Above you can see the first image for the fourth (and supposedly final) Shrek film, Shrek Forever After. USA Today has the first in-depth synopsis of the movie and apparently the Scottish ogre is going It’s a Wonderful Life. Apparently Shrek, after getting married and having kids, feels overly domesticated. He strikes a deal with the underhanded Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by writer Walt Dohrn, not Paul McCartney as IMDb would have you believe), and ends up seeing what the world would be like without him in it. “That translates into Donkey being forced into cart-pulling duty, fat and lazy Puss in Boots trading his sword for a pink bow and the underhanded Rumpelstiltskin ruling the kingdom.” New voices for the film include Kathy Griffin and Kristin Schaal voicing a pair of ogre-hunting witches and a resistance group led by Jon Hamm as, says director Mike Mitchell (Sky High), the best-looking ogre you’ve ever seen. Hit the jump to learn why I wouldn’t be sad if I lived in a world without the Shrek franchise in it.
Other than that bit about Jon Hamm, I have little enthusiasm for Shrek Forever After, which will also be in 3D. Other than Puss in Boots, I’ve never been a fan of this franchise. To me, it’s the counter-example of Pixar’s dedication to character and story rather than what may be cool or catchy. Understandably, DreamWorks Animation found their success in Shrek so they stick to its model of dated pop culture references, smugness, and stacking up on celebrity voices for the sake of having celebrity voices. If Shrek Forever After really is the end of the series (and I highly doubt it), then I would say good riddance except the damage has already been done. But for those who love the franchise (and I’m going to assume you were nine or ten when the first film came out in 2001), you’ll be happy to know that you can get your first look at the film on December 18th when the trailer will be attached to Avatar. Shrek Forever After hits theaters on May 21, 2010.