Donkey (Shrek)

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Donkey
Shrek! character
Donkey from Shrek.jpg
Donkey
First appearance Shrek
Last appearance Thriller Night
Voiced by Eddie Murphy (films, Father of the Pride, Shrek the Halls, Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular)
Mark Moseley (video games)
Dean Edwards (Scared Shrekless, Thriller Night)
Gender Male
Family Debbie, Coco, Bananas, Peanut, Parfait, Eclair (children)
Spouse(s) Dragon

Donkey is a fictional talking donkey created by William Steig and adapted by DreamWorks Animation for the Shrek! franchise. The character is voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Background[edit]

Donkey is a euphoric, annoying, talkative, and sensitive character, who also has a sweet tooth and hates spiders. Eddie Murphy called Donkey "a really positive character. He's always looking at the bright side of everything, trying to work it out. A happy-go-lucky donkey."[1] Donkey was modeled after Perry (born 1994), a real miniature donkey from Barron Park, Palo Alto, California.[2]

Donkey in Shrek films[edit]

Shrek[edit]

Donkey first makes his debut at a sale of mythical characters from beloved fairy-tales being sold to the evil Lord Farquaad's knights. An old woman attempts to sell Donkey, but magic pixie dust accidentally is unleashed upon him from a caged fairy, thus giving him the temporary ability to fly, he flies off saying "You might have seen a housefly, maybe even a superfly, but I bet you ain't never seen a DONKEY fly!". However, the spell unleashed upon Donkey then breaks and he falls to the ground, he is chased by Farquaad's knights into the woods, where he meets Shrek. Shrek is at first reluctant to meet the talkative Donkey, who follows him around, but Shrek does not consider Donkey a friend until the end of the film. Donkey also follows Shrek on his quest to find Princess Fiona, whom Lord Farquaad wants to make his bride. While passing a mountain guarded by a vicious, fire-breathing dragon, Donkey tries to talk the dragon guard into allowing him and Shrek to pass and compliments the dragon, whom he discovers is a female, and the dragon is greatly pleased by Donkey's flattering and lets them pass. Things often went roughly between Shrek and Donkey during the quest mainly due to Shrek's being reluctant about having Donkey as a forced "friend" and poor attitude, but by the end of the movie they were close friends. After Shrek saved Fiona from marrying Lord Farquaad and Dragon swallowed the evil fiend, Donkey sang "I'm a Believer" at Shrek and Fiona's wedding reception and takes his love, Dragon, as his wife. At the Shrek and the Swamp Gang Karaoke Dance Party, he sings "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot.

Shrek 2[edit]

Donkey was having troubles in his relationship with Dragon as she was acting strangely, but he could not determine the cause (later revealed to be because she was laying eggs), and accompanied Shrek and Fiona to the Far Far Away kingdom but keeps on asking every second "Are we there yet?" Shrek and Fiona keep answering no.

He then meets Puss in Boots and becomes jealous as he is spending a lot of time with Shrek. By the end of the film they are great friends. At one point in the film, he reveals that he was the donkey traded by Jack for the magic beans, which greatly offended him. He and Shrek ended up drinking the "Happily Ever After" potion from the Fairy Godmother's workshop and while Shrek transformed into a human, Donkey became a magnificently bred and handsome white stallion (albeit with the same buck teeth and voice, and on the bottle it says that it's not for those with nervous disorders. After which Shrek and everyone else stares at Donkey as it is strongly hinted that he has one, but Donkey remains clueless as to the reason of why everyone's staring at him). After the duo worked together with their mission to stop her plans to force Fiona to engage with her son Prince Charming, both return to their normal forms, though Donkey seemed to be quite disappointed at returning to his original form although Shrek told Donkey he still sees Donkey as a noble steed. After the credits, Donkey and Dragon are reunited and he meets their newborn children, flying flame breathing miniature Donkeys. He later sings "Disco Inferno" on Far Far Away Idol.

Shrek the Third[edit]

Donkey is enjoying fatherhood in Shrek the Third, and he is still first and foremost Shrek's sidekick and closest friend. When Far Far Away is in need of a new king, Donkey ventures off with Shrek in search of Fiona's cousin Arthur Pendragon, known simply as Artie at the Worcestershire boarding school where he resides. In their magical transport back to Far Far Away (aided by a slightly off-kilter Merlin), Donkey and Puss accidentally switch bodies, (most likely from holding hands) and Puss finds Donkey's quadrupedal form hideous. Donkey, meanwhile, can't figure out how Puss can walk with such fancy accoutrements. They must put that aside and work together, however, if they are to save Far Far Away from a vindictive Prince Charming. After Charming is defeated, the same sorcerer comes to change them back, it works, but switches their tails (in the next scene, their tails have been corrected as well).

Shrek Forever After[edit]

In the fourth and final film, Donkey brings his Dronkey children over often, much to Shrek's annoyance at the ensuing daily chaos. He takes part in innocently ruining Shrek's children's birthday party.

In Rumplestiltskin's alternate reality, Donkey first meets Shrek when he pulled a wagon the ogre was imprisoned in, forced to sing (reminiscent of a car stereo) by the witches, who whip him to change songs. After being taken to Rumplestiltskin, Shrek escapes and takes Donkey with him, much to the latter's chagrin. At first, Donkey fears Shrek and runs away, but returns after seeing Shrek crying over his babies' toy. Having never seen an ogre cry before, Donkey decides to trust Shrek and befriends him. Donkey also proves to be highly intelligent, and helps Shrek find a loophole in Rumplestiltskin's contract, comparing Shrek's situation to The Twilight Zone. The duo meet Fiona, Puss, and the rebellion of ogres in the woods, and Donkey befriends Puss in Boots and the ogres as well. Donkey and Puss later save Shrek and Fiona from the Pied Piper, and then lead the assault on Rumplestiltskin's castle.

In the ending, with reality restored, Donkey celebrates Shrek's children's birthday. Later on, he is seen with Dragon, who playfully gobbles him up, and then he, along with the other characters, is last seen making a mud angel.

Other appearances[edit]

Donkey was also seen in the 2007 Christmas special Shrek The Halls where he is trying help Shrek get the Christmas Spirit. Donkey was voiced by original voice actor Eddie Murphy.

He also appeared in the 2010 Halloween special Scared Shrekless where Shrek challenges his friends to spend the night in Lord Farquaad's castle while telling scary stories. He is voiced by Dean Edwards, marking the first time that main cast member Eddie Murphy did not reprise his role. Another appearance Donkey made was in a short Released along with The Shrek The Final Chapter 2 disc special edition.

Donkey also appears in Shrek the Musical. The role was originated on Broadway by Tony Award nominee Daniel Breaker. Alan Mingo, Jr. plays the role on the United States national tour, and Richard Blackwood will play the role in the upcoming West End production.

Donkey also made an appearance in an episode of Father of the Pride. Two Donkeys appeared: One a fraud Donkey and the other being the actual Donkey. In this episode, Donkey is portrayed as being far more arrogant and self-centered than his Shrek counterpart

Reception[edit]

Empire listed Donkey as #21 on their "50 Best Animated Movie Characters".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meet the Cast of Shrek 2. Shrek 2 [DVD]. 2004
  2. ^ "Barron Park Donkeys". RosettaStoneInc.com. 
  3. ^ "The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters". Empire. p. 30. Retrieved February 5, 2012.