Western Animation / Shrek 2

Have a Happy Ever After!

"Come on, Shrek, it only seems bad because it's dark and rainy and Fiona's father hired a sleazy hitman to whack you."

Shrek 2 was the inevitable 2004 sequel to the Dreamworks Animation Breakthrough Hit Shrek. The movie features Shrek and Fiona, now a happily married couple, living their lavish lifestyle together in their swamp, with their old friend Donkey popping in every now and then. Things for our protagonists get bumpy pretty early on however when Shrek and Fiona are invited to Fiona's parents' castle in the kingdom of Far Far Away to celebrate the newlyweds.Once they arrive, Fiona's parents are shocked at the reveal that their daughter has been transformed permanently into her hideous monster appearance and that she married a hideous monster as well. They try to accept it the best they can, but King Harold (John Cleese) made a deal with Fiona's Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) a long time ago that Fiona would marry her son, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), in order to give Harold his own happily ever after. With their patience wearing thin, Harold hires a hitman, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), to get rid of the ogre and [w]rap up the fairy-tale-gone-wrong without Shrek in the picture.

The movie was a financial success, being Dreamworks Animation's highest grossing film to date, as well as the highest grossing animated film at the time of its release (before being surpassed by Toy Story 3 six years later in 2010), and to this day retains the title in North America. It was also critically acclaimed, with many crediting the film for surpassing the original in quality. It had a sequel, Shrek the Third, released in 2007.

Shrek 2 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Myths Are True: When traveling through Far, Far Away, Shrek and Fiona pass Rapunzel's castle, adorned with yards and yards of hair, and Cinderella's, complete with a slipper motif.
    • Sleeping Beauty is mentioned in Fiona's diary, having a slumber party, natch.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Prince Charming wants to marry Fiona purely so he can become king.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Prince Charming. Being voiced by the openly gay Rupert Everett doesn't help. There is a huge Parental Bonus in the scene where he talks to his mother about his reluctance to marry Fiona. Apparently, he is not interested in women at all...
  • Arc Words: "Happily ever after".
  • Are We There Yet?: Donkey on the way to Far, Far Away at the beginning of the movie.
    Shrek: The Land of Far, Far Away, donkey? That's where we're going! Far...FAR...away.
  • Artistic License Ė Music: The awesome rendition of "Holding Out For a Hero" falls to this. It's in G minor, not C minor as requested in-universe.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mongo the Giant Gingerbread Man.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Poison Apple, the seedy tavern where Harold goes to hire Puss in Boots. An Ugly Stepsister is the bartender, Captain Hook plays piano, and a sign says "We Reserve the Right to Behead Anyone."
  • Become a Real Boy: Parodied, with a Yank the Dog's Chain thrown in.
    * zap*
    Pinocchio: I'm a real boy! ... [singing] I'm real, I'm real, I'm -
    * zap*
    Pinocchio: ...Aww!
  • Berserk Button: "Not the gumdrop button!"
  • Big "NO!": From Shrek and Gingi when Mongo falls into the moat. In slow motion, even. Also, Shrek after Charming kisses Fiona and he thinks she will fall in love to him due to the love potion.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Parodied in the prison cell scene:
    Stallion!Donkey: I have the right to remain silent!
    Hunk!Shrek: Donkey, you have the right to remain silent. What you lack is the capacity.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Puss in Boots cursing in Spanish after falling off Donkey in his stallion form.
    • Specifically he said, "¡Hey tu, pedazo de carne con patas, ¿Como te atreves a hacerme esto?" which approximately translated, means, "Hey, you meatbag with legs, how you dare do this to me?"
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Fairy Godmother. Comes off as sweet and kind, but is really quite nasty.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: During the dinner scene, Harold accuses Shrek of wanting to eat his own children. Shrek then points out that Harold wasn't any better than him for having locked Fiona in a tower.
  • Cameo: When Shrek and Fiona are kissing on the beach, a wave washes over them and suddenly Fiona is replaced by a certain red-headed mermaid princess. Fiona promptly tosses her way out to sea where she is attacked by a shark.
    • Joan Rivers as herself and Simon Cowell as himself for the "Far Far Away Idol" parody on the DVD.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The card that Shrek snatches from Fairy Godmother and later, the love potion.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The opening montage is quite sweet and funny. But during the parody of From Here to Eternity, Shrek unintentionally ends up frolicking with a lookalike of The Little Mermaid. Fiona's response? She throws Ariel back into the sea, where she gets eaten by sharks. Neither ogre shows much concern about this.
    • A milder example: Immediately following that scene, the newlyweds enjoy a mud bath... lit up by the glow of several fairies trapped in jars. To add insult to injury, Shrek and Fiona playfully begin farting, much to the discomfort of the contained fairies.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Pairs up real nicely with Puss-in-Boots' secret attack.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Invoked intentionally by Puss-in-Boots' as his ultimate weapon, used to devastating effect - see Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Puss is hired by the king to assassinate Shrek. However, unlike his fairy tale counterpart, he does not try to trick the ogre into changing into a mouse, but instead makes a direct, frontal assault on Shrek, which works up until the feline gags on a hairball, spitting it up. Shrek and Donkey spare his life, and Puss proposes to the ogre he owes a life debt to him, in thanks. Although there is some tension/rivalry between Puss and Donkey (who seems nervous that Puss is taking his place as "annoying talking animal"), the three eventually become close friends and allies.
  • Demoted to Extra: Dragon only appears in the post-credits scene of the movie, to reveal hers and Donkey's new babies, the Dronkies. Come next film, however, not only is she a main character again, she gets even more screentime than she had in the first movie.
  • Desperate Object Catch: After Puss pulls the Happily Ever After potion from its containment, he loses his grip, causing it to fly through the air; just before it hits the ground, Donkey manages to catch it in his mouth.
    Shrek: Nice catch, Donkey! Finally, a good use for your mouth.
  • Drag Queen: Inverted - in the Poison Apple, the barwoman is an Ugly Sister and she really is technically a woman but her face is effectively a man's and she is even voiced by a man (Larry King in the USA, Johnathan Ross in the UK).
    King: Excuse me, I'm looking for the ugly step-sister...?
    [Doris turns around to show a woman whose face is remarkably male with poorly applied makeup]
    King: Ah...there you are!
  • Diegetic Switch: The Fairy Godmother sings "Holding Out For A Hero" for Fiona and Charming ... which becomes the background music for Shrek, Donkey, and Puss Storming the Castle.
  • Dramatic Irony: Shrek wasn't the "hero" the Fairy Godmother's song was about. In fact, given her decidedly unheroic intentions, the choice of song itself can only be seen as deeply cynical.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: When Fiona told her parents the she was going to "set things right", Harold took it to mean she was leaving Shrek when in fact she was planning on returning to the swamp with Shrek and cutting her parents out of her life.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Pinocchio in Become a Real Boy shown above.
  • Fairy Godmother: Is actually the antagonist.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Fairy Godmother doesn't allow ogres to have happy endings. Also the King instantly disliking Shrek because he is an ogre without actually knowing anything about him. To the point where he wanted him dead and even hired someone to do it. He gets better though.
  • Food Porn: Just try watching the dinner scene without developing a hunger for lobster, roasted pig, and/or Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Foreshadowing: The lady-frog in The Poison Apple asking the King of Far Far Away if she's seen him before. And before that, it's mentioned that his and the Queen's first date was a peaceful walk among the lily pads, something that frogs are fond of hopping on.
  • Funny Background Event: After The Fairy Godmother catches Shrek and co. spying on them, you can see some local Knights giving the Headless Horseman a sobriety test just before Shrek and his pals break past them. What's particularly amusing is that they appear to be giving him the "touch your nose" test. You know, to a man who has no head...
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Probably unintentional, but Far Far Away's postal service and police department being named F.F.A.P.S. and F.F.A.P.D. are hard to miss.
    • Also possibly unintentional, when Fairy Godmother's receptionist, Jerome, exasperatedly presses the PA button to answer to her meal request, he does it with his middle finger.
    • Pinocchio wearing ladies' underwear, per the many times in the last film. Kids think nothing of it other than that it's funny, but many adults are left questioning his reason in wearing it in the first place.
  • Gilligan Cut: In Shrek 2, after Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are invited to Far Far Away:
    Shrek: We're not going, and that's final!
    Cut to the last of the luggage being loaded
  • Good Times Montage: The opening sequence.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The gingerbread giant, and King Harold.
  • He's Got a Weapon!: "Look out Shrek, he's got a piece!" "Donkey. It's a cat."
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: Fairy Godmother.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: A lot of the humor of the series comes from putting a fairy-tale twist on modern names and concepts. Like watching "Knights" on TV (the magic mirror), or Fiona writing "Mrs. Fiona Charming" in her diary.
  • Hollywood Glass Cutter: Puss in Boots cuts a circular hole with his claws to get the "Happily Ever After" potion from the Fairy Godmother's storage room. The hole, however, turns out to be too small for the bottle to fit through, and Puss ends up pulling the bottle so hard that the glass pane shatters.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Fiona's parents are discussing Fiona marrying an ogre:
    Lillian: This is Fiona's choice!
    Harold: Yes, but she was supposed to choose the prince we picked out for her!
  • I Ate WHAT?: A servant was holding a platter and Harold tastes the dish calling it "Exquisite" then finding out it's dog food. He wipes his hands in disgust but doesn't have much reaction besides that.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The mooks in the potion factory start shooting at Shrek, who is barely moving due to running against a conveyor belt. None of them hit.
  • Improvised Zipline: Prince Charming uses one during his opening montage
  • Indy Hat Roll: Puss-in-Boots during the scene in the potion factory pulls this off, complete with requisite hat-grab.
  • Kill It with Water: the Heroic Sacrifice of Gingi's giant.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming
  • Logical Weakness: Mongo the giant Gingerbread Man suffers from this when he helps Shrek and the fairy tale creatures storm the castle during the climax. Mongo manages to pry the castle door open a crack, just enough for Shrek to slip through, but immediately afterwards the guards dump milk on him. His arms get soggy and break off, causing him to lose his balance and fall backwards into the moat. Being a giant cookie, he is too soggy to move at all anymore and is permanently defeated.
  • Love Potion: Fiona's fairy godmother orders the king to pour it into Fiona's drink so that she will fall in love with Prince Charming instead of Shrek. Turns out, Harold didn't give Fiona the potion after all; and intentionally gave Fiona the untainted cup of tea.
  • Man Child: Prince Charming.
  • Meet the In-Laws: The movie is about Shrek meeting Fiona's parents, who aren't very happy about their daughter marrying an ogre. The Queen tries to be polite about it but the King is less open minded.
  • Mirrors Reflect Everything: At the end, the fairy godmother shoots a spell at Shrek. Harold jumps in the way, and while the spell affects him, his armor also reflects it back at the fairy godmother.
  • Moral Dissonance: See Comedic Sociopathy above.
  • My Card: The Fairy Godmother's card - also a means of communication.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: In the DVD menu, Donkey asks why the movie is just named Shrek 2, and starts coming up with alternative Donkey-related subtitles, like "Day of the Donkey", "Donkey's Revenge", "A Donkey Will Rise", "2 Fast 2 Donkey'' and "Donkey Reloaded". This soon gets on everyone else's nerves.
    Donkey: How about "Shrek 2... The REAL Jackass Movie?!"
    Everyone: No!
    Donkey: How about "Shrek 2: Donkey Reloaded?"
    '''Everyone:" NO!!
    Shrek: How about this? "Shrek 2: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Oh, there he is, cut from the movie because HE TALKS TOO MUCH!"
  • Open-Minded Parent: Lillian was shocked by seeing Shrek and Fiona but was at least willing to try and be nice about the situation because she saw how happy Fiona was with Shrek.
  • Parental Bonus: Many.
    • "That bush that looks just like Shirley Bassey..."
  • Perspective Magic + Eureka Moment: After breaking out of Far Far Away prison, Gingy's standing on a parapet (with the Far Far Away castle far off in the distance behind him) gives Shrek an idea how they will go about Storming the Castle.
  • Precious Puppies: Fiona's Bichon.
  • Prince Charmless: Prince Charming.
  • The Reveal: Harold's Disney Death Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the movie eventually reveals his true form as the Frog Prince. Unlike the original fairytale, neither his wife nor his daughter knew of his true form. This is because Harold gained this form through a deal with the Fairy Godmother instead of Lillian kissing him, and Fiona's Arranged Marriage to Prince Charming was an end result of that.
  • Rocky Roll Call: During the dinner scene with Fiona's parents:
    Queen: Harold!
    Fiona: Shrek!
    Shrek: Fiona!
    King: Fiona!
    Fiona: Mom!
    Queen: Harold!
    Donkey: Donkey!
  • Running Gag: Sometimes the characters are surprised to learn that Charming is Fairy Godmother's son.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Shrek and Fiona get off the carriage and the townspeople are shocked:
    Donkey: Uh... Why donít you guys go ahead. Iíll park the car.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: After Shrek becomes handsome from the happily ever after potion, a bunch of girls start throwing themselves at him. He informs them that he already has a true love. This is also true with Fiona when Prince Charming poses as Shrek. She has no interest in Charming and wants Shrek the way he originally was. It's clear neither Shrek nor Fiona have eyes for anyone else.
  • Separated by a Common Language: The slightly, er- intellectually subnormal giant gingerbread man raises eyebrows in Scotland, where the word "mongo" is an extremely offensive pejorative term for someone who is mentally handicapped. But Mongo was also the name of a guy in Blazing Saddles.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous:
    • When arriving in Far, Far Away, Donkey says, "Swimming pools, movie stars!" a reference to opening theme of The Beverly Hillbillies.
    • To Garfield when Puss mutters into his milk "I hate Mondays."
    • During Shrek and Fiona's honeymoon, they receive a ring with text that glows when it is heated. Later during the same honeymoon, Fiona removing something covering lower part of her loved one's mouth to kiss him while he is hanging from a tree certainly bears a striking resemblance to a certain crawly character.
    • When Shrek is fleeing on Donkey into the forest in a segment of KNIGHTS, there is a helicopter shot of the sequence and a voice is heard saying "We've got a white bronco headed east into the forest. Requesting backup." This is a direct reference to the infamous 1994 California highway chase where cops were chasing OJ Simpson in a white Ford Bronco, a notorious low-speed chase. The montage's camerawork and overall appearance resembles the appearance of COPS.
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: The Fairy Godmother does this at one point.
  • Left the Background Music On: It turns out that the voice over narration describing Charming's quest is done by Charming while on the quest.
  • Stunned Silence: When Shrek and Fiona get out of the carriage, everyone in the kingdom sees them and are all shocked. It becomes so quiet, all that can be heard is a baby crying in the distance.
  • That Poor Cat: When the "Happily Ever After" potion takes effect on Shrek and he faints, we hear a cat howl... presumably because Shrek landed on Puss-In-Boots when he passed out.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding
  • Threatening Shark: The fate of the Captain Ersatz Little Mermaid in the opening sequence is to be eaten by sharks.
  • Took a Shortcut: In a non-video game example, Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona have to travel to the Kingdom of Far, FAR Away, which apparently takes an exceedingly long time. Yet when Shrek is arrested after drinking the Happily Ever After Potion, his whole gang back at The Swamp (where it's already getting dark) witness this on television and get to Far Far Away during the same evening, well before midnight.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: With a mix of Finishing Each Other's Sentences, during the scene where Shrek and Fiona first arrive in Far, Far Away, both them and Fiona's parents constantly bicker with their partners during the walk to greet each other, with each line cutting out to be finished by other side, humously with the finished line carrying the exact opposite connotation of its predecessor.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Given how everyone else reacts when they see Shrek and Fiona (fleeing in terror, attacking in terror, or staring in Stunned Silence), the heralds who deliver them the invitation at the beginning are remarkably unfazed by the sight of their princess-turned-ogre and her similarly-formed husband. And the talking donkey.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: From which the Fairy Godmother draws the Love Potion.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Everybody loves the Fairy Godmother - she seems quite nice and she's very famous for her potions and happy endings.
  • White Stallion: Donkey, after drinking the Happily Ever After potion. It doesn't stick.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Puss-in-Boots holds off a pack of guards as Shrek rushes to stop the Fairy Godmother's evil plot, in payment of his debt to Shrek. He's not honestly in much danger from them, but that makes him holding them all off no less impressive, especially for a normal-sized housecat.