How Many Shrek Movies Are There?

Kevin Ott
Shrek The Third

Very few can resist the irritable but charming sincerity of Mike Myers's beloved character Shrek. The character is so popular that it's easy to lose count of how many Shrek movies they've made. In fact, Dreamworks has released four Shrek movies, and it is rumored that the film company has Shrek 5 in pre-production.

Shrek

In Shrek's 2001 debut, based on William Steig's 1990 picture book, the green ogre lives a quiet life. However, when his contented swamp life is overrun and taken over by exiled creatures from fairy tales, Shrek is desperate to get the creatures off his land. He learns that they've been exiled by evil Lord Farquaad, so Shrek travels with a talking Donkey to find Lord Farquaad and get his swamp back.

Cast, Characters, and Actor Trivia

  • Mike Myers (Shrek): After becoming irritated with one of the film's directors, Myers improvised the line "You're on your way to a smacked bottom." He used this line again later as Austin Powers in Madonna's music video "Beautiful Stranger."
  • Eddie Murphy (Donkey): A BAFTA Nomination was given to Murphy for his role as Donkey, the first to be given for a voiceover performance.
  • Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona): In one scene, Princess Fiona burps. This happened on accident when Cameron Diaz accidentally burped in the recording studio after drinking Coca-Cola.
  • John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad): In the film, Lord Farquaad is extremely short. In reality, John Lithgow is one of the tallest actors in Hollywood (6 feet 4 inches), which Lithgow found amusing.

Shrek 2

Princess Fiona's parents invite the newly married Shrek and Fiona to their home to celebrate. What neither of her parents know, however, is that both Fiona and Shrek are ogres. When the truth comes out, Fiona's parents are disturbed and outraged. Meanwhile, Prince Charming appears on the scene, and Shrek learns he was once Princess Fiona's crush.

Cast, Characters, and Actor Trivia

Besides the same leading cast (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz), Shrek 2 features some very famous newcomers:

  • Julie Andrews (Queen): Andrews, the legendary star of such films as Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, had never met John Cleese before making Shrek 2.
  • John Cleese (King): Cleese had the chance to record all of his parts with Julie Andrews recording her parts at the same time in the studio. This is a rare practice in the making of animated films, but it helped Cleese react naturally to Andrews.
  • Antonio Banderas (Puss In Boots): Banderas recorded the Puss In Boots voice for the Spanish, Latin American, and Italian versions of the film.
  • Rupert Everett (Prince Charming): Everett became a widely known star after his successful role as the editor and friend of Julia Robert's character in My Best Friend's Wedding. Shrek 2 was his second animated film (the first being The Wild Thornberrys Movie).

Shrek the Third

The third film in the Shrek saga is all about the politics of the throne - King Harold's throne, to be exact. When the king falls ill, Shrek is named the heir. Shrek, who has no desire to become king and give up his swamp, hatches a plot to make a trouble-making character named Artie the new heir instead of him.

Cast, Characters, and Actor Trivia

The same main characters from Shrek 2, including Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, and Rupert Everett, return. They are joined by Justin Timberlake, who plays Fiona's cousin Arthur (or Artie). During the making of Shrek 2, Timberlake was dating Cameron Diaz. The two had broken up by the time he was cast as Artie in the third film.

Shrek Forever After

Things get weird in Shrek Forever After. Shrek is having a mid-life crisis. At the same time, a villainous character, Rumpelstiltskin, appears with ill motives. He tricks the vulnerable, crisis-laden Shrek into being erased from existence. Shrek is then exiled into a dismal alternate universe, a different timeline in which Rumpelstiltskin is the ruler of the land.

The same primary cast from Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third return, with the addition of A-list star Jon Hamm, who plays Brogan. Hamm was such a fan of the previous three Shrek movies that he was willing to play any type of character as long as he could have a role in the fourth film.

The Goofy Charm of Shrek-Sized Fairy Tales

The Shrek films are a classic example of Hollywood reinterpreting old fairy tales in a modern setting filled with modern references, sensibilities, and humor. The journey to making them was long (Steven Spielberg was originally set to make the first Shrek in 1990), yet almost 30 years later they're family movies that are still going strong. Even Broadway has gotten in on the Shrek gold mine.

How Many Shrek Movies Are There?