Nine years ago the first Shrek was released making it almost a decade of Shrek for us viewers, but for Harry Gregson-Williams the journey has been even longer. The first Shrek score was a collaborative effort between Harry and John Powell, and the result was a magical and fantastic score. John departed from the series and Harry took full control for the second, third and now fourth and final film in the franchise.
The second score was great in my opinion, but the third outing was a disjointed and overall flat experience. I can’t really blame him because they turned Shrek into a lunchbox icon and the entire film was plastered with songs leaving little room for Harry to work a score around. The fourth score I am glad to say is terrific. It holds everything we’ve come to know from Shrek the past decade and sums it up in a tidy fashion while still giving us a great standalone journey.
We have familiar themes and some new melodies (most notably Rumplestilskin’s theme), but Harry creates a comprehensive layering which makes the journey for us a seamless experience. He treats the music seriously so we don’t get a goofy animated score. It’s a great final bow to the series and wraps up a significant chunk of Harry’s career. I think we all can hum the sweet lullaby-esque main theme that opens every Shrek film, and Dreakworks Animation even made it their logo’s fanfare. So, thank you Harry Gregson-Williams for giving us some lovely and breathtaking music for these films over the years. It’s safe to say that the films started to wear thin after Andrew Adamson left the series, but Harry always gave it his A game.