Shrek Forever After

In the fourth and final chapter, the animated Shrek series recovers the sense of mischief it lost in Shrek the Third. Yes, it helps that this one is in 3-D – the real deal, not a retrofit – that makes the action pop. But it's the characters that pull us in when familiarity flatlines our interest.  The plot gimmick involves husband-and-father Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers with just the right blend of mirth and malaise) feeling frustrated that his days as a fear-inducing ogre are over. So he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (an ingeniously nasty vocal turn from DreamWorks Animation story editor Walt Dohrn) that tricks him into an alternate universe where he doesn't know his wife, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), his friend Donkey (Eddie Murphy) or fat-cat Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). It's a fun ride. What's missing is the excitement of a new interpretation.

From The Archives Issue 148: November 22, 1973