This app version of the beloved movie, "Shrek Forever After," is a visually beautiful book on the iPad. It has still images of all the major plot points from the movie while doing a nice retelling of Shrek's run-in with Rumpelstiltskin. The story has a nice moral, too, since in the end Shrek learns to appreciate what he has. For fans of the movie, this iPad book version will also be a fun trip through all their favorite scenes.
This book is not, however, animated in any way, which can be a disappointment to kids who are expecting an experience more like the animated iPad movie-book releases. As a parent, though, I realize that this book might be a nice bedtime treat for a child who loves the movie, something that wouldn't be as easy to pull off with a very stimulating title.
There is one neat interactive element, though, which is to tap on the little green ogre doll (Sir Squeakels). This little doll is hiding on every page & if you find him and tap, a little squeak is heard. I only wished this 'game' would give my child a tally at the end and some sort of acknowledgement if he tapped them all. This would be a nice way to reward the child for paying extra attention to details.
One word of caution to parents, though. A prominent "i" appears on the front page and tapping it takes you to the book's settings. This includes the choice to "Browse More Books" & "Get More Shrek Stuff". In addition, there is a setting to "Subscribe to iStoryTime Newsletter" and another to "Tell a friend ..." and the latter actually opens up your email program. So, it's best to supervise the set-up of this book (or disconnect it from internet access), if you are concerned that your child might play with these settings.
Ultimately, auto-play was the best setting for my child, given this book has 96 pages. Plus autoplay makes the game of finding the doll a bit more challenging, giving it a time limit. If you and your kids love the Shrek movies, this book will be a treat, even without lots of extras and animation. It's just important to set expectations in the right place with your kids ... this book has a tiny bit of interactivity, but really it's more of a narrated recap of the movie with still images from the film.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
8 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10
This iPad book version of Shrek Forever After follows the film's major plot points.
The film begins just before Shrek (Mike Myers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) in the first film. Desperate to lift their daughter's curse, King Harold (John Cleese) and Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews) meet with con artist Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), who requests becoming king of Far Far Away in exchange. Just before the deal is contracted, the king and queen learn that Fiona has already been rescued. In the present, a disgruntled Rumpelstiltskin wishes Shrek was never born and seeks revenge.
Meanwhile, Shrek has grown tired of being a domesticated family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to yearn for the days when he felt like a "real ogre." He takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children's first birthday where lots of fictional characters are present. Shrek gets annoyed here when the three little pigs eat the kids' (Farkle, Fergus and Felicia) cake. After he lets out a roar of frustration, the entire crowd cheers.
He then smashes up a replacement cake and storms off. He meets Rumpelstiltskin, who offers to give Shrek a day to live like a real ogre again in exchange for a day from his childhood he wouldn't remember being erased. Shrek agrees and signs the contract, and abruptly lands in a world where he is still feared by villagers. He enjoys causing mischief until he finds wanted posters for the ogress Fiona and his home deserted. He is suddenly captured by witches and taken to Rumpelstiltskin, who is now the king of Far Far Away, which has become derelict and uses ogres and even some of Shrek's friends for slave labor.
Shrek realizes that the day Rumpelstiltskin erased was the day he was born, meaning he never existed in this world before and is unrecognized by everyone he knows. Furthermore, when the day ends, Shrek will fade from existence. Shrek escapes Rumpelstiltskin's castle with the enslaved Donkey. Initially terrified of Shrek, Donkey decides to trust him after seeing Shrek cry over his lost past, something he had never seen an ogre do before. After Shrek explains the situation, Donkey helps him find a loophole: the contract will be rendered null and void if Shrek and Fiona share true love's kiss before the day ends. Shrek and Donkey suddenly encounter a band of ogres who have formed a resistance against Rumpelstiltskin. These ogres are led by Fiona, who is still cursed after escaping from the tower where she was held captive, and additionally keeps the retired and overweight Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) as a pet.
Shrek does everything he can to gain Fiona's love, but she is too busy preparing an ambush on Rumpelstiltskin during his nightly ogre hunt. However, the ogres are caught in a trap by the Pied Piper instead and captured. Shrek insists Fiona kiss him, saying it will fix everything, but because Fiona doesn't love him, it is ineffective. Upon hearing that Rumpelstiltskin is offering anything desired by the one who captures Shrek with no strings attached, Shrek turns himself in exchange for all ogres being released, but Fiona remains in custody because she is only an ogre by night due to her curse (i.e., not "all ogre"). Shrek and Fiona are set to be fed to Dragon, but Donkey, Puss and the ogres raid Rumpelstiltskin's castle, allowing Shrek and Fiona to subdue both Dragon and Rumpelstiltskin.
As the sun begins to rise, Shrek begins to fade from existence, but Fiona, having fallen in love with him all over again, kisses him just before he disappears completely, which nullifies the contract and restores Shrek to his world just before he originally lashed out at everyone. Shrek embraces his friends and family with newfound appreciation for everything he has, truly living happily forever after.
[Film synopsis from Wikipedia]
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