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For other uses, see Shrek (disambiguation).
First edition cover
Author William Steig
Cover artist William Steig
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
October 17, 1990[1]
Media type Print (Paperback and Hardcover)
Pages 32
ISBN 978-0-374-36877-7

Shrek! is a picture book written and illustrated in 1990, by William Steig about a repugnant and monstrous ogre who leaves home to see the world and ends up saving a princess.[2] The name "Shrek" is derived from the Yiddish and German Schreck (Yiddish שרעק) meaning "fear" or "fright".[citation needed] The book served as the basis for the popular Shrek film series over a decade after its publication.



Main article: Shrek (franchise)

Steven Spielberg acquired the rights for the book in 1991, planning to produce a traditionally animated film based on the book. However, around the time DreamWorks was founded, producer John H. Williams brought the book to DreamWorks, and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was interested in the concept. As a result, DreamWorks ended up acquiring the rights for the book in 1995, and Katzenberg quickly put the film in active development.

Shrek was released in April 2001, starring the voice talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz. (Chris Farley had originally been cast to voice the title character in the film, but died before being able to complete the project in December 1997; in August 1998, DreamWorks then recast the role to Mike Myers.) The film was an immediate commercial and critical success, and won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The film's triumph ultimately led to the releases of three sequels: Shrek 2 (2004, which was also an instant success), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010).

Spin-offs of the Shrek film series include the holiday specials Shrek the Halls (November 2007) and Scared Shrekless (October 2010); a musical adaptation; and the film Puss in Boots (released in November 2011), a spin-off prequel starring the character of the same name who appears in the Shrek films and specials.

Shrek was also used in the movie Indian Summer. It was spoken by Kevin Pollak, Bill Paxton, Matt Craven & Kimberly Williams, and was an insider's reference to a "camp gag or joke."


  1. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin. "Shrek - Hollywood Star Walk". May 20, 2010. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Shrek!. Macmillan. 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2010.