YMMV / Shrek


Shrek film series

  • Adaptation Displacement: You probably won't find a lot of people who have even heard of Shrek! by William Steig (and if they did, it's likely they first heard of it by watching the credits of a Shrek film). So much was added to this little story that about the only thing it and the movies have in common is...a grumpy ogre named Shrek, a donkey (who is quickly forgotten about), a brief obstacle of a dragon, and an ugly princess.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Sure, Monsieur Hood definitely seemed like a French Jerk, but keep in mind he didn't know Shrek was a good guy. And his men only attacked Fiona in retaliation.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Like The Flintstones and The Muppet Show did back in their day, the first Shrek was meant to appeal to both children and adults without seemingly favoring one group over the other, with its edgy humor and pop-culture references giving it a grittier vibe than other animated movies at the time - especially the Disney Animated Canon, which had a reputation for being "squeaky-clean". However, as time went on and Shrek became a Cash Cow Franchise, marketing for the movies became more kid-focused even as the content of the movies was only slightly toned down. This caused the series to eventually gain a reputation of being "for kids", just like what happened to the Flintstones and Muppets. This is reflected in the evolution of the franchise's toyline: the first movie had a line of highly detailed collectibles by McFarlane Toysnote  that could be appreciated by both kids and adults (just like the movie), while the toylines for the sequels (by Hasbro and MGA) were far cheaper and more gimmicky, and no longer targeted the Periphery Demographic of action figure collectors.
  • Awesome Music:
    • One can't disregard the franchise's main theme Fairytale, a hauntingly beautiful leitmotif that still manages to fit with the series' tongue-in-cheek tone. Added bonus for that basically becoming the unofficial opening song of all the Dreamworks films to come after- whenever they do their Dreamworks Logo Gag, expect to hear some variation of it.
    • Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me...
    • Both covers of "I'm a Believer" (Eddie Murphy's in the movie, Smash Mouth's on the soundtrack) are awesome, but Donkey belting it out at the end of the first movie with a crowd of fairy tales backing him up deserves special mention. For a typical kid watching this movie back in the summer of 2001, that whole sequence was the epitome of cool.
      Donkey: I believe I believe I believe I believe I believe I believe I believe I believe I believe! Hey!
      Crowd: I! Be-lieve! I! Be-lieve! Be-lieve! I! Be-lieve!
    • Self's "Stay Home" from the movie's credits roll.
    • "It Is You (I Have Loved)", an Award-Bait Song based on Fiona's theme (and, if the lyrics are anything to go by, her character arc).
    • "My Beloved Monster" by Eels.
  • Badass Decay: Fiona goes from being able to take down Robin Hood's entire band of outlaws...to being helpless against one guard and Lord Farquaad wielding only a small dagger, in the space of half a movie.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Donkey. He's either hilarious, lovable, and part of the charm and soul of the series, or just plain annoying to the point of being The Load at times, especially in the sequels where his annoying tendencies are flanderized. Overall, the fanbase's opinion of Donkey is much like Shrek's own.
    • Fiona's human form. Some find her design to be adorable, beautiful, sexy, and more conventionally attractive than her ogre form, and wish that Human!Fiona would make a reappearance of some sort.note  Others find Human!Fiona to be unnecessarily uncanny due to dated CGI, and not as unique, iconic or endearing as Ogre!Fiona.
  • Broken Base:
    • The announcement of a fifth Shrek movie has been met with highly mixed reactions. Some fans are overjoyed, especially ones who grew up with the series, and believe that DreamWorks Animation's beard-growing will lead to another good sequel. Others think that any further sequels would be detrimental, pointing to the sequelitis seen in the third and fourth movies, and believe that the franchise should quit while it's ahead with Puss in Boots. Furthermore, there are those who are afraid that the fifth movie may be an alienating reboot (a la Ghostbusters (2016) or The Mummy (2017)) and/or try to capitalize on kids' trends such as the Minions. Others still find the announcement hard to take seriously due to the franchise's Memetic Mutation and believe that a fifth Shrek movie will be seen as a big joke.
    • How the films should be regarded for their quality and influence, especially over time. There's little doubt that Shrek was far more universally beloved in its heyday, and that most people consider more emotional and story-based animated moviesnote  to be superior. That said, there are those who consider the movies (especially the first two) to be just as fun and lovable as they were in the day, those who consider the series So Okay, It's Average, and those who find the series to be overrated and unendearing. The latter two camps generally consider the unanimous praise of the first two Shrek movies to be a product of circumstance, due to the fact that the Disney Animated Canon was running dry at the time. Members of all three camps (even those who enjoy Shrek on its own merits) bemoan how the series killed traditional animation and caused animated movies to become more crass and gag-based, but whether it retroactively ruins the series itself is a matter of debate.
  • Crack Pairing: Plenty of fans seem to enjoy shipping Donkey with Puss in Boots for some odd reason, despite Donkey already being Happily Married to Dragon.
  • Crossover Ship: Thanks to the power of memes, there's plenty of people who ship Shrek with Shadow The Hedgehog.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Gingy and Pinocchio are very popular with kids and adults alike despite their secondary role, especially Gingy, whose interrogation scene is considered a highlight of the first movie. For this reason, Gingy is often an Advertised Extra and plays a major role in the TV specials, while Pinocchio becomes an Ascended Extra in Shrek: The Musical.
  • Fanon:
    • Some fans consider Shrek's, Donkey's and Fiona's signature songs to be "All Star", "I'm a Believer" and "It is You (I Have Loved)", respectively.
    • Brogre memes frequently feature Drek, a blue Evil Knockoff of Shrek, as their equivalent of Satan. Because Lord Farquaad is also an antagonistic figure in Brogre "mythology", his relationship with Drek varies Depending on the Writer, from Drek being a disguise for Farquaad to Farquaad being The Dragon to Drek.
  • First Installment Wins: While the second movie may be more critically acclaimed, the first movie will forever be the most iconic, in part thanks to its memetic potential.
  • Fountain of Memes: Both the first film in general and Shrek as a character have spawned a ton of memes.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: To this day, the first two movies are very popular in Poland, mainly due to Superlative Dubbing and Woolseyism.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Mulan, Eddie Murphy's character was a red fire-breathing dragon. In Shrek, Eddie Murphy's character marries a red fire-breathing dragon.
    • By sheer coincidence, Farquaad's emblem has an uncanny resemblence to the Facebook logo.
    • One of the first things Shrek said to Fiona was "You were expecting Prince Charming?" And then...
    • One of the jokes MAD made about the first movie was Donkey and Dragon having half-donkey, half-dragon babies...which is exactly what happened in the second movie.
    • Game of Thrones fans can't help but chuckle at how Jaime Lannister is a dead ringer for Prince Charming. The fun doesn't end there - Tyrion is an eccentric, red-clad Deadpan Snarker dwarf lord just like Farquaad and has a similar voice, Sansa is a redheaded princess like Fiona and even has a similar green dress and hair braid in Season 7, Syrio is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture Spaniardnote  who's proficient with a sword like Puss and compares his style to a cat...
    • In the Japanese dub of the films, Koichi Yamadera voiced Donkey. The hilarity came with the fact in the very first film, the villain Lord Farquaad was voiced by Masato Ibu, who voiced the original Dessler and Shrek and Donkey has to defeat him. A few years later, Yamadera himself ends voicing Dessler as well.
    • Vincent Cassel voiced Monsieur Hood (in English) in the first movie. He had previously had a role in the French dub of another DreamWorks movie.
    • Some Chinese bootleggers used Dragon as a Charizard stand-in in a pirated Pokémon game. That series started a meme that applies perfectly to her relationship with Donkey.
    • Lord Farquaad, who was designed after Michael Eisner, came four years after Hades in Hercules, who was designed off of Jeffrey Katzenberg. Bonus points for John Lithgow nearly becoming the voice of Hades, even recording a few lines, before James Woods took the role.
    • Conrad Vernon voices the Gingerbread Man. 15 years later, Vernon would develop another animated comedy that involves sentient food.
  • Hollywood Homely: Fiona as an ogress. Repeatedly told to be ugly, repulsive, disgusting, every synonym imaginable, in the first movie as well as the sequels. While she certainly looks a bit plump and more frightening, most fans think she does look pretty cute even by ogre standards, and Forever After depicts her as a borderline Amazonian Beauty.
  • It Was His Sled: If you've seen the other movies or other adaptations after the first film, you'd know Fiona is also an ogre and she marries Shrek.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Shrek himself makes a pretty solid case for this trope. Especially in the first two films.
  • Love to Hate: Lord Farquaad is possibly the most beloved villain in the series for his cool voice and for being Laughably Evil, which is only helped by his omnipresence as Shrek's antithesis in Brogre memes.
  • Memetic Badass: Brogre memes depict Shrek as a bizarre supreme deity who is able to kill and maim bullies and non-believers with ease.
  • Memetic Molester: In the Brogres' copypasta stories, many of Shrek's blessings and powers are activated through intercourse of some sort, which is depicted as immensely pleasurable for his followers and painful for his enemies. By proxy, Donkey, Fiona and Puss have seen their share of this when they appear.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Psychopath: Some "Shrek is Love Shrek is Life" variants depict Shrek as a blood thirsty slaughterer, almost always depicted in a positive light and pseudo-serious religious tone for Black Comedy purposes.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • One-Scene Wonder: Robin Hood and his merry men get a lot of attention from fans despite their very brief screen time.
  • Periphery Demographic: But of course. All four films were written with family audiences in mind, meaning lots of slapstick humor for the kids and pop-culture references and Getting Crap Past the Radar for adults. And then you have the Brogres, who jokingly worship the franchise and treat it as a form of higher art (and even a religion).
  • Popularity Polynomial: At its peak, Shrek was a franchise as big as the green ogre himself. The original Shrek won the first Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and Shrek 2 became one of the highest-grossing films at the time. After that, the franchise's formula quickly grew stale as it spawned a host of mediocre imitators, which seeped back into Shrek itself with the poor reviews of Shrek the Third. This led to the downfall of Shrek-style "snarky" animated movies and the rise of more drama-based animated movies such as How to Train Your Dragon and Frozen. However, Memetic Mutation led to an upsurge of ironic popularity for the Shrek series, which eventually grew into unironic popularity as its fans grew up and revisited the movies, and were able to appreciate them anew due to their wittiness and 2000s nostalgia. As of the late new tens, while not to the level of the early noughties, the first two Shrek movies are well-liked and appreciated as modern classics, and Shrek Forever After has quite a few fans and defenders as well.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • When the first Shrek movie came out, it was considered a witty and refreshing break from the then-formulaic Disney Animated Canon fare, and it put DreamWorks Animation on the map. Nowadays Shrek's often blamed for killing traditional animated films and starting a trend of rather mediocre CGI fims overly reliant on Anachronism Stew, World of Snark and Getting Crap Past the Radar. It didn't help that Dreamworks would not only give Shrek three sequels, but rehash the formula for most of their other films until they Grew the Beard with Kung Fu Panda. Other studios then followed suit - instead of making Shrek ripoffs, they started more frequently producing original and well-liked CGI movies. Even Disney, the very firm Jeff Katzenberg sought to overthrow, would eventually make a return to sincere fairy tale films, having not only learned from this film but, arguably, improving on its humor and style.
    • One of the sources for fuel for the Shrek series, the general disdain directed towards Michael Eisner, was effectively cut off when Eisner was removed from Disney the year after the second Shrek movie hit theaters, along with other studios including Disney trying and failing at the "Fractured Fairy Tale" trend; Kung Fu Panda's critical and commercial success along with Disney Animation making another comeback sounded the death knell for this idea (the final Shrek film actually took itself more seriously with Rumpelstiltskin alone, and the Puss in Boots spinoff took on more of a high fantasy and adventure tone).
  • Sequelitis: This is the general consensus for Third. Fans are divided between whether Forever After is just as bad as Third or better. Reception has been much warmer for Forever After than for Third, however.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Third and Forever After are considered this by fans and critics, with Forever After as the slightly better one of the two.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The Polish version is arguably funnier than the original, at least to Poles.
    • Same applies to the Hungarian version, with an extremely clever choice of voice actors and well-adapted cultural references.
    • Banderas does the Spanish version too - with an Andalusian accent.
    • The Dutch version was also pretty good with the Woolseyism.
    • The Latin American localization, however, is largely a subversion, as it sports heavy Mexican accents, idioms, and at times jokes a little too localized, which made the movies right down unbearable for many of the non-Mexicans.
      • The same problem occurred with the French version; while very well-localized for the French, it was considered incomprehensible by people in Quebec and some parts of France (to the point that one Québécois politician attempted to pass a bill requiring Quebec French dubbing for all movies after seeing Shrek the Third in French).
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Welcome to Duloc" has the same rhythm as "It's a Small World After All", fitting for a song welcoming you to a Disneyland pastiche.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Human!Fiona and her parents, one of the many reasons some people prefer Fiona's ogre form over her human form. The CGI for her human character model hasn't aged well, especially when you see it again in the sequel, which featured much more cartoony looking humans. This carries over to Harold and Lillian when they appear in subsequent sequels. This is downplayed in that most fans still find all three characters to be likable and endearing. Conversely, Ogre!Fiona can evoke this reaction in the first movie, especially in first-time viewers, due to some people being so accustomed to Fiona as a human.
    • Possibly invoked with the DuLoc dolls, since the ride that they're parodying is infamous for this trope. This is Played for Laughs in their reappearance in Scared Shrekless.
    • "Shrek's Merry Fairy Tale Journey", a Theme Park Version retelling of the first movie at Motiongate Dubai, depicts the characters as giant animatronic marionettes that unironically evoke the deliberately uncanny animatronics from Five Nights at Freddy's. It's probably for the better that Human!Fiona (described above) and Snow White, the most realistic human characters, have unmoving faces and mouths.
  • Ugly Cute: Shrek, Donkey and most of the other characters follow this design philosophy, with grotesque, exaggerated features but enough charm and personality to make them lovable.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: All four movies have this to some extent, with occasional mild cursing and direct references to adult situations such as drunkenness.

Shrek Video Games:

Examples for Shrek Super Slam go here.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SHREK