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Toon Talk - From the Other Side: Shrek the Third
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by Kirby Holt (archives)
May 22, 2007
Kirby review Dreamwork's latest animated release Shrek the Third.
Toon Talk: Disney Film and DVD Reviews
by Kirby C. Holt

(c) Dreamworks

Toon Talk From the Other Side:
Shrek the Third

DreamWorks Animation
MPAA Rating: PG

It Ain’t Easy Being Three

Part III, Chapter 3, “threequel? … whatever you call them, the third film in a series has a lot going against it. Unattainable viewer expectations, unimaginative stories, lazy performances … they can all add up to the creative end to popular film franchises.

Despite rare occasions when a 3 succeeds (Goldfinger, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), the norm for third installments is typically disastrous, derailing or even ending such previously winning series as Star Wars, Alien, Austin Powers, Halloween, Jaws and Superman. And while some of these may have done well financially (leading to the even more dreaded Part IV), from a viewpoint of quality they are considerably lacking; it is telling, for example that while the first two Godfather films are unquestionably considered classics, the poorly received Part III is mostly ignored.

(c) Dreamworks

Money talks though, thus that financial lure has led movie studios to continue to crank out more and more “franchise films? (a term in itself that leans more toward the “business? side of “show business?); just take a look at this year’s summer movie season, a season that will surely go down in cinematic history as “The Year of the 3?. Already this month we have seen the third adventure of Spider-Man (on movie studio calendars, summers start in May), and by Labor Day we’ll see if the third time’s a charm for the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow, Jason Bourne and those Rush Hour guys. But before we get to those, we have Shrek.

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