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Shrek
Shrek character
Gender Male
Voiced by Mike Myers (Scottish, films, Shrek Smash and Crash Racing)
Michael Gough (English, video games except Shrek Smash and Crash Racing)
Jim Cummings (English, ADR work)
Zbigniew Zamachowski (Polish)
Bussunda (1 and 2) and Mauro Ramos (3) (Brazil)
Amin Jensen (Danish)
Alain Chabat (French)

Shrek is a fictional character from the children's book Shrek! and the Shrek films. He is the main protagonist of the book and the films. The name "Shrek" is derived from the German and Yiddish word "Schreck"/"Shreck", literally meaning "fear, terror."

Contents

Characteristics

Shrek is a large, green, physically intimidating ogre, with an accent described by Myers as "a Scottish guy living in Scarborough for forty years". Although his background is something of a mystery, it is assumed that despite these traits, Shrek has always been an ogre of the non-hostile kind as he loves peace and solitude and lives in a swamp (with a "Beware the Ogre!" sign near his home to discourage attacking villagers) and is befriended by Donkey, an excitable, hyperactive donkey. It is notable that when Shrek is first seen he is successfully scaring off villagers by roaring at them, but it later becomes obvious that they were only attacking him because he is an Ogre, not because he had done anything particularly wrong. In the first Shrek movie, during a conversation with Donkey, he laments that people "judge me before they even know me. That's why I'm better off alone", implying that he became a recluse after trying and failing to find acceptance among others. In Shrek the Third, it is revealed Shrek has a father who tried to eat him as Shrek stated, "I guess I should have seen it coming. He used to bathe me in barbecue sauce and put me to bed with an apple in my mouth".

Shrek lives in an Ogre Swamp. The swamp, like any other swamp, is green and murky. The swamp contains small and big ponds of muddy water and also has geysers that squirt out mud. The swamp contains the living quarters of Shrek which consists of an outhouse and Shrek's house. The swamp is also a home to different kinds of species including the swamp slug that Shrek uses for his toothpaste. When he finds squatters where he lives, he agrees to the rescue of Princess Fiona to evict all the squatters. However, during the course of the mission, Shrek falls deeply in love with Fiona.

In Far Far Away Idol, he sang "What I Like About You" by The Romantics with Fiona.[1]

Shrek in the Shrek films

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Shrek

In the first film, Shrek is shown as a recluse who lives a fairly carefree life in his swamp. This all comes to an end as Lord Farquaad evicts the fairytale creatures from their homes, causing them to move to Shrek's swamp. This crusade against abnormal creatures causes Donkey, a talking miniature donkey, to literally run into Shrek.

Because of the squatters in Shrek's swamp, the ogre sets out for Duloc, where he ends up being an unwilling participant in a tournament for the 'privilege' to rescue Princess Fiona who was trapped in a castle under a dragon's watchful eye. Shrek and Donkey travel to the castle, managing to rescue the princess and escape the castle.

During the journey back to Duloc, however, Shrek and Fiona start to fall for one another, hinted at by repeated scenes where their similiaries were shown. After a short series of misadventures on the way to deliver her to Farquaad, Shrek finally realizes he's fallen in love with Fiona, only to become angry after hearing a conversation between her and Donkey, leading him to think she thought him as a hideous beast.

Shrek heads back to his newly acquired swamp, depressed over the recent events, until Donkey shows up, trying to claim ownership over half of the swamp. After a brief confrontation between the two, and they settle their differences, Donkey persuades Shrek to travel to Duloc, since he had realized long before that Shrek had fallen in love with Fiona. Using Dragon, whom Donkey seemed to have a relationship with, they arrived in Duloc to stop the marriage between Farquaad and Fiona, with Shrek publicly admitting that he loved her. After briefly being stopped by the guards, and the death of Farquaad, Shrek and Fiona admit their love for one another, and they kiss. Later, their wedding is shown, and the movie ends with their carriage disappearing into the sunset, where the second movie would start.

Shrek 2

As in the first movie, the story begins with a reading from a storybook, which is quite similar to the first one. However, it is narrated by an unknown voice, and interspersed with action shots of a man on horseback. When he arrives at the castle from the first movie and takes off his helmet, it is revealed that he himself is the narrator: An attractive, vain, self-absorbed prince. Instead of Fiona, he is surprised to find the Big Bad Wolf, who tells him that Fiona's "on her honeymoon."

After a joyful honeymoon, Shrek and Fiona return home to the annoying house-sitter Donkey, urging that they wish to be alone. Suddenly, messengers of Fiona's kingdom ("Far Far Away") deliver an invitation from her parents, who wish to meet her new husband. Shrek doesn't want to go, but Fiona feels it's important to have her father's blessing.

After a long carriage ride, Shrek and Fiona make their grand appearance in front of the entire kingdom, resulting in everyone being stunned at their ogreish appearances. With some awkward greetings and suggestive angry stares, the meeting moves onto a dinner, which escalates into a heated argument between Shrek and King Harold. Upset by their behavior, Fiona leaves the table and goes to her room, where she is visited by the Fairy Godmother. Godmother seems to think that she is not yet married, and offers to help her find a husband despite her appearance. When Shrek arrives and sees how surprised Godmother is that he is Fiona's husband, he becomes fed up and treats her rudely. Shrek and Fiona argue about not staying, though Fiona feels the relationship is one-sided, since she changed for him and yet he remains unwilling to accept her family, or to even try to be friends with them.

While King Harold complains to his wife about Shrek, he is visited by the Fairy Godmother. It is revealed that the prince from the beginning of the movie ("Prince Charming") is her son, and that she and Harold had made a deal that Charming would marry Fiona. After being threatened by Godmother, Harold hires a mysterious person to kill Shrek. He then tricks Shrek and Donkey into meeting him on a hunting trail, supposedly so that they can get to know one another proposing the idea right after Shrek had been reading Fiona's diary (which he calls a "scary book" and finding that when she was a child she was infatuated with Prince Charming). They are then attacked by Puss in Boots: The "person" that Harold had hired. When the misunderstanding is resolved, Puss vows to accompany Shrek to make amends for the mistake. Shrek then uses a business card that Fairy Godmother had given him earlier and decides to meet with the Fairy Godmother at her factory, for help in mending his relationship with Fiona.

In the factory, the trio are dismissed by the Godmother's bigotry against Ogres having happily ever afters, and instead go to search for a beauty potion under the guise of being workers. Shrek grabs the potion and the trio escape. While leaving, Shrek reads the potion, though Donkey tries it first to see if it's effective; nothing happens. Shrek drinks as well, thinking it doesn't work on donkeys, though the results are the same except with more gas. It starts to rain and, disappointed, the trio start to leave. As they are leaving, a mushroom, onto which Shrek had sneezed some potion minutes before, suddenly glows blue and purple, and transforms into a rose. This is unnoticed by the trio. They find shelter from the rain in a small barn, where Donkey and Shrek inexplicably pass out; a glow, similar to the one seen on the mushroom, can be seen coming from inside the barn. Back at Far Far Away, Fiona tells her parents that it was "a mistake" to come there with Shrek, and that they will go back to the swamp as soon as she finds him. As her parents try to stop her, she also passes out; her parents put her to bed, and the same glow is seen to come from her bedroom.

In the morning, it is discovered that the potion did indeed work: Shrek was turned into a handsome human and Donkey into a stallion, greeted by three farmhand girls. In Far Far Away, Fiona surprisingly finds herself back in human form as well, but mistakes Charming for Shrek, since he explains his different voice and mannerisms as the effects of the potion. After being manipulated by the Fairy Godmother, Shrek leaves, believing Fiona would be happier with the prince of her dreams, until he discovers that the Godmother is Charming's mother and is going to force Fiona to fall in love with him. Shrek, Donkey, and Puss are arrested after being spotted, and are later rescued by Gingy and the others. To storm the castle, Shrek and Gingy visit the Muffin Man, who creates a giant gingerbread man to help in their quest. Shrek and Donkey storm through the castle, with Puss fending off the guards. Later, Shrek battles with Fairy Godmother, who tells Charming to kiss Fiona. The kiss proves ineffective since Harold didn't spike her tea with the love potion that was intended. Out of rage, Fairy Godmother strikes at Shrek with her wand, but Harold's interference reflects the magic back at her, reducing her to bubbles. The potion has an effect on Harold, too, and it is revealed he is actually a frog, to whom Fairy Godmother had given a happily ever after. Realizing his mistake, he apologizes and gives his blessing to Shrek and Fiona. When the clock strikes midnight, Shrek tells Fiona that if she wishes for them to stay in their human forms, then a kiss at that moment will make the spell permanent. Fiona makes him wait until they return back to normal, declaring she loves him as he is: As the ogre she married. A celebration goes underway with the seemingly dysfunctional family becoming a truly grand one in song and dance.

Shrek the Third

Shrek and Fiona take on the responsibilities as King and Queen while Fiona's father Harold remained bedridden. After many overwhelming mistakes and disasters, Shrek is ready to give up and leave until a messenger tells them that the Frog King was dying. Despite Harold's confidence in Shrek being a good king, he does mention another heir named Arthur, and leaves it to Shrek to do the right thing.

Not wishing to rule, and wanting to return to the swamp, Shrek, Donkey, and Puss set out to search for Arthur. As they leave, Fiona tells Shrek that she is pregnant. Shrek starts to have a nightmare of having too many babies, later seeing Donkey and Puss with baby ogre faces as the nightmare continues. Shrek admits to Donkey that mostly he's afraid of being a bad parent, since ogres aren't generally known for being kind or loving.

Shrek first finds Arthur ("Artie") at his high school, where everyone has been bullying him. Shrek starts to make Artie to go to Far Far Away, but Artie becomes uneasy by Puss and Donkey's bantering of the royal duties that await him. After being ship-wrecked, Shrek begins to lose his patience with the boy, but in light of Donkey's advice, attempts to communicate with him in "street". His attempts all fail until it's revealed Artie's father had abandoned him, which allows Shrek to find kinship with Artie since he too had issues with his own father. In the morning, Shrek defeats Hook and the others sent by Charming, then with Merlin's help, returns to Far Far Away.

When Artie's life is threatened by Charming, Shrek boldly insults the boy, stating that he needed a patsy loser to fill the royal job. Shrek becomes disenchanted over hurting Artie's feelings, but keeps his sense of humor until his friends arrive to the rescue, with Artie talking the villains into reforming themselves. Artie assumes the role of king and Shrek now feels he is capable of being a father. The last scene shows he is the proud parent of ogre triplets, and though makes mistakes, proves to be a great dad.

Shrek Forever After

This is the final installment in the Shrek series. Shrek will make his final appearance in the film, set to be released theatrically in May 2010. Mike Myers will reprise his voicings.

Shrek (In Theatre)

Shrek appears in the stage musical version of the 2001 film which debuted in 2008. The role was originated by Broadway actor Brian d'Arcy James, who earned a Tony nomination for it.

In the musical, it is revealed that on his seventh birthday Shrek was sent away by his parents because it was an ogre tradition. He is seen traveling alone, either being screamed at or teased by passers-by. The only time he receives a pleasant greeting is a wave from a young Fiona, who is promptly led away by her parents. After scaring away an angry mob, he arrives at his swamp, enters an outhouse and literally breaks out as the adult Shrek.

The character has remained virtually unchanged in the musical, as does the plot. However, various minor details differ between the musical and the film.

Other Appearances outside the film series

Shrek has also made appearances promoting breakfast cereals and candy, such as M&Ms that were colored swamp green. Shrek and Donkey appeared in a commercial for Wal-Mart as part of their "Wal Mart Customers" commercial series. In the commercial, Donkey and Shrek enter a Wal-Mart, where Shrek purchases and is then seen wearing blue jeans and an aloha shirt. Shrek and Donkey also appeared alongside the other Shrek characters in an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services urging children to engage in physical activity.

Shrek also appears in Tony Hawk's Underground 2 as an unlockable skater.

A T-shirt of Shrek appeared in an episode of The Simpsons with the slogan "Have a Shrek-tastic Father's Day!"

References

  1. ^ Zipes, Jack David (2002). Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 081319030. 

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