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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Shrek (2001)

Plot Summary: Shrek (Mike Myers) is a green ogre who loves the solitude of his swamp. However, his life is interrupted after the dwarfish Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) exiles a vast number of fairy-tale creatures to Shrek's swamp. Angered by the intrusion, he decides to visit Farquaad and demand they be moved elsewhere. Shrek reluctantly allows the talkative Donkey (Eddie Murphy) who was exiled as well, to tag along and guide him.

Meanwhile, Farquaad learns that for him to become a true king, he must marry a princess. Farquaad chooses the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is imprisoned in a castle tower guarded by a dragon. Unwilling to perform the task himself, he organizes a tournament in which the winner will receive the "privilege" of rescuing Fiona. Shrek and Donkey arrive during the tournament and defeat Farquaad's knights to which Farquaad then proclaims them champions and demands that they rescue Fiona. Shrek negotiates to have the fairytale creatures relocated if he succeeds, and Farquaad accepts. But in this fairytale, the happily ever after is not what either of them suspects.


  • Mike Myers as Shrek

  • Eddie Murphy as Donkey

  • Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona

  • John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad

  • Vincent Cassel as "Monsieur" Robin Hood

  • Chris Miller as the Magic Mirror


  • The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 18, 2001, and grossed $484 million worldwide against a production budget of $60 million, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001.

  • Shrek won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In November 2009, the character, Lord Farquaad, was listed No. 14 in IGN UK's "Top 15 Fantasy Villains".

  • In 2006, it was ranked third on Bravo's 100 funniest films list.

  • In May 2010, the film's title character was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Did You Know:

  • Steven Spielberg was originally going to produce the film in 1991, when he was in charge of Amblin Entertainment. Then, the film would have been in hand-drawn animation, and was going to star Bill Murray as Shrek and Steve Martin as Donkey.

  • Chris Farley was originally cast as Shrek and even recorded almost all of the dialogue. However, after his death, the role was given to fellow Saturday Night Live performer Mike Myers. Shrek's "air quotes" in the film is an homage to Farley, whose character Bennett Brauer also used air quotes. A story reel featuring a sample of Farley's recorded dialogue was leaked to the public in August 2015.

  • Janeane Garofalo was originally set to voice Princess Fiona but was summarily fired without explanation after the death of Chris Farley. To this day, Garofolo has no idea why she was let go.

  • Mike Myers originally voiced Shrek with his natural speaking voice before the film was test-screened. Then he tried country Canadian accents for Shrek. However, after viewing a rough cut of the film, he felt that something was missing from his performance, and re-recorded all of his lines with a Scottish accent, based on the voice his mother used when reading him bedtime stories as a child. The original voice can still be heard in the technical goofs on the DVD. The decision to revoice Shrek in a Scottish accent ended up costing an additional $4 million, as it took him twenty sessions to complete the re-voiceover. It can also be stated that Shrek's accent is similar to the one Mike Myers uses for his character Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers series. This was his first voice performance in an animated film.

  • Mike Myers was in New York City when they realized that the line "What are you doing in my swamp?!" had never been read. So producer Jeffrey Katzenberg flew to New York City, and had Myers read the line in the back of a limo.

  • The principal actors never met each other. They all read their parts separately, with a reader feeding them the lines. John Lithgow later admitted that, while he enjoyed playing Lord Farquaad, he was a little disappointed that he never actually worked directly with Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, or Eddie Murphy.

  • Alan Rickman was the initial casting choice for the role of Lord Farquaad. However, Rickman opted to portray the role of Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) instead. The role ultimately went to John Lithgow.

  • Robin Williams was going to have a role in the film, but he suffered a bitter falling-out with Jeffrey Katzenberg when Katzenberg was still working at Disney, and refused to work with him.

  • The song "All Star" by Smash Mouth, heard in the opening credits, was only a placeholder for test screenings until a new song could be found. But test audiences loved it, and the producers kept it in. When the producers decided to keep "All Star" they decided to let the band perform the last song in the movie, "I'm a Believer."

  • "Shrek" means "monster" in Yiddish, and is derived from the German word "Schreck", which means "terror" or "fright".

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: She's Out of My League crossed with Mother Goose.

Best Performance: Mike Myers (Shrek)

Best Secondary Performance: Eddie Murphy (Donkey)

Most Charismatic Award: Mike Myers (Shrek)/Jeffrey Katzenberg (Producer)

Best Scene:

  • Donkey Meets Shrek

  • The Torture of the Gingerbread Man

  • Welcome to Dulot

  • Royal Rumble

  • Ogres are Like Onions

  • Shrek Rescues Fiona

  • Monsieur Hood

  • Fiona's Curse

  • The Wedding

Favorite Scene: The Torture of the Gingerbread Man

Most Indelible Moment: The Torture of the Gingerbread Man/"I'm making waffles!"

In Memorium:

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Shrek: [looks at Farquaad's very large castle] Gee, you think he's compensating for something?

Shrek: You know Donkey, sometimes things are more than they appear.

Shrek: That'll do, Donkey. That'll do.

Shrek: Ogres are like onions.

Donkey: They stink?

Shrek: Yes... no.

Donkey: They make you cry?

Shrek: No.

Donkey: If you leave them out in the sun, they turn brown and start sprouting little white hairs?

Shrek: No! Onions have layers. Ogres have layers.

Shrek: Donkey, two things okay? Shut... up.

Donkey: And then one time I ate some rotten berries. Man, there were some strong gases seepin' outta my butt that day!

Donkey: We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I'm making waffles!

Shrek: Listen, little donkey. Take a look at me, what am I?

Donkey: Really tall?

Shrek: No. I'm an ogre. You know, grab your torch and pitchfork. Doesn't that bother you?

Donkey: Nope.

Shrek: Really?

Donkey: Really, Really. Man I like you. What's your name?

Shrek: Er, Shrek.

Lord Farquaad: Some of you may die, but its a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Shrek: I like my privacy.

Donkey: Wow, that was really scary and if you don't mind me saying, if that don't work, your breath will certainly get the job done, 'cause you definitely need some Tic Tacs or something 'cause your breath STINKS. hear that? She called me a noble steed.

Donkey: Whoa. Look at that. Who'd wanna live in a place like that?

Shrek: That would be my home.

Donkey: Oh and it is LOVELY. You know, you're really quite a decorator. It's amazing what you've done with such a modest budget. I like that boulder. That is a NICE boulder.

Lord Farquaad : [playing with Gingy's legs] Run, run, run as fast as you can / You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! Gingerbread Man : You're a monster! Lord Farquaad : [tossing legs away] I'm not the monster here, YOU are! You and the rest of that fairytale trash, poisoning my perfect world. Now tell me, where are the others? Gingerbread Man : Eat me! [spits in Farquaad's face] Lord Farquaad : I've tried to be fair to you creatures, but now my patience has reached its end! Tell me, or I'll... [reaches down] Gingerbread Man : NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons! Lord Farquaad : All right, then! Who's hiding them? Gingerbread Man : Okay, I'll tell you... Do you know... the Muffin Man? Lord Farquaad : The Muffin Man? Gingerbread Man : The Muffin Man. Lord Farquaad : Yes, I know the Muffin Man. W-who lives on Drury Lane? Gingerbread Man : Well, she's married to the Muffin Man... Lord Farquaad : The Muffin Man? Gingerbread Man : THE MUFFIN MAN! Lord Farquaad : She's married to the Muffin Man...

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 8

Impact/Significance: 9.25

Novelty: 7.5

Classic-ness: 8

Rewatchability: 8.75

Audience Score: 8.85 (87% Google, 90% RT)

Total: 50.35

Remaining Questions:

  • None

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