|Last appearance||Shrek Forever After|
Shrek is a fictional character from the children's book Shrek! and the Shrek films. He is the main protagonist of both the book and the films. The name "Shrek" is derived from the German and Yiddish word "Schreck"/"Shreck", literally meaning "fear, terror."
Shrek is a large, green, physically intimidating ogre, with an accent described by Myers as "a Scottish guy who's lived in Scarborough for forty years". Although his background is something of a mystery. Though surly, misanthropic, and venomously cranky, Shrek is peaceful and doesn't care to hurt anyone, but just wants to live his life in solitude and be left alone. Shrek is befriended by Donkey, an excitable, hyperactive, and talking 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 he is constantly judged by the outside world the minute people meet him, and is thus better off alone. ("I'm not the one with the problem, Donkey; it's the world that seems to have a problem with me. People take one good look at me and go 'Aah! Help! Run! A big stupid ugly ogre!' They judge me before they even know me. That's why I'm better off alone!") This implies that he became a recluse after trying and failing to find acceptance among others. Another factor causing lack of acceptance can be found 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". Although he may have been jesting.
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. This basically beginning portrays Shrek as a real grubby beast. 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.
Since he is an ogre, Shrek has a considerable amount of physical strength, being able to break wood and metal constructs, get in physical combat with a number of armored humans and usually winning, unintentionally destroying a wooden vessel with a bottle of wine, and even lifting or turning objects that are too heavy for a normal human being, such as a gigantic vat of magic potion against the maximum security of the fairy godmother in Shrek 2.
In Shrek and the Swamp Gang Karaoke Dance Party, Shrek sings "Just the Way You Are". In Far Far Away Idol, he sang "What I Like About You" by The Romantics with Fiona. Shrek has a little problem socializing due to the fact that people think he is a mean ugly ogre, even though his appearance is remarkably humanoid, wit a few cosmetic exceptions. In being in the process Shrek is said to have sociophobia.  However, from Shrek the Third onward, Shrek has become a well-liked celebrity, at least in Far Far Away. In the fourth movie, people managed to realize that Shrek isn't dangerous and lost their fear and prejudice over him, but to Shrek's dismay, they also come to regard him as a folk hero and visit him with even more frequency than before, disturbing him. But after the experiences of the movie, Shrek comes to appreciate his life more than ever.
Shrek in the Shrek films
In the first film, Shrek is shown as a wicked, grumpy, and selfish ogre 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 similarities 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.
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. During the voyage, 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. Shrek admits that his father tried to eat him as a child. 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 in an effort to make him seem unimportant and save his life, stating that he needed a patsy loser to fill the royal job. Shrek becomes disenchanted over hurting Artie's feelings to save him, 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 he makes mistakes, proves to be a great dad.
Shrek Forever After
Shrek has grown tired of the overwhelming life of raising his children, dealing with his eccentric friends, and being a local, un-feared celebrity, and starts to long for the days when he felt like a "real ogre". While trying to throw his children a birthday party, Shrek eventually becomes frustrated by his friends' antics and the harassment of villagers, eventually lashing out at them and getting into an argument with Fiona before storming off. While on his way, Shrek is approached by the con artist Rumpelstiltskin, who offers to give him one day where his adventures never happened in exchange for a day from his childhood that Shrek wouldn't remember being erased. Though naturally suspicious, Shrek is enticed by the idea of a relaxing vacation and agrees, and is abruptly transported to a world where he is still feared by villagers. However, Shrek's day of causing mischief is cut short when he discovers wanted posters for the ogress Fiona and his home in the swamp to be a deserted tree stump, and he is soon captured by witches under Rumpelstiltskin's command. As it turns out, the day that Rumpelstiltskin erased was the day that Shrek was born; thus, Shrek has been transported to an alternate timeline where he never existed and is unrecognized by everyone he knows. Rumpelstiltskin is now the king of Far Far Away, which has now become derelict and rotting, and uses the ogre population and some of Shrek's friends for slave labor. Furthermore, when the day ends, Shrek will cease to exist altogether. Shrek manages to escape and rescue the enslaved Donkey. After a few difficulties, Shrek and Donkey once again befriend each other, and, after Shrek explains the situation, Donkey helps him discover an exit clause: the contract will be rendered null and void if Shrek and Fiona share true love's kiss before the 24 hours are up.
Shrek and Donkey find Fiona, now the leader of a secret community of warrior ogres (who are all taller than Shrek), but is dismayed to realize she doesn't remember him, in addition to finding a fat and lazy Puss in Boots. He tries to win her heart, but Fiona dismisses his attempts and rejects him. During a training session, the two eventually fall for each other, and they set off to ambush Rumpelstiltskin. The ambush falls apart when the Pied Piper captures the ogres, and Shrek and Fiona are rescued by Puss and Donkey. Shrek shares a kiss with Fiona, but as she doesn't love him truly, the contract remains. Fiona leaves to save the ogres, but Shrek learns that Rumpelstiltskin has a bounty on his head, and whoever brings Shrek in will get whatever they want with no strings attached. Shrek turns himself in and in return the ogre army is freed, but Fiona remains, since she is a princess by day. Nonetheless, Fiona is moved by Shrek's sacrifice.
The two are to be fed to Dragon, but Puss and Donkey lead the ogres into battle against Rumpelstiltskin. The two work together to escape Dragon and capture Rumpelstiltskin. Unfortunately, the 24 hours are up and Shrek begins to fade from existence, professing his love for Fiona. Fiona, having fallen in love with him all over again, kisses him just before he disappears completely, breaking both Fiona's curse and the contract. The alternate reality falls apart, and Shrek is sent back in time to just before his outburst during the birthday party. Shrek embraces his family and friends, remarking that, when he saved Fiona from the tower, she in fact saved him from a life of loneliness and solitude. With newfound appreciation for everything he has, Shrek throws a birthday party for his children with his family and friends, having earned his happily ever after.
Shrek, along with all of the other characters, is last seen making a mud angel in the final shot of the film, which was done as a way of closing the film series.
Shrek (In Theatre)
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 actors to play the role include Ben Crawford (Broadway), Eric Petersen (National Tour), Jacob Ming-Trent (Broadway understudy), Brian Gonzales (Broadway/National Tour understudy), David Foley, Jr. (National Tour understudy), and from 2011 - Nigel Lindsay (West End).
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 back view, he also appeared in the Over The Hedge DVD menu as a snack bag in the vending machine. 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. They both also appeared in one of the THX trailers.
Shrek also appears in Tony Hawk's Underground 2 as an unlockable skater.
- ↑ Zipes, Jack David (2002). Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 081319030.
- ↑ Photo Coverage: Shrek Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame