- “It ain't ogre... til it's ogre”
Shrek Forever After (originally known as Shrek Goes Forth and also known as Shrek: The Final Chapter or Shrek 4 or Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter) is a 2010 American 3D fantasy comedy film, and the fourth and final installment in the Shrek series, produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film premiered on April 21, 2010 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was released by Paramount Pictures on May 21, 2010 in the United States. It was also released in 3D and IMAX 3D formats.
Taking place after Shrek the Third, Shrek is now a family man and beloved among the local villagers. Yearning for the days when he was feared, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin and accidentally wipes out his entire existence. To restore his existence, Shrek has to regain Fiona's love and kiss her before the sun rises, or he will disappear forever.
Despite receiving polarized reviews from film critics, the film was positively welcomed by the audience and was a box office success. It was the #1 film in the United States and Canada for three consecutive weeks and has grossed a worldwide total of $752 million. Additionally, Shrek Forever After is DreamWorks Animation's second highest-grossing film at the foreign box office.
Before Shrek and Donkey rescue Princess Fiona in the first film, King Harold and Queen Lillian – desperate to lift their daughter's curse – meet with con artist Rumpelstiltskin, who wishes to become King of Far Far Away in exchange for helping them. But before the deal is signed, Harold and Lillian learn that Fiona has been rescued. Rumpelstiltskin is then shown to have become washed up as a result and subsequently bitter towards Shrek for inadvertently ruining his plans.
In the present, Shrek has steadily grown tired of being a family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to yearn for the days when he felt like a "real ogre". He takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children's first birthday. Due to a series of mishaps (particularly the fact that the birthday cakes were decorated with a "cute" Ogre named "Sprinkles" ), Shrek loses his temper and walks out in anger. He and Fiona argue outside about his reaction, which ends with Shrek rashly agreeing that he was happier before he'd rescued her.
After storming off, Shrek encounters Rumpelstiltskin. Rumpel, who had observed Shrek's angry outburst with Fiona, seizes his chance. He follows Shrek and arranges what appears to be an accident where he is trapped under his carriage. Shrek helps him, and Rumpel being "grateful", gives Shrek a ride and a meal. When Shrek voices his frustrations, Rumpel offers Shrek a day to live like a real ogre in exchange for a day from his childhood that he would not remember being erased. Shrek signs the contract and appears in a reality where he is still feared by villagers. He takes the opportunity to cause some mischief until he finds wanted posters for the ogress Fiona and his home deserted and desolate. He is kidnapped by witches and taken to Rumpelstiltskin, now the King of Far Far Away and possibly Emperor of a good deal more, which has become derelict and run down. Rumpelstiltskin uses ogres (and some of Shrek's friends) for slavery.
Upon inquiry, Rumpelstiltskin reveals that the day he erased was the day that Shrek was born. Therefore, Shrek never saved Fiona, never met Donkey, and consequently Rumpelstiltskin was able to get Harold and Lillian to sign their kingdom away, then cause them to disappear. When the day ends, Shrek will fade from existence as well. Shrek escapes Rumpelstiltskin'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 Do the Roar, Donkey helps him find a loophole: the contract will be nullified if Shrek and Fiona share true love's kiss. They soon encounter a band of ogres who are resisting Rumpelstiltskin. The ogres are led by Fiona, who is still cursed after escaping from the tower where she was held captive, and keeps the retired and overweight Puss in Boots as a pet.
Shrek does everything he can to gain Fiona's love, but she is bitterly cynical and disillusioned about the power of true love and throws herself into planning Rumpelstiltskin's capture. While sparring with her, Fiona begins to like Shrek, but stops short of kissing him. Shrek is discouraged, but Puss encourages him to continue pursuing Fiona. During the ambush, the ogres are captured by the Pied Piper, though Shrek and Fiona managed to escape with the intervention of Puss and Donkey. Shrek insists Fiona kiss him, saying it will fix everything, but because Fiona still does not truly love him; it is ineffective. She insists it's all a sunshine-and-flowers fairy tale.
Upon hearing that Rumpelstiltskin is offering anything desired by the one who captures Shrek, Shrek surrenders himself in exchange for "all ogres" being released. Fiona remains in custody because, as Rumpelstiltskin points out, she is not "all ogre" (only by night, not by day). Shrek and Fiona are to be fed to Dragon, but Donkey, Puss and the ogres raid Rumpelstiltskin's castle, allowing Shrek and Fiona to both subdue Dragon and capture Rumpelstiltskin. As the sun rises, Shrek begins to fade from existence. But Fiona, having fallen in love with him, kisses him just before he disappears, thereby voiding the contract and restoring the world to just before Shrek originally lashed out at everyone. Shrek embraces his friends and family with a newfound appreciation for everything he has, truly living happily ever after.
During the credits, a nostalgic pop-out storybook style of pictures recaps Shrek's adventures with Donkey, Puss, and Fiona during the first three films to Stevie Wonder's For Once In My Life.
- Mike Myers as Shrek
- Eddie Murphy as Donkey
- Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona
- Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots
- Walt Dohrn as Rumpelstiltskin, Krekraw
- Conrad Vernon as Gingerbread Man
- Aron Warner as Wolf
- Christopher Knights as Three Blind Mice
- Cody Cameron as Pinocchio, Three Pigs
- Jon Hamm as Brogan the Ogre
- Craig Robinson as Cookie the Ogre
- Jane Lynch as Gretched the Ogre
- Julie Andrews as Queen
- John Cleese as King
- Chris Miller as Magic Mirror, Geppetto
- Kristen Schaal as Pumpkin Witch, Palace Witch
- Marry Kay Place as Guard Witch
- Meredith Vieira as Broomsy Witch
- Kathy Griffin as Dancing Witch and Wagon Witch #1
- Lake Bell as Patrol Witch Wagon Witch #2
- Jeremy Steig as Pied Piper
- Larry King (U.S.)/Jonathan Ross (U.K.) as Doris the Ugly Stepsister
- Regis Philbin as Mabel the Ugly Stepsister
- Mike Mitchell as Witch Guard #2, Butter Pants (Do The Roar)
- Ryan Seacrest as Father of Butter Pants
- One Love
- Birthday Bash
- Click Click
- Darling I Do
- I'm A Believer
- For Once In My Life
Following the success of Shrek 2, a third and fourth Shrek film, along with plans for a final, fifth film, were announced in May 2004 by Jeffrey Katzenberg: "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie." In October 2006, DreamWorks Animation revealed that the fourth film will be released in 2010.
Katzenberg announced a title for the fourth film in October 2007, Shrek Goes Fourth, explaining that "Shrek goes out into the world, forth!" However, in May 2009, DreamWorks Animation retitled the film to Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. In November, 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."
Tim Sullivan was hired to write the script in 2005, but was later replaced by Darren Lemke and Josh Klausner. Klausner said about the script's evolution: "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." In May 2007, shortly before the release of the third film, it as announced that Mike Mitchell would go on board to direct the new installment. Much of the film was written and recorded in New York City.
- During the end credits many characters and moments from previous movies of the Shrek saga are shown.
- A tiny man named Rumpelstiltskin appears briefly in Shrek the Third but is not the Rumpelstiltskin seen here because they look very different each one (wide-brimmed hat trimmed beard mustache and sideburns different facial features) and is voiced by a different actor. Rumpelstilskin is a different character and the Rumpelstiltskin we see there is maybe a man who has the same name or just steals the name.
- According to the above, another possible character that was planned to appear in the film, but the idea was dropped finally is Prince Charming. The only fact that indicates that Charming possible would return in this film is this: the name of Rupert Everett, Charming's voice actor; was seen on the film's cast list, but many people think that was an error, because Charming wasn't seen or heard in all the film (without the credits).
- At the very beginning of the movie the sign for the tralier park where Rumpelstiltskin lives has the inscription "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" which is one translation of what is said to be on the gates of Hell according to the Inferno section of Dante's The Divine Comedy. (Other translations include "All hope abandon, ye who enter here" and ""Abandon hope, all ye who enter here".)
Following the success of Shrek 2 in May 2004, Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed that the Shrek story had been outlined into five films almost from the beginning. "Before the first one was finished we talked about what the whole story of Shrek is, and each of the chapters answers questions about the first movie and gives us an insight," said Katzenberg, "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie." After the release of Shrek the Third in 2007, Katzenberg announced that the fifth film would be released in 2013.
In May 2009, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced that the fourth film's title would be Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. Later that year, that was confirmed by Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DWA, with him saying: "All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film."
Josh Klausner, one of the writers of Shrek Forever After, explained in 2010 the script's evolution: "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..."
- This is the first Shrek movie in Real D-3D and IMAX 3D.
- This is the first Shrek film to be shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, unlike the first three Shrek films were produced in 1.85:1.
- Shrek is the first DreamWorks Animation franchise to become a quadrilogy.
- The song Rumpel's Party Palace played during the witch rave scene is a dance remix of Fugue in G Minor by Johann Sebastain Bach Appropriately for the film's subject this song is known as the Little Fugue.
- As the head of story Walt Dohrn would perform all the voices during storyboard meetings. No other actors came close to matching the voice he had come up with Rumpelstiltskin and so he was cast.
- When Harold is about to sign the contract, a man arrives to tell them Fiona has been saved, and falls exhausted just after giving the news. This is a visual pun on what happened during the battle of Marathon (-490AD), when a soldier died just after giving the news that the Persians had been defeated.
- Originally, Arthur Pendragon and Farquaad were going to appear in the film. Artie would appear in 3 deleted scenes not included in the DVD release, and Farquaad would appear in the alternate universe as a possible ally of Rumpelstiltskin. However, none of these ideas were possible for these reasons:
- Justin Timberlake, Artie's voice actor, was in a tour during the production of the film, and for this reason, he couldn't make the 3 planned scenes.
- Farquaad didn't appear for unknown reasons, however, he appears in the end credits.
- Also, these are the 3 planned scenes for Artie:
- Deleted Scene 1: Artie is running the kingdom as Shrek invites him to the party. Though he declines, saying that he cannot hang around ogres any longer (including his cousin, Fiona). He manages to chuck Shrek out and banish them to the Happy Apple, where they will have their party.
- Deleted Scene 2: When Shrek is in the alternate universe, he travels back to Worcestershire to find Artie. He is indeed no longer the King but is his previous school-life self, being bullied and picked on. Shrek explains that Artie is the king of Far Far Away, but Artie, having no clue of who Shrek is, runs off (like he did in the third film) and in the assembly he is hung by his shirt onto the scaffolding. Shrek is declined entry to the Assembly hall by the guard after failing to remember what Puss and Donkey did to him, such as kicking him in the hip and groin. Shrek then leaves.
- Deleted Scene 3: After Shrek returns to the real world, Artie enters claiming that he was wrong about Shrek and hereby grants all Ogres to live in Far Fa Away as citizens, no longer as neglected monsters.
- The first Shrek movie to not feature music from Eels lead singer Mark Oliver Everett.
- This is a only Shrek film by DreamWorks Animation to be produced at their Glendale studio until Puss in Boots.
- This is the last Shrek film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures.
- This is the 7th computer-animated film by DreamWorks Animation to be produced at their Glendale studio, along with Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon.
- This is the first computer-animated sequel by DreamWorks Animation to be produced at their Glendale studio, along with Kung Fu Panda 2.
- The second animated sequel to be produced in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, unlike the previous installments, which were produced at 1.85:1, after Rugrats Go Wild.
- Released the same year as Despicable Me, also starring Julie Andrews.
- Shrek Forever After at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Linder, Brian (May 17, 2004). More Shrek. IGN. Retrieved on March 9, 2012.
- Partridge, Des. "More Shrek set to roll", June 7, 2007. Retrieved on February 23, 2012.
- "DreamWorks Animation Announces Plans to Release Five Feature Films Every Two Years", DreamWorks Animation, May 28, 2009. Retrieved on March 8, 2012.
- Wloszczyna, Susan. "First look: 'Shrek Forever After': Fourth, final film is first in 3-D", November 26, 2009. Retrieved on February 23, 2012.
- Eckerling, Debra. "We Asked ... Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, "Shrek Forever After"", May 18, 2010. Retrieved on March 10, 2012.