The final chapter in the venerable Shrek franchise opens today with Shrek Forever After, in which Shrek learns a lesson about taking ‘happily ever after’ for granted. If you’ve been taking the big green ogre for granted yourself, perhaps you’ll feel as sad as Antonio Banderas feels about the ending of the series.
“It’s sad on one side but very satisfying because I think the four movies of Shrek, in playing against pop culture, became pop culture itself. I was in New York this year watching the Thanksgiving parade from my house, and here he was – Shrek, a big balloon just crossing in front of my window and behind him was Mickey Mouse. So he’s part of American pop culture right now. So I think it’s sad, but it was beautiful what he has done in these ten years of working. So it’s sad on one side.”
“On the other side,” he adds about Puss-In-Boots, the swashbuckling feline hero he’s voiced in three of the four films, “the character is going to continue now with his own saga, I hope – if it all goes well. But it’s totally different. What we’re doing so far, it doesn’t go through the same narrative process as Shrek. It goes in a different direction. It takes more from Sergio Leone ‘60s movies, spaghetti Westerns. The divided screens and stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun too, but it’s in a different context.”