

On June 15, 2016, after NBCUniversal purchased DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, NBCUniversal's president and chief executive officer Steve Burke discussed plans to revive the franchise, as well as other DreamWorks films.[60] In July 2016, The Hollywood Reporter cited sources saying that a fifth film was planned for a 2019 release.[7] In September 2016, Eddie Murphy confirmed that the film was expected to be released in 2019 or 2020, and that the script had been completed.[8] In October 2016, Mike Mitchell stated that Austin Powers screenwriter Michael McCullers had written a script based on his own original idea.[61] In March 2017, asked about the script, McCullers said it featured "a pretty big reinvention" for the film series.[62]

On November 6, 2018, it was reported by Variety that Illumination Entertainment's CEO and founder Chris Meledandri had been tasked by Universal Pictures to revive both Shrek and Puss in Boots film series, with the original cast potentially returning.[63][64]

Spin-off[edit]

Puss in Boots is a computer-animated feature film that was released on October 28, 2011.[65] The movie is based on and follows the character of the same name on his adventures with Kitty Softpaws and mastermind Humpty Dumpty before his first appearance in Shrek 2.[66]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]