The general outline of the plot is that Fiona's dad, the Frog King, is dying, and Shrek does not want to be the new King, and he goes off in search of Arthur, some vaguely-defined "next in line" to the throne (in fact, there may be some sequel set-up in this, as his Artie's dad is mentioned, as having left him at a boarding school and then disappeared, but also never put "in context" of the Far Far Away royal house). While Shrek (with Donkey and Puss) are off on this mission, Prince Charming (who has been doing back-street dinner theater), plots a take-over of the kingdom, lining up the help of all the various villains, as well as a "mole" in Fiona's inner circle. Of course, Shrek & crew return and eventually put things right.
Now, I don't usually agree with the Tribune's reviews of things, but they hit a few things dead on, especially noting that, in the funeral scene for King Harold, the soundtrack has a nearly verbatim version of McCartney's Bond theme Live And Let Die ... aside from the obvious death reference part, it neither adds anything to the plot, nor is particularly appropriate to the mood of the scene ... the only plausible explanation was they were going for some "the king is dead, long live the king" sort of thing, but hitting way off the mark. There were other fun musical references, though, like where Snow White (who seems to get birds landing on her whenever she puts up her arms), does a sweet little song that calls all the woodland creatures and then suddenly slips into the intro howls of Led Zeppelin's classic Immigrant Song, launching them all on the attack. This then segues into a version of Heart's Barracuda that sounded like it might have actually been done by the Wilson sisters!
Hey, if you liked the earlier two Shrek movies, there's really nothing not to like in this one. There were, perhaps, fewer "fun references" to everyday stuff, but that is counterbalanced by another Monty Python alum joining the cast, Eric Idle voicing the Merlin character (I guess they needed one since they killed off John Cleese's Harold!).
The coolest thing we saw at the theater today, however, was a life sized statue of the Silver Surfer as a promo for the new Fantastic Four movie. I wish I'd been able to get a shot of it without the red light all over it, but I just had to grab a pic of it! The was also a "life sized" statue of the Simpsons on their couch (with enough room to sit on the end and take a picture), but it didn't occur to me that it might have been fun to have had a shot of me sitting there with Homer & Co. to post here until we were already out of the theater. Bummer. Maybe if I go see Spiderman 3 with Daughter #1, I'll get a shot on that.