Film scores Franchises

Soundtrack review: Shrek forever after (Harry Gregson Williams – 2010)

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“Once (more) upon a time”, there was a likable Ogre named Shrek. The final chapter in his story is titled “Shrek forever after” and although I didn’t see it, I wanted to enjoy one more score that Harry Gregson Williams wrote for this very satisfying franchise.

This fourth movie has a proper villain, Rumpelstiltskin, and he gets his own ominous theme. It fits very well with the rest of the score and it is a very welcomed addition. I wasn’t expecting to find a new and exciting theme in this final score. There’s mischief all through this track.

This fourth score breathes new life in the series. I enjoyed the second and third but they didn’t bring a lot of new motifs. Four tracks into “Shrek forever after” and I’m finding again that adventurous joy that made the first one work so well. The themes are also longer (3-4 minutes average) and they have time to develop. Every time Rumpel gets center stage the music gets really exciting: “Rumpel’s kingdom” makes me want to explore more.

“The exit clause” is the kind of almost epic cue the series still needed. “Ogre resistance” continues the trend and then Rumpel comes again to announce something and some sweet strings take over. I was expecting a fun score in the line of the previous two but I got a composition that rivals the first score of the franchise.

I am really glad I stuck with the Shrek franchise and listened to all the scores. Had I given up on the series I would have missed this little gem of a score. “Shrek forever after” is Shrek music all grown up. It keeps the charm and fun we are used to but adds an extra dimension which makes it my go to Shrek score. It’s the most melodic and epic of them all and I love it.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 42

Album excellence: 50%

Highlights:

  1. Rumpel’s Kingdom
  2. The Exit Clause
  3. “Din Din!”
  4. Rumpel’s Announcement
  5. Fiona Doesn’t Love Me
  6. The Main Event
  7. Rumpel’s Defeat
  8. His Day is Up

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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