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Shrek the Third (AF)


Stars: (voice stars): Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Ian McShane

Director: Chris Miller

First the good news (especially for the producers who have hedged their financial bets by featuring overt product placement in Far Far Away Land) – youngsters who haven’t yet graduated to the bloody rigours of videogames are sure to find the Jolly Green Ogre’s latest fairy tale slapstick adventures good fun, especially since they include jokes about farting, projectile vomiting and pooping and a willy joke catalysed by Donkey pulling the bedclothes off Shrek who turns out to sleep au naturel (parents can relax – the joke is patent, but happily the visual punch line is left to the imagination),

Superb animation and smart vocal casting (regulars Myers, Diaz, Murphy and Banderas are joined by, among others, John Cleese, speaking for the croaking frog king and Rupert Everett, hamming it up with impeccable delivery as the villainous Prince Charming) are very much the movie’s ace in the hole.

The storyline (courtesy of several credited writers) finds Shrek, Donkey and Puss-in-Boots seeking the ogre’s schoolboy cousin Arthur (voiced, surprisingly, by Justin Timberlake) to take the throne and save Shrek, who’s about to become a father, from having to reign. Easy laughs come easily enough and heaven knows, there are really not enough family films around not to recommend this vaudeville-meets-Grimm concoction to easily pleased youngsters. They won’t be disappointed. But when (admittedly in another context) Shrek complains “I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up”, he could be commenting on the possible fate of the already trumpeted sequels.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Jun 2007