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First edition cover
AuthorWilliam Steig
IllustratorWilliam Steig
Cover artistWilliam Steig
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's Literature
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
October 17, 1990[1]
Media typePrint (Paperback and Hardcover)
LC ClassPZ7.S8177 Sh 1990[2]

Shrek! is a picture book published in 1990 by American cartoonist William Steig, about a repugnant and monstrous green ogre who leaves home to see the world and ends up saving a princess.[3] The name "Shrek" is the romanization of the Yiddish word שרעק, corresponding to German Schreck and meaning "fear" or "fright", but also used as a common exclamation, often in the form Oy Shrek!.[citation needed]

The book served as the basis for the popular Shrek film series over a decade after its publication.


The story features a repugnant and monstrous green ogre, named Shrek, who leaves home to see the world and ends up saving a princess.



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 on May 18, 2001, starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. The film was a critical and commercial 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), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010). A fifth film is currently in development.

Spin offs of the Shrek film series include the holiday specials Shrek the Halls (November 2007) and Scared Shrekless (October 2010); a musical adaptation (2008); and the film Puss in Boots (October 2011), a spin off prequel starring the franchise's character of the same name.

Shrek! was also used in the movie Indian Summer (1993). It was spoken by Kevin Pollak, Bill Paxton, Matt Craven and Kimberly Williams, and was an insider's reference to a "camp gag or joke".


  1. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin (May 20, 2010). "Shrek – Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  2. ^ "Shrek!" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  3. ^ Shrek!. Macmillan. 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2010.