Shrek the Third (2007)

Rated: PG
Grade: CBBC=C+
Budget: $160 million
Box Office: $321 million US, $470 million abroad

Directed by: Chris Miller, who helped on Shrek and Madagascar, and Raman Hui, who helped with animation on Shreks 1 and 2.
Starring: The voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Larry King, and Justin Timberlake.

The king of Far Far Away is dying, and he wants Shrek to replace him, but Shrek wants none of it. Instead, he sets out to find the only remaining heir, a wimpy guy named Arthur who has a former science teacher named Merlin. Oh, yeah, and Shrek is struggling with becoming a father since Fiona is preggers.
Entertainment Value: C
I don’t get the Shrek franshise, but I guess other people like them, so there you have it. I thought number 2 was decent, but the same problems are common in all three: jokes for adults in a plot that is mostly lame and much less entertainment value than I would expect from this sort of voice talent. Pretty much standard fare from Dreamworks animation.

Superficial Content: B
Drugs/Alcohol C, Sexuality B, Violence B, Language B, Illegality NA
There are various mild sexual jokes including seeing a bunch of men rushing into a bar which was just renamed “Hooters” and a prince daydreaming about choosing the hottest princess. The violence is animated fantasy violence with witches dive bombing a town, swordplay and some stabbings, and “general mayhem” including pranks pulled on a kid at school. There is one scene where teens stumble out of a van apparently high on marijuana. PG is correct, and we stopped letting Spencer watch it after about 10 minutes I think.

Significant Content: B
Fear of duty, being who you really are, and issues related to power desired and also misused are the key themes here. Shrek is scared to be a father, and Arthur is scared to be king. But they both do what is necessary in the end. Prince Charming takes over Never Never and uses his new power to do evil things with it, showing the dangers of power. Arthur muses about using his new power to get even with the kids who mistreated him at school. There is also a scene where Shrek commiserates with Arthur about having poor fathers themselves and gives him advice about being himself and not worrying about what others think of him.

Artistic/Thought Value: C
I think I’ve spent as much time on this movie as I want to spend.

Discussion Questions
~Do you think Arthur would make a good king? How does he compare to the King Arthur of mythology. What do you think of Arthur using whining and crying to get Merlin to do what he wanted?
~Why should Arthur have to be king if Shrek didn’t have to be? Shrek obviously embraces his fear of being a parent, but he still doesn’t become king. Does this reflect poorly upon him in your eyes?
~When Arthur finds out he will be king, he immediately thinks of the ability he’ll have to punish those who mistreated him. What do you think of this? Compare this reaction to the way Joseph handled the betrayal by his brothers in the Bible.
~Fiona is arguably the only decent princess surrounded by a bunch of low-lifes in beautiful princess bodies. Are ugly people more virtuous than attractive ones? Are beautiful people always ogres inside?

Overall Grade: C+
I already saw Happily ‘n’ Ever After, and I didn’t need to see it again.

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