Already this new chapter of Shrek is a record-breaker. “It’s a testament to how broad the comedy is,” says Anne Globe, president of marketing for DreamWorks animation. “If it were any broader George Lucas would refer to it as ‘Comedy the Hut.’”
Is Shrek the Third good? Who cares! That’s like asking whether a trip to the toilet is satisfying. You’re going no matter what.
“Shrek and Fiona fell in love and got married in the first film,” said director Chris Miller. “In the second they met the in-laws, and in the third they become parents. As they get older, future films will show Shrek anchoring 60 Minutes and Fiona hosting a swamp makeover reality show.
“Either that,” said Miller, “or Shrek and Fiona will battle to the death with Freddy Kreuger and Jason Voorhees. Whichever pre-tests better in focus groups.”
“We have an all-star cast plus Larry King,” said Mike Myers who was trying to make a joke at Larry King’s expense when he realized that, in fact, this was too true to be funny.
“The best part of doing the Shrek series,” said Myers, “is that Cameron Diaz can hit the proverbial wall and only the audio technicians will know.”
Little has changed since their last outing. Shrek and Fiona still look suspiciously like Ernest Borgnine and Oprah.
“I was going to sue,” said Borgnine, “but there’s an unwritten rule in Hollywood: If you don’t sue the makers of Airwolf, you don’t sue the makers of Shrek.”
Added Oprah, “The idea that I can transform into Cameron Diaz has a certain indescribable appeal – as long as it’s Cameron Diaz circa 1998.”
Rupert Everett is the voice of Prince Charming: “At this stage in my career, I would be better off if Charming read for roles,” said Everett who barely gets jobs unless you count the part-time one in the Penney’s shoe department. “My Screen Actor’s Guild card is printed with disappearing ink for a reason,” he admitted.
The story is slimmer than Courtney Cox between two slices of diet bread.
As Shrek the Third opens, Prince Charming is doing dinner theater. “Usually, this is the work of Queens,” says Charming with typical Royal pomposity.
In an evil twist, Charming leads the storybook bad guys in pursuit of their own “happily ever after.” Captain Hook threateningly approaches the peaceful residents of Far Far Away. Said one incredulous villager: “You’re threatening me with a hook? What do I look like, Velcro? Are you ready to attack some window treatments?”
Charming’s evil plot climaxes in his first official act, which is actually in three acts: A music theatre extravaganza. “Blame my Dukes: Jason Alexander and Nathan Lane,” he explains.
Predictably, “Shrek: The Musical” will be Broadway-bound next year. And just as predictably, “Grindhouse: The Musical” will not be.
If you liked the previous Shreks, then you’ll find this one different in the same way the last one was different – but the same in the same way the differences are similar.
“Hey, that was exactly our intent!” exclaimed producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.