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Movie Review

Shrek the Third

MPAA Rating: PG for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Genre:
Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Kids, Family
Length:
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
May 18, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution
Relevant Issues
Copyright, DreamWorks Distribution

Princes in the Bible

Kingdom of God

Donkeys in the Bible

Bells

Pigs

Frogs

Wolves

Animals

Reviews of other films in this series

Shrek (2001)

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek Forever After (2010)

Fun for kids
click for Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, John Krasinski, Eric Idle, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, Ian McShane
Director: Chris Miller, Raman Hui
Producer: Andrew Adamson, John H. Williams, Jeffrey Katzenberg
Distributor: DreamWorks Distribution

Also available—Reviews of the prequels to this movie: “Shrek” (2001), “Shrek 2” (2004), and the sequel: “Shrek Forever After” (2010)

“Who’s ready for Thirds?”

The only good thing to come from the Politically Correct movement are the first two Shrek movies. Notice I said the first two “Shrek” movies. “Shrek the Third” is clearly the weakest of the trilogy. Having said that, it is better than many movies currently in the theaters, but if fans are expecting a movie on par with the previous movies, they best reduce their expectations.

“Shrek the Third” is sorely missing the touch of Andrew Adamson (who left to work on the wonderful “Chronicles of Narnia” films). The best part of the third outing is the underlying story of a young King Arthur. That story was written by Andrew Adamson, but the script was worked upon by no fewer than six people, and it shows. The story seems to wander around without any direction, and the jokes too often seem as if they are plucked out of a straw hat.

Take, for example, the funeral scene of the frog king. The funeral march is “Live and Let Die” from James Bond. In the context of the movie, the joke makes no sense. It is cute, but not particularly funny. This is, unfortunately, how much of the movie flows. The best part of the film was the Medieval High School where Shrek finds the young King Arthur, but sadly this only occupies roughly ten to fifteen minutes of the film. The rest of movie seems misdirected and lacks a cohesive direction.

Morally the movie has the typical crude and rude jokes which make it inappropriate for young children. There is a rather gross vomiting scene (seen in the commercials), a joke about donkey seeing Shrek’s private parts, a “butt scratching” scene, a butt crack scene, comments about wedgies, “poop,” “extreme poop,” gross ear wax, more vomiting, and the reappearance (and expanded role) of the transsexual (or at least transvestite) bar maid.

In addition, there is plenty of animated violence including a “dubbing” scene where Shrek learns to knight someone, but doesn’t quite get it right (no blood is seen)! There is also a scene of an arrow being shot into someone and various other slapstick violence which is common in the film.

From a Christian standpoint, I was probably most bothered by the promotion of feminism, which even went so far as to include a bra burning scene. The various princesses (one with a tattoo) go in to rescue Shrek with all the feminist bravado one would expect from Arnold Schwartzeneggar. Of course, it is intended as parody.

Ultimately, Shrek 3 is a disappointment. It appears that Andrew Adamson had a greater impact upon the first two films than we might have known otherwise. The failure of Shrek on many levels demonstrates that Adamson was solely missed, but, on the positive side, it is a good sign for the forthcoming Narnia films. As for Shrek 4… Well, it will probably happen, but don’t get your hopes up. I have Shrek 1 and 2 on DVD, but will not be buying “Shrek the Third.” I can’t say that Shrek 3 is bad, but neither is it particularly good. I give it a generous B-.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Yes, the franchise is getting a little tired, still fun but it should end here. But I just wanted to point out and correct, the particular character listed as a transsexual. The joke being is that it is actually a woman, one of the ugly stepsisters, just she is so ugly she looks like a man. Pretty obvious, don’t know why the reviewer keeps missing this.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Nancy, age 34
Positive—“Shrek the Third” was a good movie. I don’t really think too many people would find this film objectionable. Because this movie was intended for a large audience, including children, the humor is kept reasonably clean. Morals, such as “don’t judge on outward appearance,” “teamwork,” and “fatherhood,” appear in this movie.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Torrey, age 21
Positive—Good clean fun! I didn’t care for the innuendo in the first two Shreks, however the “Third” was just good clean fun. As for the one reviewer who refers to “too much witchcraft and sacrifices” I missed that?! For the first time seeing a Shrek movie, I was NOT offended! If you’re looking for a movie to see with your kids, here’s a safe choice.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Kimberly, age 41
Positive—This is probably the weakest film in the Shrek franchise, but altogether it’s still enjoyable. Some of the jokes and dialogue might not be suitable for young children which some would go over their heads. I would also like to point out two things with the review. First of all, the Ugly Stepsisters are women and not transsexuals/transvestites. The masculine appearances are used as a tool to represent their ugliness. Also, I’d like to point out not all Christians are against feminism. In fact, many of the early members of the feminist movement were Christians, and many feminists are not bra-burning man haters. The feminist movement was brought about to help improve the lives of women and to bring them above the status of second-class citizens. While it’s true there are extremists, it’s irrational to assume every member of a group is this way.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—A and W, age 28
Positive—I have been to see this movie twice already. I have always loved the Shrek movies, even though some of the humor is somewhat crude, I must admit I find it funny. So far, I think Shrek the Third is the best of the trilogy. I also think it is the least objectionable. I found it was worthy of my time and money, twice. …
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Rachel, age 18
Positive—The only offensive parts I found was just the basic toilet humor stuff. You know—fart jokes, poop jokes, etc. But I found this film to be more tasteful than the first two predecessors. It was cute, funny, but it seemed as if no one took any time to come up with a decent plot; it felt as if they wrote the entire idea for the film overnight with little effort. I agree with the movie reviewer that the funeral scene with the 'Live and Let Die'-James Bond touch was pointless. The high school scene was pretty funny but other than that, it was average. I doubt that the upcoming Shrek 4 in 2010 would be any better. It seems as if the Shrek series “jumped the shark” in the third installment.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Shannon, age 25
Positive—“Shrek the Third.” Language: frog-king-dad-in-law sounds like something else, “what the shistershire” is used, 'What the?',' You my friends are royally…' it is blocked out by a fog horn. “Dork,” “Loser,” “Freak,” “Stupid” “Idiot,” “Fool,” “Moron” and “Twit” are also used. Action: A dragon throws a man with her mouth. Prince charming is ready to kill Artie. Sword fights. The queen is held hostage with a sword at her throat. Donkey kicks Shrek in the crotch. A ship sinks and catches on fire. Drugs: Two teenagers come out of a car with smoke coming out. Fuzzy Navels are ordered for everyone. A drunk man is stumbling down a street. Other: Talks about baby poop. Burping babies. A baby knocks Shrek over with his pee or something else. Sexual Content: A princess burns her bra. Shrek is naked twice, but we only see his upper body. They talk about not knowing where babies come from, Puss begins to explain before Shrek cuts him off. Shrek and Fiona kiss. A few other mild things. My overall conclusion. This is an enjoyable movie for kids 8 and up. Only a few minor things to be careful of. Hope this comment helps you!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Kelly, age 29
Positive—I was very surprised at this reviewer’s reaction to “Shrek the Third,” that he liked it less than #2. This Web site panned the second movie, and rightfully so, with all the sexual, esp. homosexual, innuendos. I was greatly relieved that this movie went back to being a more child-appropriate fairy tale. I took my kids to #2, based on our enjoyment of #1, without previewing it, and since then have not let them watch it again (though their friends have the DVD). This time I went without my children first, and will be allowing them to see it.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Jennifer A. Bowers, age 50
Positive—The first two Shrek movies were so-so, but I have to admit that the third “Shrek” film practically kept me rolling on the floor throughout the entire movie. It has been a while since I last viewed the film, but I cannot recall any objectionable material, unless one is offended by the cheap humor of bodily functions. This is a great movie for the entire family.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—T. Taylor, age 21
Positive—We all know Shrek and what to expect. So why are some people surprised it includes the crude humor that’s not excellent for children, but won’t hurt, but it’s so funny. I laughed a lot. It’s just so entertaining.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Britney J., age 18
Neutral
Neutral—Shrek 3 was okay. The amazing animation was probably its best feature, followed by messages of the blessings of children and importance of choosing for ourselves what kind of person we will be. As in the past, it used some great music of old and had me dancing! Unfortunately, these positive aspects are weakened by poor humor based on jokes from the first two films, poor character and relational development that leaves you with shallow feelings for them, and statements by characters that undermine the primary messages. The death of a main character is turned into drawn-out “humor,” which I found disturbing. Far Far Away is turned into a modern-day Sodom toward the end. And Puss at one point begins to explain the facts of life by saying that 'when a man and a woman have certain powerful feelings…' or urges (something along that line), instead of reinforcing the role of marriage in reproduction. Most of the jokes are only funny by worldly standards, and I was disappointed that I didn’t laugh more. Be prepared to discuss this movie with your children after you go.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Anna Lisa, age 24
Neutral—I was looking forward to the third installment of the Shrek series. I love the first two movies so went into the theatre with high expectations. I was disappointed, however. The humor was not on mark and the story seemed to be disconnected. I was expecting more of the movie to be at the high school since I think that there could have been a lot of humor found there. As the reviewer wrote only about ten minutes were spent at the school. Donkey, usually my favorite, lost some of his humor and Puss' jokes were similar to those in the second movie.

I feel that the movie was not promoting feminism. The bra burning just looked ridiculous, rather than triumphant. The part where the girl’s took over was actually my favorite in the movie. As a Christian woman, I like the idea of being rescued by a man, but I also think that women should be able to take control if need be. To have three fairy tale princesses save themselves, rather than waiting for the princes was refreshing to see. I also got a kick out of Snow White’s singing scene. And in the end, it was the boys who won the day. There were a few parts that saved the movie from being negative, but I hope that “Shrek the Fourth” (which I’m sure will be made!) gets a positive mark.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Rhonda, age 20
Neutral—“Shrek the Third” is an okay movie, but I do have something against it. One thing I never liked about the Shrek series, is how each movie they make starts becoming more and more serious, so much to the point where it’s not even a kid’s film anymore. I had a hard time watching this movie to the end because it was so boring. Another thing I didn’t like was how King Artie’s character was stereotyped: he was snappy, sarcastic, and didn’t fit in with anybody at school. Why does the media try to make us believe that all teenagers are like this???

Besides that, the movie has too many adult issues, the main one being Shrek finds out Fiona is pregnant and he’s worried about becoming a dad. I felt like that was too heavy to put into a kid’s movie. Overall it’s not a bad film, it’s just boring at certain parts, and it’s probably best for kids 13 and over to watch, as opposed to little kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—T., age 20 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I myself have never seen “Shrek” 1 or 2. I took my 4 yr. old daughter tonight on base to see “Shrek 3.” I have never walked out of a theater, but I did tonight. I should have done research on this movie first. If you are a Christian, I strongly suggest to not see this movie. Especially don’t take your children. There were men dressed as women, but talked like a man. There was a scene with about 30 witches in it. My daughter looked at me and said, “Mommy, this is a bad movie.” For a 4 year old to notice this was bad, then it is. We watched about 45 minutes of it and left at the witch scene. I should have left sooner. Parents think that movies and video games don’t affect their child, but they do. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Amy Allen, age 28 (Okinawa, Japan-military)
Negative—…We are a family of Born Again Christians in Italy. Our 2 boys are aged 15 and 12. I took them to see “Shrek 3” at an Italian movie theater. The boys liked the movie, but I was disgusted with the subtle way in which children’s minds are conditioned to accept deviant behavior as portrayed in the latest movie. For example, homosexual and transsexual characters, gross behaviour like vomiting and so on. We have a good relationship with the boys, so are able to explain all this in terms of the bible. We would like to encourage Christian parents to “vote with their feet” and not take their kids to movies like this. Sadly, too many Christian parents themselves are not discerning. We went thinking it would be a clean fun movie, but unfortunately it was not. Next time we will be more careful.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Roberto Battistuzzi, age 57, Italy
Negative—After viewing this film I found this film to be the most offensive of the Shrek series. Granted the animation is excellent, but the moral issues are in question here. Shrek 3 has more witchcraft and sorcery than ever. I can’t recommend with a good conscience. What are we trying to teach our kids here??? The occult is fun??? There were some frightening parts with witches for children. Sorry I just can’t …tell you this is an awesome movies to take your kids to. I’m a very open-minded person, but if you do happen to see it, you will know exactly what I mean. Biblically, it is just terrible. …
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Ginger, age 46
Comments from young people
Neutral—I thought that this movie had too much witchcraft in it. The spells and sacrifices were just too much for me. I think that they are just trying to put witchcraft into little kids minds so that it will just show up in the future. Other than that, it was an okay movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3
—Nichole Smith, age 13
Neutral—I loved the first two Shrek movies, but the third just seemed like they tried too hard… there were too many corny jokes, and the characters almost didn’t seem like themselves… there were a couple funny parts, but most of it was unimpressive. “Shrek the Third” wasn’t too bad though, and I think that it’s a good movie to take your kids to.
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Emily, age 17
Neutral—“Shrek the Third” was a bit of a disappointment for me. Some of the lines in the movie should have been left unsaid, and there was a little too much witchcraft in it. However, the movie had some funny parts, and it had a good storyline. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, but it’s not my favorite. The first and second Shrek movies are much better in my opinion.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Ellen, age 13
Positive—I haven’t seen the second movie, but I did think this was MUCH better than the first. While it does seem to rely only on its crude humor for laughs, there were a couple of clean jokes that got the whole theater laughing. The two girls I was babysitting that I saw it with were 11 and 6, and they really enjoyed it. All-around, a great movie for the whole family!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Linda, age 15
Negative—This movie was very scary and morally objective in every way. A lot of witchcraft was in it, which is bad. Do not let anyone under 16 go see this movie. They might be very scared like me. I wish Shrek 3 stayed the same like Shrek 1 and Shrek 2.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Hanson Millard, age 16
Neutral—I went into the theater expecting something funny, because I loved the first two Shrek movies. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed. There were a few funny parts, but I didn’t laugh through the whole movie, like I did with the first two. From a moral standpoint, I didn’t find it that offensive. Older children should be able to realize that the magic and witches are just make-believe and are not real. The movie may not be appropriate for really young children, but it was definitely not bad. I also don’t know why lots of people here seem to think that there is a cross-dresser in the movie. The character is a woman with a deep voice. It’s a joke, and I have always found it pretty obvious.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Maggie, age 15
Positive—Shrek 3 did have funny parts and was really random about the jokes. I’ve seen the first two, and this was a good third one. About the burning bra, it was only on the screen for a single second. My Middle School Student Council saw it, and our teacher said that the few comments that were implied and hinted about sex, were over her head. There was a sort of seeing fire and spells, high school insults, and implied swearing. Overall, I liked it, but it could have been a cleaner movie.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Jessica, age 13
Positive—I thought it was a good movie. It taught good morals and was pretty funny. I recommend this one for the whole family.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Chad, age 16
Neutral—This movie was not as funny as the other ones. There was no point. I didn’t like that the adult wasn’t taking responsibility and was weighing it down on the child. I very much didn’t like the burning of the bras. It was very… unlady-like. This might have been the point, but I didn’t like it. I’m all for women’s independence, but you still have to be modest. Overall, it was okay.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Jessica, age 12
Neutral—I saw this movie on opening day with some friends. I was very disappointed. The movie lacked a plot,and got boring at parts. Didn’t contain any objectionable content, but just wasn’t a good movie. I would just rent it on video and don’t waste money in theatres.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 2½
—Nate Doederlein, age 12
Positive—I like this movie very much! It was A LOT better than I thought. I think that this is the best one since Shrek #1! I didn’t exactly like the 2nd. It was very fun! I like how the princess isn’t “beautiful” but rather an ogre! It just kind of makes a twist in fairytales! TWO THUMBS up!! It’s definitely one for the WHOLE family! Unless they are babies, because they won’t get the jokes! It’s also funny because it has adult humor in it also. It’s worth the money!
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Emily, age 12
Positive—This movie was good. Not as funny as the first and second movie, but still very funny. I enjoyed it mostly because it made King Arthur look funny and even the Disney Princesses. The fantasy was great, and, all in all, it was a good movie.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Sarah, age 11
Neutral—This movie was totally pathetic compared to the the previous Shrek films. Both “Shrek” and “Shrek 2” were hilarious, and you would be able to tell the jokes from the film for months. In this movie there were very few funny jokes. The rest of the jokes were just plain dumb, trying to get cheap laughs. But at least there’s a good reason for the slow jokes. Director Adam Adamson was busy directing Chronicles of Narnia 2 (which I’m pumped to see) and couldn’t come back to do “Shrek the Third.” And I doubt he’ll come back to do the other six Shrek movies to come (which I’ll probably never see). I am serious. There will be four Shrek sequels, a holiday special, and a straight-to-video Puss in Boots movie. P.S.—The “how are babies made” joke wasn’t necessary at all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sam, age 11
Neutral—It was okay. The graphics and lighting were very, VERY, good, but the overall plot, not so much. I think they had too many characters to work with at times. There were so many subplots and characters that it seemed like the main plot was weak and rushed. Nothing was really extremely funny, just some old jokes stressed to the limit like Charming’s whiney momma’s boy attitude (who, by the way, acts a little gay although it doesn’t make that behavior look “good.” He also is seen being committed to a woman), the ugly stepsister who thinks she’s beautiful, and of course, the crude humor that appeared in the first two movies.

It made the whole “Shrek” idea look old and tired, when really, if they had done a little more work on the script, would have opened up the excitement for a possible fourth movie. Younger children don’t really seem to notice the neglected plot as much as older ones, but I think an older child audience is better for the Shrek movies because of the notorious crude humor and mild sexual references. By the way, if you happen to watch the DVD, be sure to check out the unused scenes in the extra features. In my opinion, if they had used those scenes instead of some of those they did use, the movie would be a lot more fun and interesting.

One more thing: did anyone else want a musical number at the end? They didn’t have one in this movie like they did the first two. Bummer.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kendi, age 15