After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws' kingdom, what's an ogre to do? Well, if you're Shrek (MIKE MYERS), you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek is now a local celebrity who begrudgingly agrees to autograph pitchforks. What's happened to this ogre's roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre," Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin (WALT DOHRN). Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate reality of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona (CAMERON DIAZ) have never met. Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.
Returning for the adventure are Donkey (EDDIE MURPHY) and Puss In Boots (ANTONIO BANDERAS) as well as a few new faces (and ogres) and a conniving villain: Rumpelstiltskin (WALT DOHRN).
DreamWorks Animation SKG Presents "Shrek Forever After," a Paramount Pictures release-featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Walt Dohrn, Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch and Craig Robinson. The film is directed by Mike Mitchell. The screenplay is by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke. The producers are Gina Shay and Teresa Cheng. The executive producers are Aron Warner, Andrew Adamson and John H. Williams. "Shrek Forever After" has been rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language by the MPAA.
ONCE UPON A TIME...
By now, the classic fractured fairy tale of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss In Boots and their adventures in the magical land of Far Far Away are well known throughout the world. Based on the popular children's book Shrek! by William Steig, the films have received critical praise, worldwide box-office success and the first-ever Academy Award® bestowed upon an animated film. Suffice it to say, Shrek and the characters of Far Far Away have earned their rightful place in cinema and animation history.
With a lot of fairy tale territory already covered, the filmmakers at DreamWorks Animation were faced with a creative and exciting challenge for the final chapter of the journey of Shrek and Fiona.
Director Mike Mitchell, a veteran of both live-action films and previous DreamWorks Animation films asks: "How do we give the audience what they know and love, but at the same time give it a fresh take, make it more beautiful?"
A challenging task for any director, Mitchell continues, "We've taken on the bittersweet challenge of wrapping up the story of Shrek. We know fans would want to see how it ends."
Joining Mitchell on the production were accomplished producers Gina Shay and Teresa Cheng, both of whom brought an enormous amount of animation experience to the film: Shay, whose producing credits include "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie", among others, and Cheng, with over 20 years of experience in animation and visual-effects producing (most recently as producer on the holiday special "Shrek the Halls").
"Mike, Gina and Teresa are a great team," praises executive producer Aron Warner (and producer of the first three films). "They instilled a great sense of confidence, not only in me, but in the entire cast and crew."
Mitchell, Shay and Cheng set out to assemble a talented crew of visual development and storyboard artists, character animators, art and production designers, character model and rigging teams, layout artists, lighting teams and visual effects teams, including: Walt Dohrn (head of story), Patrick Mate (character designer), Peter Zaslav (production designer), Max Boas (art director), Doug Cooper (visual effects supervisor), Alex Ongaro (head of effects), Yong Duk Jhun (head of layout), Jason Reisig (character animation), Oliver "Olee" Finkelde (head of character effects), Jeffrey "JJ" Jay (character TD supervisor), Justin Brandstater (matte painting supervisor), Josh West (modeling supervisor), Lisa Slates Connors (surfacing supervisor), Allen Stetson (crowd supervisor), Valerie Lettera-Spletzer (FLO supervisor), Nick Fletcher, A.C.E. (editor), Ethan Van Der Ryn (supervising sound editor), Antony Gray, John Hill, Marek Kochout Jason Ryan (supervising animators), and Greg Lev, Betsy Nofsinger, Marc J. Scott and Pablo Valle (lighting supervisors). To head-up the 3D effects, the filmmakers tapped none-other than Phil Captain3D McNally. The result was a crew that blended a number of creative minds new to the world of Shrek with a host of others with experience on the prior three films. All were Shrek fans, so there was a lot of natural enthusiasm and synergy animating the project from the beginning.
"There's a lot of love for Shrek on this crew," declares Shay. "We're all self-professed fans of Shrek and everyone brought so much of that passion to the table which resulted in a really creative, collaborative environment."
When it came time to develop the story for "Shrek Forever After," the filmmakers decided to really the focus the film towards Shrek, to check in with him and see how things stand with the once-feared ogre himself.
Although the green ogre is at the core of each story, some would say the character had become somewhat domesticated after three films. Now the father of three, Shrek has responsibilities, duties and obligations. He is no longer the intimidating giant we met at the beginning of the first film, who caused the people of Far Far Away to run screaming in the other direction. Now, he's treated like a local celebrity, with townspeople treating him with awe, tipping their caps and offering cordial greetings when they see respectable Shrek in the street.
As with most continuing stories, every journey and chapter brings new experiences and opportunities for a character to grow and develop. In the case of Shrek, the next logical step seemed to be a midlife crisis of sorts. "We knew we had to keep the story fresh, yet give it a new twist," explains Cheng. "We asked ourselves, 'What more can Shrek learn on his journey as an ogre?'"
Early in the development process, artists came up with an image of Shrek looking at himself in the mirror and staring at his old "wanted" poster thinking to himself, "What have I become?" For the filmmakers, that proved to be a significant turning point in the development of the film's story. "We though it was interesting that he's not the ogre he was in the first Shrek films. He's domesticated, he's not scary, he's beloved by all the townspeople," says Mitchell. "The last thing we wanted was for Shrek to lose his edge."
As Mitchell was fleshing out the story beats with the crew, the possibilities seemed endless. The untapped potential of exploring the world of Far Far Away seemed limitless. But it was writer Josh Klausner ("Date Night") who came up with the concept of Shrek going back in time. What if Shrek could go back?
"That turned into a very relatable wish fulfillment," says Mitchell. "We all think of returning to our past, turning the clock back, to live life over."
The filmmakers started to craft a final story and go back to Shrek's roots. "That seemed like a great springboard," says producer Gina Shay. "He begins to ask himself a lot of questions about what it means to be an ogre. We went back to the basics and root of his journey. We knew this film really needed to be Shrek's story, told through his eyes. Shrek begins to wonder who he's become and what life might have been like if he had never rescued Fiona from the tower."
For Walt Dohrn, who serves as head of story on "Shrek Forever After," the premise fits perfectly into the world of Shrek. "In the first film, Shrek learns to love himself; in the second, he learns what it is like being part of a family; in "Shrek the Third," he comes to terms with accepting responsibility as a father and husband. In the fourth and final film, he is faced with a big question: what if his life had turned our differently?" Adds executive producer Aron Warner, "Once we integrated those concepts into the story, we realized what a complete circle this makes in terms of the story arc serving as a natural conclusion and ending to the series of Shrek films."
For Mitchell, relating to the story and Shrek's feelings were easy. A father of two toddlers, he could empathize with "Shrek the dad" having to forego the life of an ogre for that of a Saturday afternoon soccer shuttle driver. "I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old," explains Mitchell. When I took this job, my second boy was born. It really is a life-changing experience and it is very hard to be cool when you have a diaper bag strapped across your shoulder and a pacifier around your neck."
With that direction in mind, the crew developed a classic "What if . . . ?" story for Shrek. Now happily married with three kids, Shrek's life has become mundane and very routine (at least in his eyes). Feeling somewhat nostalgic for his ogre bachelor days, Shrek makes a deal with the proverbial devil, who in this particular case is none other than the classic fairy tale tempter Rumpelstiltskin.
The newest villain to the world of Shrek, Rumpelstiltskin is after one thing-the kingdom of Far Far Away. Capitalizing on Shrek's longing for his ogre days, Rumpel makes Shrek an offer he can't refuse; to live a day free of responsibility, as a REAL ogre. In exchange, all Shrek has to do is give Rumpel a day from his past. Seems like a fair trade-a day for a day. Little does Shrek know that Rumpel specifies in the fine print of his contract that the one day he'll take is the one that will change history rather dramatically for both Shrek and the inhabitants of Far Far Away. In a gesture of elegant evilness, Rumpel chooses the day Shrek was born.
"The result is nothing short of catastrophic," says Mitchell. "Everything the audience knows about Shrek, Fiona and the fairy tale characters is turned upside down and thrown into an alternate reality. "And," the director continues, "nobody in Far Far Away knows who Shrek is. They just see him for what he is; a big, scary ogre."Shrek Forever After - Princess Fiona & The Visual Effects
Shrek Forever After
Rumpelstiltskin Shrek Forever After
Shrek Forever After Really Far Far Away
Watch the Shrek Forever After Trailer