2001 film directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson

Shrek is an animated movie based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book Shrek!. The name Shrek likely comes from the Yiddish word שרעק (pronounced Shreck) or the German word Schreck. Both words mean "fear" or "terror".[2] It was directed by Andrew Adamson and animated by DreamWorks Animation. It was the first movie to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a category introduced in 2001 . It was released on DVD on November 2, 2001. There have also been three sequels (follow-ups) of Shrek, called Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. There is also a Christmas special, a Halloween special and a spinoff movie all about a minor character in the sequels and specials. It was adapted into a Broadway musical. Shrek 2 was released in May 19, 2004. Shrek the Third was released on May 18, 2007. Shrek Forever After was released on May 21, 2010. There was also a show by the name Scary Stories released on Netflix in 2009.

Directed bySteven Spielberg
Andrew Adamson
Mike Newell
Vicky Jenson
Written by
  • Ted Elliott
  • Terry Rossio
  • Joe Stillman
  • Roger S. H. Schulman
Based onShrek! by William Steig
Produced byJeffrey Katzenberg
Aron Warner
John H. Williams
StarringMike Myers
Eddie Murphy
Cameron Diaz
John Lithgow
Vincent Cassel
Jennifer Seguin
Jim Cummings
Narrated byMike Myers
Edited bySim Evan-Jones
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
John Powell
Brian Tyler
Danny Elfman
John Ottman
Bruce Broughotn
John Williams
Hans Zimmer
Joel McNeely
John Altman
Alan Silvestri
DreamWorks Animation
Pacific Data Images
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures (through Universal Pictures)
Release dates
  • May 16, 2001 (2001-05-16) (United States)
  • July 20, 2001 (2001-07-20) (Togo)
  • January 18, 2002 (2002-01-18) (China)
  • February 8, 2002 (2002-02-08) (Cook Islands)
  • October 31, 2013 (2013-10-31) (Togo: re-release)
Running time
93 minutes (Shrek Karaoke Dance Party)
92 minutes (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 2002 release)
90 minutes (Original)
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million
Box office$484,409,218[1]

Shrek is a green ogre who always loves living peacefully in the swamp. However, he finds many fairytale creatures disrupting his privacy. This is because of the order by Lord Farquaad. Shrek goes along with a talking Donkey to Duloc, where they ask Farquaad to give his privacy back. Farquaad wants to be King by marrying Princess Fiona to be Queen.

Farquaad orders Shrek and Donkey to rescue Fiona from the tower she is imprisoned in and bring her to Farquaad. After defeating a dragon, they manage to get Fiona from the castle, Fiona is happy that she is rescued, but soon becomes sad that the knight is an ogre. Shrek forces Fiona to travel with him and Donkey, with Shrek and Fiona finding they have more in common with each other along the way, and falling in love.

However, at night, Fiona refuses to camp with them. Eventually, Donkey finds Fiona in a windmill. Donkey finds that Fiona has turned into an ogress. She tells Donkey that she was cursed as a child and turns into an ogress every night. This is why she was locked away in the castle. She also says that only a kiss from her true love will return her to her "love's true form". Shrek, about to confess his feelings for Fiona, overhears part of their conversation, and is heartbroken as he thinks her disgust at her transformation into an "ugly beast" is her being disgusted with him.

The next morning, Fiona meets Lord Farquaad and leaves to get married to him. Shrek goes back to his swamp while Donkey finds the dragon in a forest. Shrek realises that he misses Fiona. Shrek, Donkey and dragon travel to Duloc. They interrupt the wedding before Farquaad can kiss Fiona, but not before the sun sets, which causes Fiona to turn into an ogress in front of everyone. Shrek and Fiona admit their love for each other and share a kiss--Fiona's curse is broken, but remains an ogress, as the curse said that she will become "true love's form".

Cinderella, Snow White, Pied Piper, and several other characters are not speaking roles and are thus uncredited



Steven Spielberg bought the rights to the original book in 1991, when he apparently thought about making a traditionally animated film based on the book with Bill Murray as Shrek and Steve Martin as Donkey. After only a few years in development, 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 movie.[3] After buying the rights to the film in 1995, Katzenberg quickly put the film in active development.[4]

The Art Directors visited Hearst Castle, Stratford upon Avon and Dordogne for inspiration on Duloc's place. Art Director Douglas Rogers visited a magnolia plantation in Charleston, South Carolina for inspiration for Shrek's swamp.[5][6]

The film was originally planned to be a motion-captured film. DreamWorks used live action background plates with miniature fairy tale settings that they had filmed, giving the film a very visual distinct look. After a year and a half of R & D, a test was finally shown. The result was a disaster, with Katzenburg stating "It looked terrible, it didn't work, it wasn't funny, and we didn't like it." Production was shut down for a while. DreamWorks later went to its production partners at PDI in Spring of 1997, when the movie Antz was still in production, to help Shrek get it's final computer-animated look.[7]

“We did a lot of work on character and set-up, and then kept changing the set up while we were doing the animation,” Ramon 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."[8]

Saturday Night Live member Chris Farley was to be the voice for Shrek. He was able to voice around 80-90% of the script, although Chris' brother, Tom Farley, states that Farley had actually already recorded 95% of Shrek's dialogue for the movie, but died in 1997 before he finished voicing the character.[9] Production was shut down again after Farley's death.[7] Andrew Adamson stated "Chris Farley's death was before any animation had been done [although] we'd recorded an amount with him."[10]

DreamWorks later asked Mike Myers to play Shrek, whom Myers wanted the writers to re-write the script to leave no traces of Farley's version of Shrek. 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 in a Scottish accent similar to the one his mother had used when she told him bedtime stories.[7] After hearing the alternative voice-over, Katzenberg agreed to redo scenes in the film, saying, "It was so good we took $4m worth of animation out and did it again."[11]



The film was entered into the 2001 Cannes Film Festival,[12] and was the first animated film since Disney's Peter Pan (1953) to receive that honour.[13] Shrek open in more 3,587 movie theaters on its 2001 release,[14] 11 of them showing them digitally, made possible by the THX Division of Lucasfilm.[15] This was the first time that DreamWorks had shown one of its movies digitally.[16] Produced on a $60 million budget, Shrek was commercially successful, becoming the highest-grossing animated movie ever to be released in Australia, passing the mark set by 1994's The Lion King.[17] 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.[18] The film closed on December 6, 2001, after grossing $267,665,011 domestically along with $216,744,207 overseas for a worldwide total of $484,409,218. Shrek 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.[1]

Shrek received critically good reviews, praising Shrek as an animated film worthy of adult interest, with many adult-oriented jokes and themes but a simple enough plot and humor to appeal to children. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 89 percent of critics have given the film a positive review based on 176 reviews, with an average score of 7.7/10. The general opinion 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.[19]

Roger Ebert liked 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."[20] 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."[21] Richard Schickel also enjoyed Murphy's role, stating, "No one has ever made a funnier jackass of himself than Murphy."[22]

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."[23]

Shrek won the first ever Academy Award For Best Animated Feature, beating Monsters, Inc. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.[24][25] 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."[26]

Shrek was also nominated for 6 BAFTA Award, 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.[25]

Shrek was nominated for a dozen Annie Awards from ASIFA-Hollywood.[25][27]

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"; the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after asking 1,500 people for their opinions. Shrek was acknowledged as the eighth best film in the animated genre, and the only non-Disney·Pixar film on the top ten.[28][29] It is also third on Bravo's 100 funniest films. 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.[30] 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 #14 in IGN UK's "Top 15 Fantasy Villains".[31]

Other websites



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  2. "Definition of Fright", BrainyQuote, retrieved 07 May 2007
  3. "Shrek: Interview With Mike Myers". Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  4. Hill, Jim (May 19, 2004). ""From the Swamp to the Screen" is a really entertaining look at the creation of the first two "Shrek" films". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  5. "Shrek : Production Information". Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  6. Tracy, Joe (2001). "Animating Shrek - Behind the scenes". Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Hill, Jim (May 16, 2004). "How "Shrek" went from being a train wreck to one for the record books". Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  8. Blair, Iain (May 5, 2001). "The Making of Shrek". p. 2. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  9. Anderson, Sam (2008-05-16). "Dada's Boy". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  10. Tilden, Imogen (28 June 2001). "They made a monster". The Guardin. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  11. "Mike Myers forces £4m rejig of Shrek". The Guardian. May 2, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  12. "Shrek". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  13. "Shrek scores at the US box office". The Guardina. May 21, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  14. "Shrek Opens on 3,587 Screens!". May 18, 2001. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  15. "Taking Shrek Digital". May 22, 2001. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  16. "Shrek to Air Digitally on 11 Screens". May 17, 2001. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  17. "Shrek Sets All-Time Record In Australia". Studio Briefing. July 26, 2001.
  18. "Shrek Returns To Top Of U.K. Box Office". Studio Briefing. July 18, 2001.
  19. "Shrek (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  20. Ebert, Roger (May 18, 2001). "Shrek". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  21. Wloszczyna, Susan. "'Shrek' spins jokes from fairy tales". USA Today. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  22. Schickel, Richard (May 21, 2001). "Cinema: Monstrously Good". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  23. Puig, Claudia (May 31, 2001). "'Shrek!' author exclaims his approval of film". USA Today. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  24. Mishra, Smita (February 3, 2012). "Oscar Awards: The historical trail". India Today. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Shrek - Awards". New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  26. Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  27. "Shrek Leads Animation Awards". ABC News. September 20, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  28. American Film Institute (June 17, 2008). "AFI Crowns Top 10 Films in 10 Classic Genres". Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
  29. "Top Ten Animation". Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  30. "100 Greatest Family Films". Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  31. Parfitt, Orlando (November 12, 2009). "Top 15 Fantasy Villains". IGN UK. IGN. Retrieved February 10, 2012.