Mike Mitchell Talks Shrek Forever After
Bill Desowitz: How difficult was it taking on the final Shrek chapter?
Mike Mitchell: It was very difficult to make a sequel to something that has that many layers to it, as a matter of fact.
BD: Satirizing the fairy tale yet delivering the fairy tale expectations?
MM: That's what I love about the original Shrek -- I'm a huge Shrek fan. And I think people forget that the first Shrek was a hilarious movie, but at the same time, it was a well told fairy tale with a great message for kids and adults alike. Even though it was very irreverent and funny, we wanted to remind everyone about that first, great Shrek in the final chapter, and tell a nice, emotional story that was similar. And then be as funny as all the previous Shrek films and really encapsulate everything that has happened to Shrek up to that point -- and be even more emotional because you're bringing it to a bittersweet ending. I always think that Shrek is the Tony Soprano for children and there's nobody else like him. I'll be sad to see him go.
But it's interesting that you bring that up because I also love movies that have fun with a genre, and there's a mythology to them. We all grew up with fairy tales and know the stories and know the worlds. What a treat and an honor to get to live in this Shrek fairy tale world for the three years that we worked on this film.
BD: You have Shrek experience a mid-life crisis -- he wants to be the scary ogre once again for just a day, so he makes a bargain with Rumpelstiltskin, who tricks him, and it becomes a variation on It's a Wonderful Life. How did you come up with that idea?