Shrek 2
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Shrek 2

Shrek 2
Shrek 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byAndrew Adamson
Based onShrek!
by William Steig
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
Edited by
  • Michael Andrews
  • Sim Evan-Jones
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures[2]
Release date
  • May 15, 2004 (2004-05-15) (Cannes)
  • May 19, 2004 (2004-05-19) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States[2]
Budget$150 million[4]
Box office$919.8 million[4]

Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon. It is the sequel to 2001's Shrek and the second installment in the Shrek film franchise. The film stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, who reprise their respective voice roles of Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona. They are joined by new characters voiced by Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, and Jennifer Saunders. Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 also parodies other films based on fairy tales and features references to American popular culture.[5][6][7]Shrek 2 takes place following the events of the first film, with Shrek and Donkey meeting Fiona's parents as her zealous Fairy Godmother, who wants Fiona to marry her son Prince Charming, plots to destroy Shrek and Fiona's marriage. Shrek and Donkey team up with a swashbuckling cat named Puss in Boots to foil her plans.

Development began in 2001, and following disagreements with producers, the screenwriters from the first film were replaced with Adamson. The story was inspired by Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), and new animation tools were utilized to improve the visual appearance of each character, particularly Puss in Boots. The lead actors also received a significant bump in salary to $10 million, which at the time was among the highest contracts in their respective careers.

Shrek 2 premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or, and it was released in theaters on May 19, 2004. Met with favorable reviews like its predecessor, the film grossed $919.8 million worldwide. It scored the second-largest, three-day opening weekend in U.S. history and the largest opening for an animated film at the time of its release.[8][9] It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 2004 worldwide.[10]Shrek 2 is also DreamWorks Animation's most successful film to date, and it held the title of being the highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide until Toy Story 3 surpassed it in 2010.[11] The film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and its associated soundtrack reached the Top 10 on the US Billboard 200. A sequel entitled Shrek the Third was released in 2007.


Newlyweds Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon to find they have been invited by Fiona's parents to a royal ball to celebrate their marriage. Shrek refuses to go at first, but Fiona talks him into it, and along with Donkey, they travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away. They meet Fiona's parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, who are shocked to see both their daughter and son-in-law are ogres, with Harold particularly repulsed. At dinner, Shrek and Harold get into a heated argument over how Shrek and Fiona will raise their family, and Fiona, disgusted at Shrek and Harold's behavior, locks herself away in her room that evening. Shrek worries that he has lost his true love, particularly after finding her childhood diary and reading that she was once infatuated with Prince Charming.

Harold is reprimanded by the Fairy Godmother and her son Prince Charming, as Charming was to marry Fiona in exchange for Harold's own happy ending. She implores him to find a way to get rid of Shrek. Harold arranges for Shrek and Donkey to join him on a fictitious hunting trip, which is actually a trap to lure them into the hands of an assassin, Puss in Boots. Unable to defeat Shrek, Puss reveals that he was paid by Harold and offers to come along and make amends. The three sneak into the Fairy Godmother's potion factory by pretending to be representatives of a worker's union and steal a "Happily Ever After" potion that Shrek thinks will restore Fiona's love for him.

Shrek and Donkey both drink the potion and fall into a deep sleep, awakening the next morning to discover its effects: Shrek is now a handsome man, while Donkey has turned into an elegant white stallion. In order 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 transformed Fiona back into her former human self as well. However, the Fairy Godmother, having discovered the potion's theft, has already sent Charming to pose as Shrek and win Fiona's love. At the Fairy Godmother's urging, Shrek leaves the castle, believing that the best way to make Fiona happy is to let her go.

To ensure that Fiona falls in love with Charming, the Fairy Godmother gives Harold a love potion to put into Fiona's tea. This exchange is overheard by Shrek, Donkey, and Puss, who are arrested by the royal guards and thrown into a dungeon. While the royal ball begins, several of Shrek's friends band together to free the trio with the help of The Muffin Man's monster-sized gingerbread man, which breaks through the castle's defenses. Shrek is too late to prevent Charming from kissing Fiona, but instead of falling in love with Charming, Fiona knocks him out with a headbutt. Harold reveals that he never gave Fiona the love potion, whereupon the now-enraged Fairy Godmother tries to kill Shrek. Harold tries to save Shrek, and his shiny armor reflects the spell back at the Fairy Godmother, disintegrating her into teardrops; however, he is turned back into the Frog Prince, his true form. Harold gives his blessing to the marriage and apologizes for his earlier behavior, admitting his use of the Happily Ever After potion years earlier to gain Lillian's love. Lillian assures Harold that she loves him and not his appearance.

As the clock strikes midnight, Fiona rejects Shrek's offer to remain humans, and they happily let the potion's effects wear off and revert to their ogre forms, while Donkey changes back to his natural form as well. In the mid-credits scene, Dragon, who had previously romanced Donkey, reveals that they now have several dragon-donkey hybrid babies, much to his surprise.


  • 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 2001, soon after the original Shrek proved to be a hit, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz negotiated an upfront payment of $10 million each for voicing a sequel to the film.[12][13][14][15] That was significant rise from the $350,000 salary they were paid for the first film.[14] According to Jeffrey Katzenberg, the executive producer of Shrek 2 and a co-founder of DreamWorks, who led the negotiations, the payments were probably the highest in the actors' entire careers.[12] Each of the actors were expected to work between 15 and 18 hours in total.[12] The film was produced with a US$70 million budget.[16][17]

The screenwriters for the first film, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, insisted the film be a traditional fairytale, but after disagreements with the producers, they left the project and were replaced 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.[18]

DreamWorks began production in 2001,[19] which was actually before the first film was even completed.[18] 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.[20] The set up for all the characters was done in the first three years of production.[18]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.[21]

In an early version of Shrek 2, Shrek abdicated the throne, and called for a fairy tale election. Pinocchio's campaign was the "honesty" campaign, while Gingy's was a "smear" campaign. Director Andrew Adamson said it was overtly satiric and political, with many funny ideas, but "it was more intellectual than emotional".[22]

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."[23]


The film's soundtrack features the song "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows, which the band's singer and songwriter Adam Duritz believes "fits into the movie because it's the story of people who fall in love who weren't supposed to fall in love." The soundtrack was composed by Harry Gregson Williams.[18][clarification needed]


In April 2004, the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[24]

Shrek 2 was originally scheduled for release on June 18, 2004.[25] The film was then moved forward from June 18, 2004, to May 21, 2004; however, due to "fan demand", it was released two days earlier from May 21, 2004, to May 19, 2004.[26] A day before the film went to theaters, the first five minutes were shown on Nickelodeon's U-Pick Live.[27]

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.[28]

In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures (owners of the pre-2005 DreamWorks Pictures catalog)[29] and transferred to 20th Century Fox before reverting to Universal Studios in 2018.

Home media

Shrek 2 was released on VHS and DVD on November 5, 2004[30][31] and on Game Boy Advance Video on November 17, 2005.[32] 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.[33] A non-3D version was released on December 7, 2010, as part of Shrek: The Whole Story,[34] 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.[35] A stand-alone 3D Blu-ray version of the film was released on November 1, 2011.[36] The DVD release features two full-length commentary tracks, one by co-directors Conrad Vernon and Kelly Asbury, and a second by producer Aron Warner and editor Michael Andrews.

Far Far Away Idol

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 short features characters from Shrek compete in a sing-off while being judged by Shrek, Fiona, and Cowell.[30]

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.[30] DreamWorks Animation announced on November 8, 2004, three days after the DVD and VHS release, that after over 750,000 votes cast, the winner of the competition was Doris.[37]


Box office

The film opened at No. 1 with a Friday-to-Sunday total of $108 million, and $129 million 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 2s Friday-to-Sunday total was the second-highest opening weekend, only trailing Spider-Mans $114.8 million. In addition, Saturday alone managed to obtain $44.8 million, making it the highest single-day gross at the time, beating Spider-Mans first Saturday gross of $43.6 million.[8] The film remained at No. 1 in its second weekend, expanding to 4,223 theaters, and grossing another $95.6 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, narrowly beating out the $85.8 million four-day tally of new opener The Day After Tomorrow. It spent ten weeks in the weekly Top 10, remaining there until July 29, and stayed in theaters for 149 days (roughly twenty-one weeks), closing on November 25, 2004. The film was released in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2004, and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends, before being dethroned by Spider-Man 2.[38]

The film grossed $441.2 million domestically (US and Canada) and $478.6 million in foreign markets for a total of $919.8 million worldwide,[4] making it the highest-grossing film of both 2004[39] and in its franchise.[40] This also puts the film at 14th on the all-time domestic box office list[41] and 42nd on the worldwide box office list.[42] The film sold an estimated 71,050,900 tickets in the US.[43]

The film also took away the highest worldwide gross made by an animated feature, which was before held by Finding Nemo (2003),[44] although the latter still had a higher overseas-only gross.[45] With DVD sales and Shrek 2 merchandise estimated to total almost $800 million, the film (which was produced with a budget of $150 million)[4] is DreamWorks' most profitable film to date.

Shrek 2 remained the highest-grossing animated film worldwide until the release of Toy Story 3 (2010),[11] and held the record for the highest-grossing animated film at the North American box office until the release of Finding Dory (2016)[46][47] 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 2013), Disney's Frozen (also in 2013),[48]Minions (in 2015),[49]Zootopia (in 2016), Finding Dory (also in 2016), Despicable Me 3 (in 2017),[50] and Incredibles 2 (in 2018)[51][52][53] respectively, surpassed Shrek 2 and relegated it as the eleventh-highest-grossing animated film of all time.

Critical response

On film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 89% based on 236 reviews with an average rating of 7.68/10. The website's consensus reads, "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."[54]Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 75 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[55] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[56]

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, saying it is "bright, lively, and entertaining",[57] and Robert Denerstein of Denver Rocky Mountain News called it "sharply funny".[58] James Kendrick praised the plot, calling it "familiar, but funny".[59] J. R. Jones of the Chicago Reader called it "unassailable family entertainment", similar to the first film.[60] Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post called it "better and funnier than the original".[61]

Though he wrote that it is not as good as the first film, Kevin Lally of Film Journal International described it as "inventive and often very funny".[62] Peter Rainer of New York magazine, however, stated the film "manages to undo much of what made its predecessor such a computer-generated joy ride."[63]


Shrek 2 was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[64] It won five awards at the 31st 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.[65] It also won a Teen Choice Award in the category of Choice Award Choice Movie - Comedy.[66] The film was nominated at the 3rd Visual Effects Society Awards in the category of "Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture."[67]

Along with Shark Tale, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to The Incredibles.[68] One of the film's songs, "Accidentally in Love" received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song,[68]Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song,[69] and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.[70]

In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated the film for its Top 10 Animation Films list.[71]

Award Category Name Outcome
Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Andrew Adamson Nominated
Best Original Song "Accidentally in Love" Nominated
Annie Awards[73] Best Animated Feature Andrew Adamson Nominated
Music in an Animated Feature Production Harry Gregson-Williams Nominated
Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Conrad Vernon Nominated
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Antonio Banderas Nominated
Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production Andrew Adamson, Joe Stillman, J. David Stem, and David N. Weiss Nominated
Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Animated Feature Film Runner-up
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Film Music Award Harry Gregson-Williams Won
BMI Film & TV Awards Most Performed Song from a Film "Accidentally In Love" Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Animated Feature Nominated
Best Song "Accidentally In Love" Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury & Conrad Vernon Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Animated Film Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Animated Feature Nominated
Best Original Song Counting Crows Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards Most Overrated Movie of the Year Nominated
Best Animated Movie of the Year Nominated
Coolest Character of the Year (for "Puss in Boots") Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Animation/Family (for "Ant Farm, The") Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Compilation Soundtrack Album Andrew Adamson, Christopher Douridas & Michael Ostin Nominated
Best Song David Bryson, Adam Duritz, David Immerglück, Matthew Malley & Dan Vickrey for "Accidentally In Love" Nominated
Hollywood Film Awards Animation of the Year Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury & Conrad Vernon Won
International Film Music Critics Association Best Original Score for a Comedy Film Harry Gregson-Williams Nominated
International Online Cinema Awards Best Animated Feature Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury & Conrad Vernon Nominated
Best Original Song "Accidentally In Love" Nominated
Irish Film & Television Academy Best International Actress Cameron Diaz Nominated
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best Foreign Director Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury & Conrad Vernon Nominated
Italian Online Movie Awards Best Animated Feature Film Won
Best Original Song "Accidentally in Love" Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Best Sound Editing in Feature Film - Animated Randy Thom, Dennis Leonard, Jonathan Null, Marilyn McCoppen, David C. Hughes, Scott Guitteau, J.R. Grubbs Ewa Sztompke, Larry Oatfield, Andre Fenley & Mark Jan Wlodarkiewicz Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Comedic Performance Antonio Banderas Nominated
MTV Movie Awards, Mexico Favorite Voice in an Animated Film Eugenio Derbez as the voice of Donkey in Latin America Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Nominated
Favorite Animated Film Nominated
Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie Mike Myers Nominated
Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie Eddie Murphy Nominated
Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie Cameron Diaz Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Best Animated Picture Aron Warner, David Lipman & John H. Williams Nominated
Best Music, Original Song Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immerglück, Matthew Malley, David Bryson & Daniel Vickers (for "Accidentally in Love") Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Best Animated Film Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Movie Comedy Won
Favorite Sequel Won
Favorite Animated Movie Won
Favorite Animated Movie Star Eddie Murphy Won
Favorite Movie Villain Jennifer Saunders Won
Favorite Motion Picture Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Song "Accidentally in Love" Won
Russian National Movie Awards Best Blockbuster Movie Won
Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie - Comedy Won
Choice Movie of the Summer Nominated
Visual Effects Society[74] Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture Antonio Banderas
Raman Hui
World Soundtrack Awards Soundtrack Composer of the Year Harry Gregson-Williams Nominated
Best Original Soundtrack of the Year Harry Gregson-Williams Nominated
Best Original Song Written for Film Counting Crows Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Family Feature Film - Animation Nominated

Other media

Video games

Sequels and spin-offs

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. On November 6, 2018, it was reported by Variety that Chris Meledandri had been tasked to reboot both Shrek and Puss in Boots, with the original cast potentially returning.[77][78]

See also


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