This week, DreamWorks Animation screened the first half hour of SHREK FOREVER AFTER for journalists. The unfinished first act included finished animation with a few shots still in previs and much of the final lighting and effects still to come.
Director Mike Mitchell took the stage to introduce the audience to the film, which arrives in theaters May 21.
The film begins with a storybook retelling of the past SHREK adventures. But there is one twist. While Fiona was locked in the tower, the King and Queen went to make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to free their daughter in exchange for their kingdom. But just in the nick of time, a soldier arrives to tell the royals that the princess has been saved by Shrek the ogre. Rumpelstiltskin is devastated.
Cut to current times. Everything in Far Far Away is wonderful. Shrek and Fiona are back living in the swamp, taking care of their triplets. A tour bus goes by showing the citizens the ogre who changed history. But everyday is the same and Shrek has no time for himself. His frustration boils over at the babies' first birthday party where he tells Fiona in anger that he wishes that things could go back to the way they were before he saved her from the tower.
Cue Rumpelstiltskin. The devious dealmaker lures Shrek into his wagon where he serves him eyeball martinis and roasted rat and convinces Shrek to give him one day from his childhood in return for one day as a hunted and feared ogre. Shrek signs and is whisked off. At first Shrek revels in scaring townsfolk again, but when he arrives in the swamp he finds wanted posters for Fiona.
Suddenly, he is attacked by a group of witches. After a struggle, he wakes up in a barred cart pulled by Donkey, who no longer knows who he is. They end up at the palace, which is more like a rave now, where Rumpelstiltskin is now the ruler of Far Far Away. He took Shrek's day of birth, giving the ogre only one day to set things right.
After the act was played, Mitchell explained to the audience that Shrek and Donkey discover an escape clause in Rumpelstiltskin's contract where true love's kiss will void the deal. So the duo sets off to find Fiona, hoping that Shrek can woo her in this timeline as well.