Cover art for Shrek: The Whole Story, which includes the first four Shrek films.
|Films and television|
The Shrek franchise from DreamWorks Animation, based on William Steig's picture book Shrek!, consists of four computer-animated films including: Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010), with a fifth film set for a 2019 or 2020 release. 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.
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 12th highest-grossing franchise of all time, and the highest-grossing animated franchise.
Shrek, a solitary ogre, finds a surprise when fairy tale creatures are sent to live in his swamp by Lord Farquaad. He befriends a talking Donkey, and they set off to meet with Farquaad. The latter needs Princess Fiona to marry him so he will become the king of Duloc. When Shrek and Donkey visit him, they are forced to rescue her from an enormous fire-breathing dragon. The Dragon turns out to be a girl, and she falls in love with Donkey.
Donkey, Shrek and Fiona escape, and Dragon chases them. Once Shrek and Donkey rescue Fiona, they take her back to Lord Farquaad. Along the way, Shrek falls in love with Fiona. She reveals to Donkey that she is cursed and turns into an ogress at night. The only way the curse can be broken is by true love's first kiss. Fiona and Farquaad have a marriage ceremony, but they are interrupted by Shrek, who tells Fiona he loves her.
Donkey and Dragon enter, and Dragon eats Farquaad. Shrek and Fiona kiss, and Fiona turns into an ogress permanently. Shrek gets his swamp back, and the two marry there. After a karaoke party the newlyweds set off on their honeymoon.
Shrek 2 (2004)
The second film opens with Prince Charming on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from the Dragon. When he gets there, he finds the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs in Fiona's bed. He asks the wolf where Fiona is and the wolf tells him that she is on her honeymoon with Shrek. Once Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon, they find Donkey in the swamp who tells them he and Dragon are going through a rough patch. They then get invited to the land of Far Far Away by Fiona's parents and who want to bless their marriage.
When they arrive, Shrek and Fiona are not what they expected. The Fairy Godmother and her son, Prince Charming, are trying to break up Shrek's marriage by making Fiona fall in love with Prince Charming. However it does not work and Shrek and Fiona stay together. Shrek and Donkey get a new sidekick called Puss in Boots. They have a lengthy quest to search the Fairy Godmother's cottage to get a love potion. Shrek and Donkey drink the potion and they become something quite unexpected. Shrek becomes human and Donkey becomes a horse. Since Shrek drank the potion, it also affected Fiona as she woke up to seeing her human form once again.
At the end of the film, King Harold turns back into a frog after being struck with the Fairy Godmother's magic.
Shrek the Third (2007)
Shrek and Fiona are reluctantly reigning over Far, Far Away during King Harold's prolonged illness. The King promises that if they can find Fiona's cousin Artie, he will make him the next in line, so Shrek would not have to run the country after his death. As Shrek, Donkey and Puss set off to find Artie, Fiona reveals she is pregnant.
Shrek is shocked as he believes he will not be a good father and will ruin his child's life. This is reinforced by his relationship with his own father, where "he tried to eat me." After finding Artie, Artie is frightened of being king, and they end up on an island where they meet Artie's former magic teacher, Merlin. Meanwhile, Charming plots to overthrow Shrek and become king, but this is foiled by Shrek.
The film ends with Shrek and Fiona caring for their newborn ogre triplets.
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Shrek has become a domesticated family man, living happily with Princess Fiona and the triplets. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitchforks. Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre", Shrek is tricked into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far, Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumplestiltskin is king, Puss is obese, Donkey does not know who Shrek is, and Shrek and Fiona have never met.
Shrek joins the Resistance and meets Fiona, but she doesn't love him. Rumpelstiltskin sets bounty on Shrek and uses the Pied Piper; as a reward for finding Shrek, he offers a "deal of a lifetime". Shrek turns himself in and instead of asking for his life back, frees the captured ogres. The ogres then ambush the palace, and Shrek and Fiona battle Dragon. As the twenty four hours are almost up and Shrek lays dying, Fiona kisses him and everything reverts to Shrek's universe.
At the end, instead of storming out of the triplets' birthday party, Shrek kisses Fiona and appreciates all that he has, truly living happily forever after.
Fifth film (2019/2020)
Following the success of Shrek 2 in May 2004, Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed that the Shrek story had been outlined into five films almost from the beginning. "Before the first one was finished we talked about what the whole story of Shrek is, and each of the chapters answers questions about the first movie and gives us an insight," said Katzenberg, "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie." After the release of Shrek the Third in 2007, Katzenberg announced that the fifth film would be released in 2013.
In May 2009, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced that the fourth film's title would be Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. Later in 2009, that was confirmed by Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DWA, with him saying: "All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film."
Josh Klausner, one of the writers of Shrek Forever After, explained in 2010 the script's evolution: "When I first came onto the project, it wasn't supposed to be the final chapter — there were originally going to be 5 Shrek movies. Then, about a year into the development, Jeffrey Katzenberg decided that the story that we'd come up with was the right way for Shrek's journey to end."
In February 2014, in an interview with Fox Business Network, Katzenberg hinted that a fifth film may still be made. "We like to let them have a little bit of time to rest," he said of the characters. "But I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the Shrek series. We're not finished, and more importantly, neither is he."
On June 15, 2016, after NBCUniversal purchased DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke discussed plans to revive the franchise, as well as other DreamWorks films. In July 2016, The Hollywood Reporter cited sources saying that the fifth film is planned for a 2019 release. In September 2016, Eddie Murphy confirmed that the film is expected to be released in 2019 or 2020, and that the script had been completed. According to Shrek Forever After director, Mike Mitchell, the story for the film was written by Austin Powers writer, Michael McCullers, based on his own idea.
Puss in Boots (2011)
Puss in Boots is a computer-animated American action comedy film that was released on October 28, 2011. The film is based on and follows the character of Puss in Boots on his adventures with Kitty Softpaws and mastermind Humpty Dumpty before his first appearance in Shrek 2.
Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves (TBA)
In November 2012, executive producer Guillermo del Toro said that a couple of drafts for a sequel were already done, and that the director Chris Miller wants to take Puss on an adventure to exotic places. In April 2014, Antonio Banderas, the voice of Puss, said that the work on the sequel had just begun. On June 12, 2014, the movie was titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves and was scheduled to be released on November 2, 2018.
Two months later, it was moved back to December 21, 2018. In January 2015, Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves was removed from the release schedule, following corporate restructuring, and DreamWorks Animation's new policy to release two films a year. Two months later, Banderas said in an interview that the script was under restructuring, and that Shrek may appear in the film.
Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party
Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party is a 2001 3-minute musical short film, included on the Shrek VHS and the Shrek 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. It takes place during the last scene of Shrek (before Shrek and Fiona leave on their honeymoon), with the film's characters performing a medley of modern pop songs.
Shrek 4-D, also known as Shrek 3-D, Shrek 4D Adventure, Shrek's Never Before Seen Adventure, and The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, is a 4-D film/ride at various theme parks around the world. It premiered in 2003 at Universal Studios Florida, and was released on DVD. The short takes place right after the first Shrek film. Lord Farquaad returns from the dead to kidnap Princess Fiona and it is up to Shrek and Donkey to rescue her.
Far Far Away Idol
Far Far Away Idol is a five-minute short, released in November 2004, as an extra on the Shrek 2 DVD. It is based on American Idol and guest stars Simon Cowell. Taking place right after Shrek 2 ends, the film's supporting characters hold a singing competition, with Shrek, Fiona and Simon Cowell as the judges.
Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular
Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular is a five-minute short released as a part of the holiday program Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular, which was released on December 7, 2010, with Shrek: The Whole Story box set and Shrek Forever After.
This short takes place in the Candy Apple, the new version of the Poison Apple. Donkey suggests everyone sing Christmas carols. Donkey sings "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Shrek, Fiona, the Ogre children, and the army of ogres sing an ogre version of "Jingle Bells" (such as "Bug Cocoon, Lick the spoon. Try our cricket slurp). Puss in Boots sings "Feliz Navidad", although he titles it "Fleas Navidad". Then everyone sings "Jingle Bell Rock" as "Fairy Tale Rock".
Thriller Night is a six-minute short film parody of Michael Jackson's music video Thriller. It was directed by Gary Trousdale, and released on September 13, 2011, on the Scared Shrekless DVD. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 28, 2012, as a part of Shrek's Thrilling Tales (Shrek's Spooky Stories).
Deceased characters such as Farquaad, Mongo, Fifi, Fairy Godmother and King Harold in his frog form appear as zombies. A 3D version of the short was added in October 2011 to the Nintendo Video service for Nintendo 3DS owners.
The Pig Who Cried Werewolf
The Pig Who Cried Werewolf is a six-minute 3D Halloween short film, directed by Gary Trousdale and released on October 4, 2011, for a limited time, exclusively on the Nintendo Video service on Nintendo 3DS. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 28, 2012, as a part of Shrek's Thrilling Tales (DreamWorks's Spooky Stories).
The Three Little Pigs find themselves in trouble when they ignore the warning signs of a new neighbour moving in next door who takes on a ferocious form during a full moon.
Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos
Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos is a 13-minute CG animated short film, directed by Raman Hui, and was released on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Puss in Boots on February 24, 2012. The short tells a story of Puss in Boots on a mission to recover princess' stolen ruby from the notorious French thief, Whisperer. Reluctantly accompanied by three little kittens, The Three Diablos, Puss must tame them before they endanger the mission.
Shrek the Halls
Shrek the Halls is a 22-minute television special, set shortly after the events of Shrek the Third (and before the events of Shrek Forever After) as Shrek and Fiona's children are still infants, that premiered on the American television network ABC on Wednesday, November 28, 2007.
Scared Shrekless is a 21-minute television special set shortly after the events of Shrek Forever After. Shrek challenges Donkey, Puss in Boots and his other fairy tale friends to spend the night in Lord Farquaad's haunted castle, telling scary stories to see who can resist becoming scared and stay the longest. The special premiered on the American television network NBC on Thursday, October 28, 2010.
The Adventures of Puss in Boots
A television series, starring Puss from the Shrek franchise, debuted on Netflix on January 16, 2015.
Despite the advances in computing power over the 2000s decade, the increasing usage of novel techniques like global illumination, physics simulation, and 3D demanded ever more CPU hours to render the films. DreamWorks Animation noticed that every Shrek film took roughly twice the CPU hours than the previous film and thus labelled this trend as the "Shrek's law". Similar to "Moore's law" the Shrek's law says, "The CPU render hours needed to complete production on a theatrical sequel will double compared to the amount of time needed on the previous film."
In 2001, Shrek required approximately 5 million CPU render hours. In 2004, Shrek 2 required over 10 million CPU render hours. In 2007, Shrek the Third required over 20 million CPU render hours, and the 2010 3D release of Shrek Forever After demanded more than 50 million CPU render hours on behalf of rendering double amount of frames. Puss in Boots, which was released only one year after the previous Shrek film, utilized 63 million render hours.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
| North America
(approx. ticket sales)
|Other territories||Worldwide||All time US and Canada||All time worldwide|
|Shrek||May 18, 2001|| $267,665,011
|Shrek 2||May 19, 2004|| $441,226,247
|Shrek the Third||May 18, 2007|| $322,719,944
|Shrek Forever After||May 21, 2010|| $238,736,787
|Puss in Boots||October 28, 2011|| $149,260,504
| List indicator(s)
Critical and public reception
|Shrek||88% (201 reviews)||84 (34 reviews)||A|
|Shrek 2||88% (233 reviews)||75 (40 reviews)||A|
|Shrek the Third||40% (206 reviews)||58 (35 reviews)||B+|
|Shrek Forever After||58% (189 reviews)||58 (35 reviews)||A|
|Puss in Boots||84% (143 reviews)||65 (24 reviews)||A−|
|Shrek||Shrek 2||Shrek the Third||Shrek Forever After||Puss in Boots|
Cast and characters
|Character||Main films||Short films||Attraction||Television specials||Spin-off film||Television series|
| Shrek 2
| Shrek the Third
| Shrek Forever After
| Karaoke Dance Party
| Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular
| Thriller Night
| The Pig Who Cried Werewolf
| Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos
| Shrek 4-D
| Shrek the Halls
| Scared Shrekless
| Puss in Boots
| The Adventures of Puss in Boots|
|Shrek||Mike Myers||Michael Gough||Mike Myers|
|Donkey||Eddie Murphy||Dean Edwards||Eddie Murphy||Dean Edwards|
|Princess Fiona||Cameron Diaz||Holly Fields||Cameron Diaz|
|Puss in Boots||Antonio Banderas||Antonio Banderas||André Sogliuzzo||Antonio Banderas||Antonio Banderas||Eric Bauza|
|Gingerbread Man||Conrad Vernon||Conrad Vernon|
|Pinocchio||Cody Cameron||Cody Cameron|
|The Three Little Pigs||Cody Cameron|| Cody Cameron
|Cody Cameron||Cody Cameron|
|Big Bad Wolf||Aron Warner||Silent||Aron Warner||Archive footage||Aron Warner||Cameo|
|Three Blind Mice|| Christopher Knights
Simon J. Smith
|Christopher Knights|| Christopher Knights
Simon J. Smith
|Christopher Knights||Silent|| Christopher Knights
Simon J. Smith
|Dragon||Frank Welker||Cameo||Frank Welker|
|Magic Mirror||Chris Miller||Chris Miller||Chris Miller|
|Lord Farquaad||John Lithgow||John Lithgow (archive recordings)||Cameo in end credits||John Lithgow||Sean Bishop||John Lithgow||Silent Cameo|
|Thelonious||Christopher Knights||Cameo in end credits||Christopher Knights||Cameo||Christopher Knights|
|Monsieur Hood||Vincent Cassel||(Unknown voice actor)||Cameo|
|Pied Piper||Silent Cameo||Jeremy Steig||Michael Gough||Jeremy Steig|
|King Harold||John Cleese||Silent Cameo|
|Queen Lillian||Julie Andrews||Silent Cameo|
|Fairy Godmother||Jennifer Saunders||Photograph||Cameo in end credits||Pinky Turzo|
|Prince Charming||Rupert Everett||Cameo in end credits||Sean Bishop||Sean Bishop|
|Captain Hook|| Tom Waits
|Ian McShane||Silent Cameo||Matt Mahaffey|
|Doris|| Larry King (US)
Jonathan Ross (UK)
|Sleeping Beauty||Cameo||Cheri Oteri||Cameo in end credits|
|Dronkeys||Frank Welker||Frank Welker||Frank Welker|
|Mongo||Conrad Vernon||Conrad Vernon|
|Ogre Babies|| Jordan Alexander Hauser
Dante James Hauser
Jasper Johannes Andrews
Zachary James Bernard
| Jasper Johannes Andrews
Miles Christopher Bakshi
Nina Zoe Bakshi
| Miles Christopher Bakshi
Nina Zoe Bakshi
| Miles Christopher Bakshi
Nina Zoe Bakshi
Dante James Hauser
| Miles Christopher Bakshi
Nina Zoe Bakshi
|Artie||Justin Timberlake||Shown in deleted scenes|
|Snow White||Silent Cameo||Amy Poehler||Silent Cameo in end credits|
|Cinderella||Cameo||Amy Sedaris||Cameo in end credits|
|Rumpelstiltskin||Conrad Vernon||Walt Dohrn||Walt Dohrn|
|Sir Lancelot||John Krasinski|
|Brogan||Jon Hamm||Jon Hamm|
|Cookie||Craig Robinson||Craig Robinson|
|Gretched||Jane Lynch||Jane Lynch|
|Kitty Softpaws||Salma Hayek|
|Humpty Dumpty||Statue||Zach Galifianakis|
|Jack||Billy Bob Thornton|
- Note: A gray cell indicates character did not appear in that medium.
- Shrek: Hassle at the Castle
- Shrek: Extra Large
- Shrek: Super Party
- Shrek 2
- Shrek Super Slam
- Shrek Smash n' Crash Racing
- Shrek the Third
- Shrek n' Roll
- Shrek Forever After
- DreamWorks Super Star Kartz
- Madagascar Kartz
Shrek the Musical is a musical based on the first film of the franchise. After a try-out in Seattle, Washington, it began performances on Broadway from November 8, 2008, before opening on December 14. Despite mixed reviews, the musical received eight Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the time, the most expensive musical on Broadway ran for over a year and closed, at a loss, on January 3, 2010, after 478 performances.
A re-imagined version of the show ran as a tour of the United States from July 2010 to July 2011. The second tour launched under two months later. A West End production opened in London, United Kingdom in June 2011, to positive reviews. It received five Laurence Olivier Award nominations including Best New Musical. A differently staged production ran in Israel in 2010, with international productions running since 2011 in Poland and Spain, and since 2012 in France. The show was soon to premiere in Brazil, Italy, Australia, and Philippines in 2012.
On Broadway, the title role was originated by Brian d'Arcy James, while Nigel Lindsay creates the role for the West End incarnation. Other notable performances include Amanda Holden (West End), Sutton Foster (Broadway) and Kimberley Walsh (West End) as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber (Broadway) and Nigel Harman (West End) as Lord Farquaad, and John Tartaglia (Broadway) as Pinocchio.
Dark Horse Comics released in 2003 three 32-page full color comic books featuring Shrek, Donkey and Fiona - Shrek #1, Shrek #2, and Shrek #3. The comics were written by Mark Evanier and illustrated by Ramon Bachs and Raul Fernandez.
Ape Entertainment has also released under KiZoic label five full color comic books - a 52-page prequel to Shrek Forever After titled Shrek (2010), and four 32-page books: Shrek #1 (2010), Shrek #2 (2010), Shrek #3 (2011), and Shrek #4 (2011).
Shrek's Faire Faire Away is one of the three areas at the DreamWorks Experience themed land at the Australian theme park Dreamworld. It opened in 2012 and it consists of a fixed arm, rotating plane ride Dronkey Flyers, a kite flyer Gingy's Glider, a swing ride Puss in Boots Sword Swing and a carousel Shrek's Ogre-Go-Round.
A Shrek themed attraction, called DreamWork's Tours Shrek's Adventure! London, opened in 2015 at London County Hall as the first of six attractions initially planned over nine years. In collaboration with Merlin Entertainments, the 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) live interactive walk-through adventure presents an original story written by DWA, along with a character courtyard, also featuring characters from several other DreamWorks Animation's franchises.
An underground fandom of the Shrek film series emerged on the internet. With the fanbase described by some people as an ironic liking towards the series, there have been several sexually explicit memes based on the titular character. The most notable example is a 2013 metameme based on a fanmade video called "Shrek is love, Shrek is life". Fans of Shrek are known as "Brogres", a take on the name "Bronies", the young 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.
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