"Come on, Shrek, it only seems bad because it's dark and rainy and Fiona's father hired a sleazy hitman to whack you." —Donkey
Shrek 2 was the inevitable 2004 sequel to the Dreamworks AnimationBreakthrough HitShrek. 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. 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.
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...
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."
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
The Reveal: Harold's Disney DeathHeroic 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.
Donkey: Uh... Why donít you guys go ahead. Iíll park the car.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.