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Shrek

Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film loosely based on the 1990 picture book of the same name by William Steig. It is the first installment in the Shrek franchise. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson in their directorial debuts from a screenplay written by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S. H. Schulman, the film stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. In the film, the ogre Shrek (Myers) finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures banished by Lord Farquaad (Lithgow). With the help of Donkey (Murphy), Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona (Diaz) for Farquaad to regain his swamp.

After purchasing rights to Steig's book in 1991, Steven Spielberg sought to produce a traditionally-animated film adaptation, but John H. Williams convinced him to bring the project to the newly founded DreamWorks in 1994. Jeffrey Katzenberg began development of Shrek in 1995, immediately following the studio's purchase of the rights from Spielberg. Chris Farley was cast as the voice for the title character, recording most of the required dialogue, but died in 1997 before his work on the film was finished; Myers was hired to replace him, and gave Shrek his iconic Scottish accent. The film was initially intended to be created using motion capture, but after poor test results, the studio hired Pacific Data Images to complete the final computer animation. Shrek parodies other fairy tale adaptations, primarily animated Disney films.

Shrek premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or, making it the first animated film since Disney's Peter Pan (1953) to be chosen to do so. The film was theatrically released by DreamWorks Pictures in the United States on May 18, 2001 and grossed over $487 million worldwide, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001. It was widely praised by critics for its animation, voice performances, soundtrack, writing and humor, which they noted catered to both adults and children. Shrek was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and won for Best Animated Feature. It earned six nominations at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), winning for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Plot[]

Shrek is an anti-social and highly-territorial green ogre who loves the solitude of his swamp. His life is interrupted after the dwarfish Lord Farquaad of Duloc unknowingly exiles a vast number of fairy-tale creatures to Shrek's swamp. Angered by the intrusion, he decides to visit Farquaad and demand they be moved elsewhere. He reluctantly allows the talkative Donkey, who was exiled as well, to tag along and guide him to Duloc.

Meanwhile, Farquaad is presented with Snow White's Magic Mirror, who tells him that in order to become a king, he must marry a princess. Farquaad chooses Princess Fiona, who is imprisoned in a castle tower guarded by a dragon. Unwilling to perform the task himself, he organizes a tournament in which the winner will receive the "privilege" of rescuing Fiona. Shrek and Donkey arrive during the tournament and defeat Farquaad's knights. Farquaad proclaims them champions and demands that they rescue Fiona. Shrek negotiates to have the fairy-tale creatures relocated if he succeeds, and Farquaad accepts.

Shrek and Donkey travel to the castle and are attacked by Dragon. Shrek locates Fiona, who is appalled by his lack of romanticism, and they flee the castle after rescuing Donkey. When Shrek removes his helmet revealing he is an ogre, Fiona stubbornly refuses to go to Duloc, demanding Farquaad arrive in person; Shrek carries her against her will. That night, after setting up camp and with Fiona alone in a cave, Shrek confides in Donkey about his frustration with being feared and rejected by others over his appearance. Fiona overhears and decides to be kind to Shrek. The next day, they encounter Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, and Fiona dispatches them easily with martial arts when they attack. Shrek is impressed with Fiona, and they begin to fall in love.

When the trio nears Duloc, Fiona takes shelter in a windmill for the evening. Donkey later enters alone and discovers that Fiona has transformed into an ogress. She explains she has been cursed since childhood, forced to transform every night after sunset and changing back at sunrise. She tells Donkey that only "true love's kiss" will break the spell and change her to "love's true form". Meanwhile, Shrek is about to confess his feelings to Fiona, when he overhears the conversation as she is calling herself an "ugly beast". Believing that Fiona is talking about him, Shrek angrily leaves and returns the next morning with Farquaad. Confused and hurt by Shrek's abrupt hostility toward her, Fiona accepts Farquaad's marriage proposal and requests they be married before nightfall.

Shrek abandons Donkey and returns to his now-vacated swamp, but realizes that despite his privacy, he feels miserable and misses Fiona. Donkey arrives at the swamp and confronts Shrek. During their quarrel, Donkey explains that the "ugly beast" Fiona was referring to was someone else, and urges him to express his feelings for Fiona before she marries. The two reconcile and quickly travel to Duloc by riding Dragon, who Donkey had befriended earlier. Shrek interrupts the wedding just before the ceremony completes and tells Fiona that Farquaad is only marrying her to become king. The sun sets as Fiona transforms into an ogress in front of everyone, causing a surprised Shrek to understand what he overheard.

Outraged and disgusted, Farquaad orders Shrek executed and Fiona detained. Dragon, alongside Donkey, bursts in and devours Farquaad. Shrek and Fiona profess their love and share a kiss. Fiona's curse is broken, though this permanently makes her an ogress against her expectations; Shrek reassures her that he still finds her beautiful. They marry in the swamp with fairy-tale creatures in attendance, then leave for their honeymoon.

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