Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film loosely based on the 1990 fairytale picture book of the same name by William Steig. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson in their directorial debuts, it stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow as the voices of the lead characters. The film parodies other films adapted from fairy tale storylines, primarily aimed at animated Disney films. In the story, Shrek (Myers) finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures who have been banished by a corrupt Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) aspiring to be king. Shrek makes a deal with Farquaad to regain control of his swamp in return for rescuing Princess Fiona (Diaz), whom he intends to marry. With the help of Donkey (Murphy), Shrek embarks on his quest but soon falls in love with the princess, who is hiding a secret that will change his life forever.

The rights to Steig's book were purchased by Steven Spielberg in 1991. He originally planned to produce a traditionally-animated film based on the book, but John H. Williams convinced him to bring the film to the newly-founded DreamWorks in 1994. Jeffrey Katzenberg began active development of the film in 1995 immediately following the studio's purchase of the rights from Spielberg. Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice for the title character, recording nearly all of the required dialogue. After Farley died in 1997 before the work was finished, Mike Myers stepped in to voice the character, which was changed to a Scottish accent in the process. The film was intended to be motion-captured, but after poor results, the studio decided to hire Pacific Data Images to complete the final computer animation.

Shrek premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or,[5] making it the first animated film since Disney's Peter Pan (1953) to receive that honor.[6] It was widely acclaimed as an animated film that featured adult-oriented humor and themes, while catering to children at the same time. The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 16, 2001, and grossed $484.4 million worldwide against production budget of $60 million. Shrek won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. It also earned six award nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), ultimately winning Best Adapted Screenplay. The film's success helped establish DreamWorks Animation as a prime competitor to Pixar in feature film computer animation, and three sequels were released—Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010)—along with two holiday specials, a spin-off film, and a stage musical that kickstarted the Shrek franchise. A planned fifth film was cancelled in 2009 prior to the fourth film's release, but it has since been revived and has entered development.[7]

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
Based onShrek!
by William Steig
Music by
Edited bySim Evan-Jones
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures[1]1
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million[4]
Box office$484.4 million[4]


Shrek, a green ogre who loves the solitude of his swamp, finds his life interrupted when countless fairytale creatures are exiled there by the fairytale-hating and vertically-challenged Lord Farquaad of Duloc. An angered Shrek decides to ask Farquaad to exile them elsewhere. He brings along a talking Donkey, who is the only fairytale creature willing to guide him to Duloc.

Meanwhile, Farquaad tortures the Gingerbread Man for the location of the remaining fairytale creatures. His guards rush in with something he has been searching for: the Magic Mirror. He asks the Mirror if his kingdom is the fairest of them all but is told that he is not even a king, as he isn't descended from royalty. To be one, he must marry a princess, so Farquaad resolves to marry Princess Fiona, who is locked in a castle tower guarded by a dragon. Unwilling to perform the task himself, he organizes a tournament wherein the winner gets the "privilege" of rescuing Fiona for him. Shrek and Donkey arrive during the tournament, and ignorantly defeat Farquaad's knights. Farquaad proclaims them the champions, and compels them under threat of death to rescue Fiona, promising to move the fairytale creatures from Shrek's swamp if he succeeds.

Shrek and Donkey travel to the castle to find Fiona. They are noticed by Dragon, who corners Donkey. In desperation, he sweet-talks the beast, learning that it is female. Dragon falls in love with Donkey and carries him to her chambers. Meanwhile, Shrek finds Fiona, who is appalled at his lack of romanticism and surprised he had not slain Dragon. They leave after rescuing Donkey, and Fiona is thrilled to be rescued but is quickly disappointed when Shrek reveals he is an ogre. Despite her demands that Farquaad come get her in person, Shrek forcibly carries her as he ventures back to Duloc with Donkey. The three encounter Robin Hood on their way back, where it is revealed that Fiona is an expert martial artist. Shrek and Fiona find they have a lot in common and begin to fall in love.

When the trio is almost at Duloc, Fiona takes shelter in a windmill for the evening. Donkey hears strange noises from within and investigates, finding Fiona transformed into an ogre. She explains that she was cursed during childhood to transform every night, and that only her true love's kiss will change her to "love's true form". Meanwhile, Shrek is about to confess his feelings to Fiona and overhears part of their conversation. He is heartbroken when he mistakes her comment about being an "ugly beast" as disgust toward him. At Donkey's suggestion, Fiona vows to tell Shrek about her curse, but dawn breaks and she turns back into a human. She finds that Shrek has brought Lord Farquaad to the windmill. Confused by Shrek's sudden disposition towards her, Fiona accepts Farquaad's marriage proposal and requests they be married before nightfall. The couple return to Duloc, while a hurt and angry Shrek abandons Donkey and returns to his now-vacated swamp.

An angered Donkey arrives at the swamp, where Shrek reveals that he overheard Donkey and Fiona's conversation. Donkey tells Shrek that she was talking about someone else, and urges Shrek to go after Fiona before she is married. They travel to Duloc quickly by riding Dragon, who had escaped her confines and followed Donkey.

Shrek interrupts the wedding before Farquaad can kiss Fiona. He tells her that Farquaad is not her true love and is only marrying her to become king. The sun sets, which turns Fiona into an ogre in front of everyone, causing a surprised Shrek to fully understand what he overheard. Outraged, Farquaad orders Shrek executed and Fiona detained. Dragon bursts in alongside Donkey and devours Farquaad. Shrek and Fiona profess their love and share a kiss; Fiona's curse is lifted but she is surprised to see that she is still an ogre and not beautiful. Shrek reassures her that she is. They marry in the swamp and leave on their honeymoon.




At the time DreamWorks was founded, producer John H. Williams got hold of the book from his children and when he brought it to DreamWorks, it caught Jeffrey Katzenberg's attention and the studio decided to make it into a film.[15] Recounting the inspiration of making the film, Williams said:

"Every development deal starts with a pitch and my pitch came from my then kindergartner, in collaboration with his pre-school brother. Upon our second reading of Shrek, the kindergartner started quoting large segments of the book pretending he could read them. Even as an adult, I thought Shrek was outrageous, irreverent, iconoclastic, gross, and just a lot of fun. He was a great movie character in search of a movie."[16]

After buying the rights to the film, Katzenberg quickly put it in active development in November 1995.[17][18] Steven Spielberg had thought about making a traditionally animated film adaption of the book before, when he bought the rights to the book in 1991 before the founding of DreamWorks, where Bill Murray would play Shrek and Steve Martin would play Donkey.[19] In the beginning of production, co-director Andrew Adamson refused to be intimidated by Katzenberg and had an argument with him how much should the film appeal to adults. Katzenberg wanted both audiences, but he deemed some of Adamson's ideas, such as adding sexual jokes and Guns N' Roses music to the soundtrack, to be too outrageous.[20][21] Adamson and Kelly Asbury joined in 1997 to co-direct the film. However, Asbury left a year later for work on the 2002 film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and was replaced with story artist Vicky Jenson. Both Adamson and Jenson decided to work on the film in half, so the crew could at least know who to go to with specific detail questions about the film's sequences; "We both ended up doing a lot of everything," Adamson said. "We're both kinda control freaks, and we both wanted to do everything."[22]

Some early sketches of Shrek's house were done between 1996 and 1997 using Photoshop, with the sketches showing Shrek first living in a garbage dump near a human village called Wart Creek. It was also thought one time that he lived with his parents and kept rotting fish in his bedroom.[23] Donkey was modeled after Pericles (born 1994; also known as Perry), a real miniature donkey from Barron Park in Palo Alto, California.[24] Raman Hui, supervising animator of Shrek, stated that Fiona "wasn't based on any real person." and he did many different sketches for her. He had done over 100 sculptures of Fiona before the directors chose the final design.[25] In early development, the art directors visited Hearst Castle, Stratford upon Avon, and Dordogne for inspiration. Art Director Douglas Rogers visited a magnolia plantation in Charleston, South Carolina for inspiration of Shrek's swamp.[26][27] Planned characters not used in the film include Goldilocks and Sleeping Beauty.[28]


Nicolas Cage was initially offered the role of Shrek but he turned it down because he did not want to look like an ogre.[29] In 2013, Cage explained furthermore: "When you're drawn, in a way it says more about how children are going to see you than anything else, and I so care about that."[30]

Mike Myers David Shankbone 2010 NYC
Mike Myers was re-cast as Shrek after Chris Farley's death.

Chris Farley was initially hired to voice Shrek, and he had recorded nearly all of the dialogue for the character, but died before completing the project.[31] A story reel featuring a sample of Farley's recorded dialogue was leaked to the public in August 2015.[32] DreamWorks then re-cast the voice role to Mike Myers, who insisted on a complete script rewrite, to leave no traces of Farley's version of Shrek.[31] According to Myers, he wanted to voice the character "for two reasons: I wanted the opportunity to work with Jeffrey Katzenberg; and [the book is] a great story about accepting yourself for who you are."[16]

After Myers had completed providing the voice for the character, when the film was well into production, he asked to re-record all of his lines with a Scottish accent, similar to that his mother used when she told him bedtime stories and also used for his roles in other films, such as So I Married an Axe Murderer and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.[31] According to the DVD commentary, he had also tried using country and Canadian accents.[33] After hearing the alternative, Katzenberg agreed to redo scenes in the film, saying, "It was so good we took $4m worth of animation out and did it again."[34] A point Myers disputes, saying "it didn't cost the studio ‘millions of dollars,’" as rumored. "What it meant is instead of me going in for ten sessions, I went in for twenty sessions. I got paid the same.”[35] Because of Myers voicing the character, more ideas began to come. There were clearer story points, fresher gags and comedy bits.[36] "I got a letter from Spielberg thanking me so much for caring about the character," Myers said. "And he said the Scottish accent had improved the movie."[37]

Another person planned to voice a character in the film was Janeane Garofalo, who was set to star alongside Farley as Princess Fiona. However, she was fired from the project with little explanation. Years later, Garofalo stated "I was never told why [I was fired]. I assume because I sound like a man sometimes? I don't know why. Nobody told me ... But, you know, the movie didn't do anything, so who cares?"[38]


Shrek was originally set up to be a live-action/CG animation hybrid with background plate miniature sets and the main characters composited into the scene as motion-captured computer graphics, using an ExpertVision Hires Falcon 10 camera system to capture and apply realistic human movement to the characters.[39] A sizable crew was hired to run a test, and after a year and a half of R & D, the test was finally screened in May 1997.[40] The results were not satisfactory, with Katzenberg stating "It looked terrible, it didn't work, it wasn't funny, and we didn't like it."[31] The studio then turned to its production partners at Pacific Data Images (PDI), who began production with the studio in 1998[41] and helped Shrek get to its final, computer-animated look.[31] At this time, Antz was still in production by the studio[31] and Effects Supervisor Ken Bielenberg was asked by Aron Warner "to start development for Shrek."[42] Similar to previous PDI films, PDI used its own proprietary software (like its own Fluid Animation System) for its animated movies. For some elements, however, it also took advantage of some of the powerhouse animation software in the market. This is particularly true with Maya, which PDI used for most of its dynamic cloth animation and for the hair of Fiona and Farquaad.[43]

"We did a lot of work on character and set-up, and then kept changing the set up while we were doing the animation," Hui noted. "In Antz, we had a facial system that gave us all the facial muscles under the skin. In Shrek, we applied that to whole body. So, if you pay attention to Shrek when he talks, you see that when he opens his jaw, he forms a double chin, because we have the fat and the muscles underneath. That kind of detail took us a long time to get right."[44] One of the most difficult parts of creating the film was making Donkey's fur flow smoothly so that it didn't look like that of a Chia Pet. This fell into the hands of the surfacing animators who used flow controls within a complex shader to provide the fur with many attributes (ability to change directions, lie flat, swirl, etc.).[27] It was then the job of the visual effects group, led by Ken Bielenberg, to make the fur react to environment conditions. Once the technology was mastered, it was able to be applied to many aspects of the Shrek movie including grass, moss, beards, eyebrows, and even threads on Shrek's tunic. Making human hair realistic was different from Donkey's fur, requiring a separate rendering system and a lot of attention from the lighting and visual effects teams.[27]

Shrek has 31 sequences, with 1,288 shots in every sequence total.[26] Aron Warner said that the creators "envisioned a magical environment that you could immerse yourself into." Shrek includes 36 separate in-film locations to make the world of the film, which DreamWorks claimed was more than any previous computer-animated feature before. In-film locations were finalized and as demonstrated by past DreamWorks animated movies, color and mood was of the utmost importance.[27]


Shrek is the third DreamWorks animated film (and the only film in the Shrek series) to have Harry Gregson-Williams team up with John Powell to compose the score following Antz (1998) and Chicken Run (2000).[45] John Powell was left out to compose scores for later Shrek films with Williams due to a conflict.[46] The score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Nick Wollage and Slamm Andrews, with the latter mixing it at Media Ventures and Patricia Sullivan-Fourstar handling mastering.[47]

Shrek introduced a new element to give the film a unique feel. The film used pop music and other Oldies to make the story more forward. Covers of songs like "On the Road Again" and "Try a Little Tenderness" were integrated in the film's score.[48] As the film was about to be completed, Katzenberg suggested to the filmmakers to redo the film's ending to "go out with a big laugh"; instead of ending the film with just a storybook closing over Shrek and Fiona as they ride off into the sunset, they decided to add a song "I'm a Believer" covered by Smash Mouth and show all the fairytale creatures in the film.[49]

Although Rufus Wainwright's version of the song "Hallelujah" appeared in the soundtrack album, it was John Cale's version that appeared in the film; in a radio interview, Rufus Wainwright suggested that his version of "Hallelujah" did not appear in the film due to the "glass ceiling" he was hitting because of his sexuality. An alternative explanation is that, although the filmmakers wanted Cale's version for the film, licensing issues prevented its use in the soundtrack album, because Wainwright was an artist for DreamWorks but Cale was not.[50]

Cultural references

In many places the film references classic movies, predominantly those by Disney. When Tinker Bell falls on Donkey and he says "I can fly" and people around including the Three Little Pigs say "He can fly, he can fly"; this is a reference to Disney's Peter Pan. This scene is also a reference to the Disney film Dumbo, where Donkey says, while flying, "You might have seen a house fly, maybe even a super fly, but I bet you ain't never seen a Donkey fly"[51] The scene where Fiona is singing to the blue bird is a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[51] The transformation scene at the end of the film strongly references to Disney's Beauty and the Beast.[51]

When Shrek crosses the bridge to the Castle and says, "That'll do, Donkey, that'll do," this is a reference to the movie Babe.[51] The scene where Princess Fiona is fighting the Merry Men is a lengthy reference to the film The Matrix.[51] At the end of the film, the Gingerbread Man at the end with a crutch (and one leg) says "God bless us, everyone" which is a reference to Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.[51]

In the scene where the Magic Mirror gives Lord Farquaad the option to marry three princesses, it parodies popular American television show The Dating Game featuring: Cinderella and Snow White.[52] In addition, Lord Farquaad's theme park style kingdom Duloc heavily mimics Disneyland, even in so far as parodying the famous 'It's A Small World' musical ride in the scene with the singing puppets.[52]



In 2000, IMAX released CyberWorld onto its branded large-screen theaters. It was a compilation film that featured stereoscopic conversions of various animated shorts and sequences, including the bar sequence in Antz. DreamWorks was so impressed by the technology used for the sequence's "stereoscopic translation", that the studio and IMAX decided to plan a big-screen 3D version of Shrek. The film would have been re-released during the Christmas season of 2001, or the following summer, after its conventional 2D release. The re-release would have also included new sequences and an alternate ending. Plans for this was dropped due to "creative changes" instituted by DreamWorks and resulted in a loss of $1.18 million, down from IMAX's profit of $3.24 million.[53][54][55]

Radio Disney was told not to allow any ads for the film to air on the station, stating, "Due to recent initiatives with The Walt Disney Company, we are being asked not to align ourselves promotionally with this new release Shrek. Stations may accept spot dollars only in individual markets."[56] The restriction was later relaxed to allow ads for the film's soundtrack album onto the network.[57]

On May 7, 2001, Burger King began promotions for the film, giving out a selection of nine exclusive Candy Caddies based on the Shrek characters, in Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal orders.[58] Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins also ran an 8-week promotion of the film, selling products such as Shrek's Hot Sludge Sundae, a combination of Oreo Cookies 'n Cream ice cream, hot fudge, crushed chocolate cookies, whipped cream and squiggly gummy worms, and Shrek Freeze Frame Cake, featuring an image of Shrek and Donkey framed by sunflowers. This was to support the film's DVD/VHS release.[59]

Home media

The film was released by DreamWorks Home Entertainment on VHS and DVD on November 2, 2001. Both releases included Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party, a 3-minute musical short film, that takes up right after Shrek's ending, with film's characters performing a medley of modern pop songs.[60]

Shrek was released to video the same day that Pixar's Monsters, Inc. hit theaters. Since videos were traditionally released on Tuesdays, Disney's executives did not receive this well, saying that the move "seemed like an underhanded attempt to siphon off some of their film's steam". DreamWorks responded that it "simply shifted the release to a Friday to make it more of an event and predicted that it and other studios would do so more frequently with important films." Monsters, Inc. earned that weekend more than $62 million, breaking the record for an animated film, while Shrek's video release made more than $100 million,[61] and eventually became the biggest selling DVD of all time with over 5.5 million sales.[62]

A 3D version of the film was released on Blu-ray 3D by Paramount Home Entertainment on December 1, 2010, along with its sequels. The films were sold separately in 2012.[63]


Critical response

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 88% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 201 reviews; the weighted average score is 7.8/10. The critical consensus is "While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride."[64] On Metacritic the film has a rating of 84% based on 34 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[65]

Roger Ebert praised the film, giving it four stars out of a possible four and describing it as "jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart."[66] USA Today's Susan Wloszczyna praised Eddie Murphy's performance, stating it "gives the comic performance of his career, aided by sensational digital artistry, as he brays for the slightly neurotic motormouth."[67] Richard Schickel of Time also enjoyed Murphy's role, stating "No one has ever made a funnier jackass of himself than Murphy."[68] Peter Rainer of New York magazine liked the script, also stating "The animation, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, is often on the same wriggly, giggly level as the script, although the more "human" characters, such as Princess Fiona and Lord Farquaad, are less interesting than the animals and creatures—a common pitfall in animated films of all types."[69] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote "Shrek is a world-class charmer that could even seduce the Academy when it hands out the first official animation Oscar next year."[70] James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Shrek is not a guilty pleasure for sophisticated movie-goers; it is, purely and simply, a pleasure."[71] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote "The witty, fractured fairy tale Shrek has a solid base of clever writing."[72] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying "A kind of palace coup, a shout of defiance, and a coming of age for DreamWorks."[73] Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel wrote "It's a pleasure to be able to report that the movie both captures and expands upon the book's playful spirit of deconstruction."[74]

Steven Rosen of The Denver Post wrote "DreamWorks Pictures again proves a name to trust for imaginative, funny animated movies that delight kids and adults equally."[75] Susan Stark of The Detroit News gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Swift, sweet, irreverent, rangy and as spirited in the writing and voice work as it is splendid in design."[76] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film four out of four stars, saying "A fat green ogre with a grouchy disposition and worse manners, Shrek is the sort of unlikely hero that nobody could love -- except just about everyone who sees this hip and hilarious animated delight."[77] Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News gave the film four out of four stars, saying "The brilliance of the voice work, script, direction and animation all serve to make Shrek an adorable, infectious work of true sophistication."[78] Rene Rodriguez gave the film three out of four stars, calling it "a gleefully fractured fairy tale that never becomes cynical or crass".[79] Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Beating up on the irritatingly dainty Disney trademarks is nothing new; it's just that it has rarely been done with the demolition-derby zest of Shrek."[80] William Steig, the author of the original book, and his wife Jeanne Steig also enjoyed the film, stating "We all went sort of expecting to hate it, thinking, 'What has Hollywood done to it?' But we loved it. We were afraid it would be too sickeningly cute and, instead, Bill just thought they did a wonderful, witty job of it."[81]

John Anderson of Newsday wrote "The kind of movie that will entertain everyone of every age and probably for ages to come."[82] John Zebrowski of The Seattle Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying "The movie is helped immensely by its cast, who carry it through some of the early, sluggish scenes. But this is Murphy's movie. Donkey gets most of the good lines, and Murphy hits every one."[83] Jay Carr of The Boston Globe wrote "In an era when much on film seems old, Shrek seems new and fresh and clever."[84] Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post gave the film five out of five stars, saying "Despite all its high-tech weirdness, it is really that most perdurable of human constructions, a tale told well and true."[85] Joe Baltake of The Sacramento Bee wrote that it "isn't so much a fractured spoof of everything Disney, but actually a Monty Python flick for kids – kids of all ages".[84] Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer wrote "What gives Shrek its special artistic distinction is its witty and knowingly sassy dialogue, delivered by vocally charismatic performers whose voices remind us of their stellar screen personae in live-action movies."[86] Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader wrote "This romantic fantasy complicates the roles of beauty and beast, making it hard to guess what form a sensitive resolution will take."[87] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote "The charms of Shrek, which is based on the children's book by William Steig, go far beyond in-jokes for adults."[88]

A mixed review came from Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune, who gave the film two and a half stars out of four and compared the film to Toy Story 2, saying it "had a higher in-jokes/laughs ratio without straining to demonstrate its hipness or to evoke heartfelt emotions."[89] On the more negative side, Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice said he was "desperately avoiding the risk of even a half-second of boredom", and said "the movie is wall-to-window-to-door noise, babbling, and jokes (the first minute sees the first fart gag), and demographically it's a hard-sell shotgun spray."[90] Christy Lemire of the Associated Press described Shrek as a "90-minute onslaught of in-jokes", and said while it "strives to have a heart" with "a message about beauty coming from within", "somehow [the message] rings hollow."[84] Anthony Lane of The New Yorker said, despite the film "cunning the rendering of surfaces, there's still something flat and charmless in the digital look, and most of the pleasure rises not from the main romance but from the quick, incidental gags."[91]

Box office

Shrek opened on around 6,000 screens[92] across 3,587 theaters;[93] eleven of them showed the film digitally, made possible by the THX Division of Lucasfilm.[94] This was the first time that DreamWorks had shown one of its films digitally.[95] The film earned $11.6 million on its first day and $42.3 million on its opening weekend, topping the box office for the weekend and averaging $11,805 from 3,587 theaters.[96] In its second weekend, due to the Memorial Day Weekend holiday, the film gained 0.3 percent to $42.5 million and $55.2 million over the four-day weekend, resulting in an overall 30 percent gain.[97] Despite this, the film finished in second place behind Pearl Harbor and had an average of $15,240 from expanding to 3,623 sites.[97] In its third weekend, the film retreated 34 percent to $28.2 million for a $7,695 average from expanding to 3,661 theaters.[98] The film closed on December 6, 2001, after grossing $267.7 million domestically, along with $216.7 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $484.4 million.[4] Produced on a $60 million budget, the film was a huge box office smash and is the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001 behind Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Monsters, Inc..[4] The film sold an estimated 47,290,600 tickets in North America.[99]

Shrek became the highest-grossing animated film ever to be released in Australia, passing the mark set by The Lion King in 1994.[100] In the United Kingdom, Shrek regained the top spot at the British box office after being beaten out the previous week by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, earning a $20.3 million since its opening in the UK.[101]


At the 74th Academy Awards, Shrek won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, beating Monsters, Inc. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.[102] Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "Prince Charming? So last millennium. This decade, fairy-tale fans – and Princess Fiona – fell for a fat and flatulent Ogre. Now, that's progress."[103] It was nominated for The Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.[104]

Shrek was also nominated for 6 BAFTA Awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film. Eddie Murphy became the first actor to ever receive a BAFTA nomination for a voice-over performance. The film was also nominated for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Film Music, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.[105] Shrek was nominated for a dozen Annie Awards from ASIFA-Hollywood, and won eight Annies including Best Animated Feature and Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production.[106]

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"; the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community Shrek was acknowledged as the eighth best film in the animated genre, and the only non-Disney·Pixar film in the Top 10.[107][108] Shrek was also ranked second in a Channel 4 poll of the "100 Greatest Family Films", losing out on the top spot to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[109] In 2005, Shrek came sixth in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Cartoons poll behind The Simpsons, Tom and Jerry, South Park, Toy Story and Family Guy.[110] In November 2009, the character, Lord Farquaad, was listed No. 14 in IGN UK's "Top 15 Fantasy Villains".[111] In 2006, it was ranked third on Bravo's 100 funniest films list.[112] The film's title character was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2010.[113]

American Film Institute recognition:


Shrek premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or,[5] making it the first animated film since Disney's Peter Pan (1953) to receive that honor.[6]


Previous films and TV shows, such as Fractured Fairy Tales and The Princess Bride, have parodied the traditional fairy tale.[114] However, Shrek itself has noticeably influenced the current generation of mainstream animated films.[114] Particularly after Shrek 2, animated films began to incorporate more pop culture references and end-film musical numbers.[114] Such elements can be seen in films like Robots, Chicken Little and Doogal.[114] It also inspired a number of computer animated films which also spoofed fairy tales, or other related story genres, often including adult-oriented humor, most of which were not nearly as successful as Shrek, such as Happily N'Ever After, Igor, and Hoodwinked![114] On November 29, 2018, YouTube channel 3GI, along with over 200 animators and content creators, released Shrek Retold, a scene-for-scene recreation of the original movie.[115]

Other media

Several video game adaptations of the film have been published on various game console platforms, including Shrek (2001), Shrek: Hassle at the Castle (2002), Shrek: Extra Large (2002), Shrek: Super Party (2002) and Shrek SuperSlam (2005).[116] Shrek was also included as a bonus unlockable character in the video game Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (2004).[117]

In 2003, Dark Horse Comics released a Shrek three-issue mini-series comic book adaptation, written by Mark Evanier, which were collected into a trade paperback.[118]

A musical version, based on the film, with music by Jeanine Tesori and a book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, opened on Broadway on December 14, 2008, and closed January 3, 2010, running for a total of 441 performances.[119] It starred Brian d'Arcy James in the title role, Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, Daniel Breaker as Donkey, and John Tartaglia as Pinocchio.[119] The Broadway production was recorded and released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital media.[120][121][122] A North American Tour opened July 25, 2010, in Chicago.[119] A London production opened in the West End on June 7, 2011.[123] The musical received many Tony Award nominations and won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Costume Design. It received five Laurence Olivier Award nominations including Best New Musical.[124]

A shot-for-shot fan remake titled Shrek Retold was released through 3GI Industries on November 29, 2018. The project was a collaboration of 200 filmmakers and mixes live action, hand drawn animation, Flash animation, CGI and various other art forms to recreate the film. The film is available on YouTube for free.[125][126]

Sequels and spin-offs

Shrek has three sequels: Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010). Although Shrek 2 received similar acclaim from critics,[127] the following two movies after received some mixed reviews.[128][129] They were, however, still box office hits.[130][131] There were also two holiday specials entitled Shrek the Halls and Scared Shrekless, a spin-off Puss in Boots (a prequel to the Shrek series, exploring the origins of Puss in Boots, a character in the Shrek sequels), and several shorts.[132] A fifth feature film was also planned for release, but was later cancelled in 2009, after it was decided that Shrek Forever After (originally titled Shrek Goes Fourth) was to be the last film in the series.[132] However, in July 2016, the fifth film was announced and is set for release in 2019.[133] On November 6, 2018, it was reported by Variety that Chris Meledandri had been tasked to reboot both Shrek and Puss in Boots, with the original cast potentially returning.[134][135]


  1. ^ In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures (owners of the pre-2005 DreamWorks Pictures catalog)[136] and transferred to 20th Century Fox (DreamWorks' then-distribution partner) before reverting to Universal Pictures (DreamWorks' current parent company) in 2018.


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  • Blair, Iain (May 5, 2001). "The Making of Shrek". Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  • Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

External links

Antonio Banderas

José Antonio Domínguez Bandera (born 10 August 1960), known professionally as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish actor, director, producer, and singer. He began his acting career with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar and then appeared in high-profile Hollywood films, especially in the 1990s, including Assassins, Evita, Interview with the Vampire, Philadelphia, Desperado, The Mask of Zorro, Take the Lead, The Expendables 3 and Spy Kids. Banderas also provided the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek series and its spin-off film Puss in Boots as well as the bee in the U.S. Nasonex commercials.

Donkey (Shrek)

Donkey is a fictional fast-talking donkey created by William Steig and adapted by DreamWorks Animation for the Shrek franchise. The character is voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Eddie Murphy

Edward Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American comedian, actor, screen writer, singer, and film producer. Murphy was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984. He has worked as a stand-up comedian and was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.In films, Murphy has received Golden Globe Award nominations for his performances in 48 Hrs., the Beverly Hills Cop series, Trading Places, and The Nutty Professor. In 2007, he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of soul singer James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls.Murphy's work as a voice actor in films includes Thurgood Stubbs in The PJs, Donkey in DreamWorks Animation's Shrek series, and the Chinese dragon Mushu in Disney's Mulan. In some films, he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character, intended as a tribute to one of his idols Peter Sellers, who played multiple roles in Dr. Strangelove and elsewhere. He has played multiple roles in Coming to America, Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn, the Nutty Professor films (where he played the title role in two incarnations, plus his character's father, brother, mother, and grandmother), Bowfinger, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit, and Meet Dave. As of 2014, Murphy's films have grossed over $3.8 billion in the United States and Canada box office and $6.6 billion worldwide. In 2015, his films made him the sixth-highest grossing actor in the United States.In 2015, Murphy was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

List of Shrek characters

This is a list of characters that appear in the Shrek franchise and spin-offs from it.

List of songs featured in Shrek

The Shrek Soundtracks are a collection of soundtracks from all four movies of the Shrek series, including separate editions for the movie score. Each soundtrack contains all songs that featured in their respective film, and the score soundtrack contains the music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell.

Lord Farquaad

Lord Maximus Farquaad is the main antagonist of the 2001 animated feature film Shrek, as well as Shrek 4-D and the musical. He is voiced by John Lithgow. He does not appear in William Steig's original picture book of the same name.

Mike Myers

Michael John Myers (born May 25, 1963) is a Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer. He is known for his run as a performer on Saturday Night Live from 1989 to 1995, and for playing the title roles in the Wayne's World, Austin Powers, and Shrek films. He made his directorial debut with the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013) and had a small role in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Princess Fiona

Princess Fiona is a fictional character who appears in DreamWorks' Shrek franchise, first appearing in the animated film Shrek (2001). One of the film series' main characters, Fiona is introduced as a beautiful princess placed under a curse that transforms her into an ogress nightly, initially determined to break the enchantment by kissing a prince, only to meet and fall in love with Shrek, an ogre, instead. The character's origins and relationships with other characters are further explored in subsequent films, introducing her new husband Shrek to her parents in Shrek 2 (2004), who struggle to accept Fiona's decision to marry him, becoming a mother by Shrek the Third (2007) and an empowered warrior in Shrek Forever After (2010), much of which takes place in an alternate reality in which Fiona never meets Shrek.

Created by screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, Fiona is loosely based on the unsightly princess in William Steig's children's book Shrek!, from which her role and appearance were significantly modified. The screenwriters adapted the character into a princess under an enchantment that induces shapeshifting, an idea that was initially greatly contested by the other filmmakers. Fiona is voiced by actress Cameron Diaz. Comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo had originally been cast as the character until she was fired from the first film with little explanation, although it is believed that the producers found Garofalo's sarcastic approach to the princess no longer suitable after Shrek's original voice actor passed away, replacing her with a kinder-sounding actress. Fiona was one of the first human characters to have a lead role in a computer-animated film, thus the animators aspired to make her both beautiful and realistic in appearance. However, an early test screening resulted in children reacting negatively towards the character's uncanny realism, prompting the animators to re-design Fiona into a more cartoonish heroine.

The character is considered to be a parody of traditional princesses who appear in fairy tales and animated Disney films. Reception towards Fiona has been generally positive, with critics commending her characterization and use of martial arts, which references the films The Matrix (1999) and Diaz's Charlie's Angels (2000). However, reviewers were divided over the character's human design, some of whom were impressed by the technological innovations while others found her realism to be unsettling, citing her likeness to Diaz. Several media publications consider Fiona to be a feminist icon, crediting her with subverting princess and gender stereotypes. Diaz also became one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses due to her role in the Shrek franchise, earning $3 million for her performance in the first film and upwards of $10 million for each sequel.

Puss in Boots (Shrek)

Puss in Boots is a supporting character in the Shrek franchise and the title character (and main protagonist) of the film Puss in Boots (2011). He made his first appearance in the film Shrek 2 (2004), soon becoming Shrek's partner and helper (alongside Donkey). In the film Shrek the Third (2007), Puss helps Shrek find the heir to the throne of the Far Far Away Kingdom. The film Shrek Forever After (2010) is primarily set in an alternate universe, where Puss is Princess Fiona's pet and has gained weight after his retirement. In the spin-off and prequel Puss in Boots, his origins are described. Puss also appears in the Netflix television series centered on him, The Adventures of Puss in Boots.

Puss was inspired by the title character of the fairy tale "Puss in Boots". His design, created by Tom Hester, was based on real cats. Several characters were used as inspirations for Puss's characterization, such as Zorro and Indiana Jones. The idea of Puss as the main protagonist of a film was explored after his debut appearance. Antonio Banderas voices Puss in the English, Spanish, and Italian dubs of the Shrek franchise. While he initially tried a high-pitched voice for the character, he and the Shrek 2 filmmakers decided on a tone that was deeper than his normal voice. Banderas said that voicing Puss was an important part of his career. Eric Bauza provides Puss's voice in The Adventures of Puss in Boots.

The character has received generally-positive reviews, with critics praising his depiction and considering him a source of comic relief. Reviewers have regarded Puss as a popular Shrek character. Banderas's voice acting has also been praised. Merchandise inspired by the character has been produced.


Shrek! is a picture book published in 1990 by American cartoonist William Steig, about a repugnant and monstrous green creature who leaves home to see the world and ends up saving a princess. The name "Shrek" is the romanization of the Yiddish word שרעק, corresponding to German Schreck and meaning "fear" or "fright", but also used as a common exclamation, often in the form Oy Shrek!.The book served as the basis for the popular Shrek film series over a decade after its publication.

Shrek (character)

Shrek is a fictional ogre character created by American author William Steig. Shrek is the protagonist of the book of the same name and of eponymous films by DreamWorks Animation. The name "Shrek" is derived from the German word Schreck, meaning "fright" or "terror". Shrek is voiced by Mike Myers, although it was planned for him to be voiced by Chris Farley before his death in December 1997, and played by Brian d'Arcy James in the musical.

On May 21, 2010, Shrek received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named him one of the "100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years", placing 15th.

Shrek (franchise)

The Shrek franchise from DreamWorks Animation, based on William Steig's picture book Shrek!, include four computer-animated films: Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010), with a fifth film currently in the works. A short 4-D film, Shrek 4-D, which originally was a theme park ride, was released in 2003.

Two television specials, the Christmas television special Shrek the Halls (2007) and the Halloween television special Scared Shrekless (2010), have also been produced. A spin-off film titled Puss in Boots was released in October 2011, and a 2008 Broadway musical adaption was produced for two years.

The series primarily focuses on Shrek, a reclusive and grouchy yet kindhearted ogre, who becomes a respected hero with an ever growing collection of friends and family in a fairy tale world in spite of himself.

In May 2010, The New York Times called the principal Shrek characters "brilliantly realized" and said "nearly a decade after the first Shrek film they remain as vital and engaging fusions of image, personality and voice as any characters in the history of animation." The series was a financial success, becoming the 16th highest-grossing franchise of all time and the second highest-grossing animated franchise.

Shrek 2

Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon. It is the sequel to 2001's Shrek and the second installment in the Shrek film franchise. The film stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, who reprise their respective voice roles of Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona. They are joined by new characters voiced by Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, and Jennifer Saunders. Shrek 2 takes place following the events of the first film, with Shrek and Donkey meeting Fiona's parents as her zealous Fairy Godmother, who wants Fiona to marry her son Prince Charming, plots to destroy Shrek and Fiona's marriage. Shrek and Donkey team up with a swashbuckling cat named Puss in Boots to foil her plans.

Development began in 2001, and following disagreements with producers, the screenwriters from the first film were replaced with Adamson. The story was inspired by Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), and new animation tools were utilized to improve the visual appearance of each character, particularly Puss in Boots. The lead actors also received a significant bump in salary to $10 million, which at the time was among the highest contracts in their respective careers.

Shrek 2 premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or, and it was released in theatres on May 19, 2004. Met with favorable reviews like its predecessor, the film grossed $919.8 million worldwide. It scored the second-largest, three-day opening weekend in US history and the largest opening for an animated film at the time of its release. It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 2004 worldwide. Shrek 2 is also DreamWorks' most successful film to date, and it held the title of being the highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide until Toy Story 3 surpassed it in 2010. The film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and its associated soundtrack reached the Top 10 on the US Billboard 200. A sequel entitled Shrek the Third was released in 2007.

Shrek 4-D

Shrek 4-D (also known as Shrek 3-D for the DVD release, and The Ghost of Lord Farquaad for the Netflix release) is a 4D film at various theme parks around the world. It is currently shown at Universal Parks & Resorts in Florida, Japan, and Singapore, and formerly in Hollywood, where it closed on August 13, 2017 to make way for the DreamWorks Theatre attraction. Outside the Universal parks, the movie was shown at Movie Park Germany in Germany from May 2008 until July 2011, and Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia from September 2005 until August 2010. A spin-off attraction titled Donkey's Photo Finish is located at the Florida venue while Meet Shrek and Donkey is located at the Hollywood venue. In Universal Studios Japan, the attraction is shown in the same theater as Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, with the Shrek 4-D film shown for the first half of the day, and the Sesame Street film shown for the second half of the day.

Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After (previously promoted as Shrek: The Final Chapter) is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film by DreamWorks Animation. It is the fourth installment in the Shrek film franchise and the sequel to Shrek the Third (2007). The film was directed by Mike Mitchell from a script by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, and stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, and John Cleese reprising their previous roles, with Walt Dohrn introduced in the role of Rumpelstiltskin. The plot follows Shrek struggling as a family man with no privacy, who yearns for the days when he was once feared. He is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into signing a contract that leads to disastrous consequences.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2010. It was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on May 21, 2010, in 3D and IMAX 3D formats. The film debuted as the top-grossing film at the box office, a position it held for three consecutive weeks in the United States and Canada, grossing a worldwide total of $752 million and becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2010. In addition, Shrek Forever After became DreamWorks Animation's second-highest-grossing film at the foreign box office. Although originally marketed as the final installment in the film franchise, a fifth Shrek film has unofficially been reported to be in production with speculation it could be released as early as 2019.

Shrek The Musical

Shrek The Musical is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It is based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation's film Shrek and William Steig's 1990 book Shrek!. After a trial run in Seattle, the original Broadway production opened in December 2008 and closed after a run of over 12 months in January 2010. It was followed by a tour of the United States which opened in 2010, and a re-vamped West End production from June 2011 to February 2013. Since its debut, the musical's rights have been available for independent theaters overseas, who have chosen to stage their own versions.

A high definition filming of the Broadway production was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on October 15, 2013 in North America and December 2, 2013 in the United Kingdom.

Shrek fandom

DreamWorks Animation's Shrek film series, based on William Steig's book of the same name, has a large underground Internet fandom that started around 2009. With the fanbase described by some people as an ironic liking towards the series, there have been several sexually explicit memes based on the title character. The most notable example is a 2013 metameme centered on a video called "Shrek Is Love, Shrek Is Life," which is based on a post originating on 4chan's /b/ board. Fans of Shrek are known as "Brogres", a take on the name "Bronies", the teen and adult fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. A "Shrek Filmmaker" movement of Source Filmmaker animators making videos based on the Internet's obsession towards the character has also occurred. According to New York, Shrek was "one of the patron saints of the elaborate and complex culture of Dank Memedom."

Shrek the Halls

Shrek the Halls is an American Christmas computer-animated comedy television special that premiered on the American television network ABC on Wednesday, November 28, 2007. The thirty minute Christmas special was directed by Gary Trousdale and produced by DreamWorks Animation. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas reprised their roles from the feature films. This Christmas special takes place between Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After.

Shrek the Third

Shrek the Third (also known as Shrek 3) is a 2007 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the sequel to 2001's Shrek and 2004's Shrek 2 and the third installment in the Shrek film franchise. The film was directed by Chris Miller and co-directed by Raman Hui from a screenplay by Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Miller, and Aron Warner. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, and John Cleese reprise their voice roles from the previous film, along with new additions Justin Timberlake as Arthur Pendragon and Eric Idle as Merlin. In Shrek the Third, Prince Charming is plotting to overthrow Shrek and Fiona, who have inherited the throne following King Harold's death. Shrek, who realizes an ogre is not fit to be king, attempts to convince Fiona's underachieving, 16-year-old cousin Artie to take the reigns.

The film premiered at the Mann Village Theatre, Westwood in Los Angeles on May 6, 2007, and was released in the United States on May 18, 2007, exactly six years after the first film was released. The film grossed $799 million on a $160 million budget, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2007. The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus stated that it lacked the "heart, charm, and wit" of previous films. It was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film at the 61st British Academy Film Awards. Shrek the Third was the final film in the Shrek franchise to be produced by Pacific Data Images, before its closure in 2015. It was followed by a fourth film, Shrek Forever After, in 2010.

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