Lovable ogre, Fiona are back in 'Shrek the Third'

Shrek, Puss-in-boots and Donkey return again in Shrek the Third, which opens nationwide on Friday.

It's been six years since that big green ogre made his first movie appearance.

Now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a preschooler or an elementary-age child who doesn't recognize "Shrek."

The Shrek franchise has sold more than 90 million DVDs. The original film won the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The future will bring at least two more movies, an animated holiday special, "Shrek the Halls," and next year on Broadway, "Shrek: The Musical." When DreamWorks' "Shrek the Third" opens in theaters Friday, it's sure to get a following from old and new fans alike.

In the first movie, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) fall in love. In the second, they are adjusting to married life. Now, they take the next step in their relationship as they prepare for parenthood — three times over. In addition, finding himself the unwitting ruler of Far Far Away, Shrek goes on a trek to find Fiona's cousin Artie (Justin Timberlake), the only other possible heir to the throne.

Like the two before it, this installment also features Donkey (Eddie Murphy). And it has the return of Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), Shrek's in-laws (Julie Andrews and John Cleese) and the vengeful-but-handsome Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) from "Shrek 2."

But in addition to Artie, there's a whole new cast of characters. Guests at Fiona's baby shower include Sleeping Beauty (Cheri Oteri), Snow White (Amy Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph) and Cinderella (Amy Sedaris). Also added are Lancelot (John Krasinski), Captain Hook (Ian McShane) and Merlin (Eric Idle).

Like the two before it, this one is rated PG and features crude humor and suggestive content. But also like those before it, according to Myers, it carries the message that "throughout all the different periods of your life, you really have to rely on yourself, believe in yourself and not listen to what other people think about you."