Shrek 2

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This article is about the featured computer-animated film. For the video game based on the film, see Shrek 2 (video game).
Shrek 2
Shrek 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Adamson
Kelly Asbury
Conrad Vernon
Produced by Aron Warner
John H. Williams
David Lipman
Screenplay by Andrew Adamson
Joe Stillman
J. David Stem
David N. Weiss
Story by Andrew Adamson
William Steig
Based on Characters created 
by William Steig
Starring Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy
Cameron Diaz
Julie Andrews
Antonio Banderas
John Cleese
Rupert Everett
Jennifer Saunders
Narrated by Rupert Everett
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Edited by Michael Andrews
Sim Evan-Jones
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
  • May 15, 2004 (2004-05-15) (Cannes)
  • May 19, 2004 (2004-05-19) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150 million
Box office $919.8 million[2]
The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Far Far Away

Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon. It is the second installment in the Shrek series, the sequel to 2001's Shrek, and features the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, and Jennifer Saunders.

Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 received positive reviews. Shrek 2 scored the second-largest three-day opening weekend in US history at the time of release,[3] as well as the largest opening for an animated film until May 18, 2007, when it was eclipsed by its sequel Shrek the Third.[4] As of 2011, it is the inflation-adjusted 32nd-highest-grossing film of all time in the US.[5] It went on to be the highest-grossing film of 2004.[6] The associated soundtrack reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. It is also the seventh-highest ticket selling animated film of all time.[7] It is DreamWorks's most successful film to date and was also the highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide until Toy Story 3 surpassed it in 2010;[8] it is now the sixth highest-grossing animated film of all time.


After Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon, they are invited to a royal ball thrown by Fiona's parents to celebrate their marriage. Shrek is reluctant to participate, reasoning that he is worried about how Fiona's parents would react to her new look. Donkey appears, wanting to move in with them after a fall-out with Dragon, much to their consternation. They all travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away and meet Fiona's parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, who are surprised by Fiona's choice of husband and her new appearance. While Queen Lillian is more understanding of the marriage, Harold is repulsed, and at a family dinner, he and Shrek get into a heated argument over how Shrek and Fiona will raise their family. Fiona, disgusted at their behavior, locks herself in her room, where she meets her Fairy Godmother, who is also startled by Fiona's new looks and marriage. Subsequently, King Harold is accosted by the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming, her son. He had arranged with the Fairy Godmother that Charming would marry Fiona and they demand that he gets rid of Shrek. Shrek worries that he and Fiona aren't meant to be, particularly after finding a diary from her pre-teenager years and discovering that she was once infatuated with Prince Charming. Harold arranges for Shrek and Donkey to join him on a hunting trip, which is really a trap to lure the two into the hands of an assassin, Puss in Boots.

When Fiona realizes that Shrek left, she asks her father for help, but he replies that he always wanted the best for her and that she should think about that too. Puss is unable to defeat Shrek and reveals that he was paid by Harold. He asks to tag along as a way to make amends. Shrek decides to go to the Fairy Godmother for help. However, the Fairy Godmother states that ogres do not live "happily ever after" and refuses to assist him. Nonetheless, the three sneak into the Fairy Godmother's potion factory and steal a "Happily Ever After" potion that Shrek believes will ensure a happy ending for his marriage. Shrek and Donkey both drink the potion, which doesn't appear to work. They wait out the storm in a barn and Shrek and Donkey become dizzy and fall over into a deep sleep. The next morning the potion has taken effect: Shrek is now a handsome human, while Donkey has turned into a white stallion. To make the change permanent, Shrek must kiss Fiona by midnight. Shrek, Donkey, and Puss return to the castle to discover that the potion has also transformed Fiona back into her former human self. However, the Fairy Godmother, having learned of the potion's theft, sends Charming to the castle, where he poses as Shrek to win Fiona's love. Although Harold recognizes Charming for who he really is, he doesn't speak up. Shrek, heartbroken, lets Fiona go, believing she will be happier with Charming.

A few hours later, Shrek overhears Harold telling the Fairy Godmother that Fiona hasn't fallen for Charming. She gives him a love potion for Fiona, which will cause her to fall in love with the first person she kisses. Harold at first refuses, but the Fairy Godmother threatens to take away his own "Happily Ever After" if he does not listen to her. After hearing that Charming is the Fairy Godmother's son, the trio is noticed by the Fairy Godmother, who has them arrested by the royal guards and thrown into a dungeon. When the royal ball begins, several of Shrek's friends band together to free the trio (having seen their arrest via the Magic Mirror) and help Shrek stop the kiss. The Muffin Man helps them create a gigantic gingerbread man named Mongo. The heroes temporrily breach the castle's defenses, but Mongo's arms break off when the castle guards pour hot milk on him and he falls into the moat. When Shrek arrives, Charming forcibly kisses Fiona, believing the potion has taken effect, but Fiona temporarily knocks him out with a headbutt. When the Fairy Godmother confronts Harold, he reveals that he drank the potion himself at the last minute, having realized Fiona's love for Shrek. The Fairy Godmother tries to kill Shrek with a lightning bolt, but Harold sacrifices himself to save the couple by diving in front of them. The spell reflects off his armor and strikes the Fairy Godmother,leaving her apparently unharmed at first, but when she attempts another strike, she turns into a bubble and pops; it also reverts Harold to his true form, that of the Frog Prince. Harold apologizes to Shrek and Fiona for everything he has done, and now realizes what is best for Fiona, giving them his blessing. Shrek forgives him, and Lillian tells Harold that she still loves him no matter what. The castle clock strikes midnight and Shrek, reminded of the potion's deadline, tells Fiona that if they kiss now, then their change will be permanent. But Fiona says that she wants what any other princess wants: to live happily ever after with the ogre she married. The clock chimes as the potion's effects wear off, with Donkey changing back as well, much to his chagrin. He cheers up as Shrek reassures him he still is a noble steed in his eyes. Finally, Puss and Donkey sing as the royal ball resumes celebrating the true newlyweds.

In a post-credits scene, Donkey complains to Puss about missing Dragon, and rejects his invitation to a night-cap at the "Kit-Kat Club." Suddenly, Dragon flies in, along with six "Dronkeys" that Donkey happily embraces as his "mutant babies," and Donkey and Dragon reconcile. Having a larger family, Donkey realizes, "I've gotta get a job!"


Special guest stars
  • Joan Rivers' cameo marked the first time that a real person had been represented on screen by the Shrek animation team. Her part (though retaining her visual representation) was redubbed by presenter Kate Thornton for the United Kingdom release.
  • On the DVD Special Features and in the U.S. edition VHS (just before the credits), Simon Cowell appears as himself on Far Far Away Idol, a parody of American Idol. (see Home Media)


In July 2001, it was reported that the main cast of the original Shrek were set for huge paychecks for voicing a sequel to the film.[9] Following a successful collaboration with the original film, Eddie Murphy had signed a two-year, first-look production deal with DreamWorks, where he also signed writer-director Todd Field to a two-year deal.[10] The film was produced with a US$70 million budget.[11][12]

The screenwriters for the first film, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, insisted the film to be a traditional fairytale, but after disagreements with the producers, they left the project and was taken over by director Andrew Adamson. His writing of the film was inspired from Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, with the help of the co-directors for the film, who had spent most of the film's production in Northern California while Adamson spent most of the time with the voice actors in Glendale, California.[13]

DreamWorks began production in 2001,[14] which was actually before the first film was even completed.[13] DreamWorks made sure there was something new to see in Shrek 2 by putting more human characters in the film than there were in its predecessor and improving their appearance, with the use of a few systems that dealt with hair and fur to improve its appearance and movement.[15] The set up for all the characters was done in the first 3 years of production.[13]

Puss in Boots required a whole new set of tools in the film to handle his fur, belt and feather plume in his hat. The character also required an upgrade in the fur shader for his introduction in the film.[16]

According to production designer Guillaume Aretos, Shrek 2 appeared to be a lot darker than the original film; "There are a lot of medieval paintings and illustrations that we used quite a bit also. Other than that there are my own influences, which are classical paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, but those are not as direct. In fact, nothing was absolutely direct. The design of Shrek is always a twist on reality anyway, so we tried to [pack] as much detail and interest as we could in the imagery."[17]


Singer and songwriter Adam Duritz from Counting Crows said that his band's song, "Accidentally in Love", "fits into the movie because it's the story of people who fall in love who weren't supposed to fall in love." Composer Harry Gregson Williams operated the sound of the score on different levels which Harry said as "Fun". His score came out as an Eels song into a romantic scene with Shrek and Fiona, or a funny scene with donkey.[18] John Powell had been left out to compose the score for the film with Williams due to a conflict.[13]

Cultural references[edit]

Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 also acts as somewhat of a parody film, targeting adapted children's fantasies (mainly those adapted by Disney); and like other DreamWorks animated films, also features references to American popular culture:

  • The mermaid that washes up on Shrek in the beginning of the film bears strong resemblance to Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid.[19]
  • Elements and landmarks in the fictional kingdom of Far Far Away bear reference to elements and landmarks of Southern California, particularly those of the Los Angeles area. For example, the kingdom features a "Far Far Away" sign obviously modeled after the famous Hollywood Sign; and the "Friar's Fat Boy" restaurant which King Harold, Fairy Godmother and Charming "drive-thru" references the Southern California restaurant chain, Bob's Big Boy.[19]
  • The dinner scene where the camera cuts to different characters saying each other's names references a scene from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • The character Puss In Boots is based on Zorro, a character played by Banderas, who also voices Puss. His behavior references Zorro as he appeared in the 1998 film, The Mask of Zorro.[19]
  • Donkey yells out "I'm melting!" when it starts to rain, which is a reference to the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.[19]
  • When Shrek, Donkey, and Puss are having drinks at The Poison Apple, Puss laments "I hate Mondays" in reference to the cartoon cat Garfield's catchphrase.
  • When Mongo first enters Far Far Away, several people run out of a "Farbucks" in fear, only to run to another location across the street.[20]
  • When the fairy tale creatures rescue Shrek, Donkey and Puss, Pinocchio dives in the prison tower attached to puppet strings, a reference to Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible. The theme music can be heard in the background as well.[21]
  • Several parodies of well-known businesses exist in Far Far Away, such as "Farbucks", a parody of Starbucks, "Baskin Robbinhood", a parody of Baskin Robbins, "Burger Prince", a parody of Burger King, "Abercrombie & Witch", a parody of Abercrombie & Fitch, "Versarchery," a play on the designer label Versace, and "Old Knavery", a parody of Old Navy.[22]
  • When Mongo sinks into the moat in front of the castle, he says "Be good." to Gingy, referencing E.T. (Steven Spielberg, director of E.T., was a co-founder of Dreamworks).[19]
  • When the Fairy Godmother appears to Fiona on her balcony when she sheds a tear due to the fight at dinner, the gold dress in which she makes Fiona wear, blows upward in a reference to the Marilyn Monroe film The Seven Year Itch.[19]
  • When Puss is attacking Shrek and crawls through his shirt, he bursts out of the front, a reference to the chestburster scene from the 1979 film Alien[19]


In April 2004, the film was selected for competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[23]

Shrek 2 was originally going to release on June 18, 2004.[24] The film was then moved forward to May 21, 2004, however, due to "fan demand," it was released two days earlier, on May 19, 2004.[25] A day before the film went to theaters, the first five minutes were shown on Nickelodeon's U-Pick Live.[26]

Playing in 4,163 theaters over its first weekend in the United States, Shrek 2 was the first film with over 4,000 theaters in overall count; over 3,700 theaters was its count for an opening day.[27]

Home media[edit]

Shrek 2 was released on VHS and DVD on November 5, 2004[28] and on Game Boy Advance Video on November 17, 2005.[29] A 3D-converted version of the film was released exclusively with select Samsung television sets on Blu-ray on December 1, 2010, along with the other three films of the series.[30] A non-3D version was released on December 7, 2010, as part of Shrek: The Whole Story,[31] and a stand-alone Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released individually on August 30, 2011, along with the other two films of the series.[32] A stand-alone 3D Blu-ray version of the film was released on November 1, 2011.[33]

Far Far Away Idol[edit]

Far Far Away Idol is a special feature on the DVD and VHS release based on American Idol and guest starring Simon Cowell. Taking place right after Shrek 2 ends, the characters from Shrek compete in singing popular songs while being judged by Shrek, Fiona, and Cowell.[28]

After the performances, on the DVD release, the viewer gets to pick the winner. However, if any character outside of Shrek (along with Princess Fiona), Donkey, or Puss were selected, Cowell would refuse to accept the winner and proclaim himself the victor, leaping onto a table and performing his "own" rendition of "My Way". At the end of the VHS release, it gives a link to a website where the viewer can vote for their favorite to determine the ultimate winner.[28] DreamWorks Animation announced on November 8, 2004, three days after the DVD and VHS release, that after over 750 thousand votes cast, the winner of the competition was Doris.[34]


Box office[edit]

The film opened at #1 with a Friday-to-Sunday total of $108,037,878, and a total of $128,983,060 since its Wednesday launch, from a then-record 4,163 theaters, for an average of $25,952 per theater over the weekend. At the time Shrek 2‍ '​s Friday-to-Sunday total was the second-highest opening weekend trailing only Spider-Man‍ '​s $114,844,116. In addition, Saturday alone managed to obtain $44,797,042, making it the highest single day gross at the time, beating Spider-Man‍ '​s first Saturday gross of $43,622,264.[3] It remained at #1 in its second weekend, grossing another $95,578,365 over the 4-day Memorial Day weekend, narrowly beating out the $85,807,341 4-day tally of new opener The Day After Tomorrow. The film spent a total of 10 weeks in the weekly top 10 remaining there until July 29, and stayed in theaters for 149 days (roughly 21 weeks), closing on November 25, 2004.

The film grossed $441,226,247 domestically (US and Canada), and $478,612,511 in foreign markets, making a total of $919,838,758 worldwide,[2] making it the highest-grossing film of both 2004[35] and in its franchise.[36] This also puts the film at 8th on the all time domestic box office list[37] and 30th on the worldwide box office list.[38]

The film also took away the highest worldwide gross made by an animated feature, which was before held by Finding Nemo,[39] although the latter still had a higher overseas-only gross.[40] With DVD sales and Shrek 2 merchandise are estimated to total almost $800 million, the film (which was produced with a budget of $150 million)[2] is DreamWorks' most profitable film to date.

In August 2010, Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 3 surpassed Shrek 2 to become the highest-grossing animated film worldwide ($1.063 billion),[8] but Shrek 2 still holds the record for the highest-grossing animated film at the American and Canadian box office[41] as well as the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film at this box office. Disney's 3D re-releases of The Lion King (in 2011) and Finding Nemo (in 2012), Despicable Me 2 (in 2014), and Disney's Frozen (also in 2014) respectively, surpassed Shrek 2 and relegated it as the 6th highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Critical response [edit]

The film was well received by a number of critics, many rating it as good as its predecessor,[42][43] and some rated it even better.[44] Based on reviews collected from 232 critics by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 88% gave Shrek 2 a positive review, with the site's consensus stating: "It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right."[45] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average rating of 75 out of 100 based on 40 professional reviews published in newspapers, magazines and in highly regarded Internet sites, which indicates "generally favorable reviews."[46]

Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars saying it's "bright, lively, and entertaining,"[47] while Robert Denerstein of Denver Rocky Mountain News called it "Sharply funny."[48] James Kendrick praised the plot, calling it "familiar, but funny."[49]

In contrast to the praise it received, even in some positive reviews, some critics said that the film wasn't as good as the original film.[50] Peter Rainer of New York magazine stated the film "manages to undo much of what made its predecessor such a computer-generated joy ride."[51]

Accolades [edit]

Shrek 2 was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It won five People's Choice Awards: Favorite Animated Movie, Favorite Animated Movie Star for "Donkey" (Eddie Murphy), Favorite Movie Comedy, and Favorite Movie Villain for "Fairy Godmother" (Jennifer Saunders), and Favorite Sequel. It also won two Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated and Choice Award Choice Movie - Comedy. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to The Incredibles. One of the film's songs, "Accidentally in Love" received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

The American Film Institute nominated Shrek 2 for its Top 10 Animated Films list.[52]

Other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

Main article: Shrek video games

Sequels and spin-offs[edit]

Main article: Shrek (franchise)

Shrek 2 has two sequels; they are Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. A spin-off film Puss in Boots was released on October 28, 2011, and focuses on the character of Puss in Boots, who was introduced in this film.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]