Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Adamson |
|Produced by||Aron Warner |
John H. Williams
|Screenplay by||Andrew Adamson |
J. David Stem
David N. Weiss
|Story by||Andrew Adamson |
|Narrated by||Rupert Everett|
|Starring||Mike Myers |
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Editing by||Michael Andrews |
|Studio||DreamWorks Animation |
Pacific Data Images
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures (through Universal Pictures)|
|Release date(s)|| |
|Running time||93 minutes|
Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film, produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon. It is the second installment in the Shrek film series and the sequel to 2001's Shrek. The film features the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett and Jennifer Saunders.
Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 received positive reviews. Shrek 2 scored the second-largest three day opening weekend in US history at the time of release, as well as the largest opening for an animated film until May 18, 2007, when it was eclipsed by its sequel Shrek the Third. As of 2011, it is the inflation-adjusted 31st highest-grossing film of all time in the US. It went on to be the highest-grossing film of 2004. The associated soundtrack reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. It is also the seventh highest ticket selling animated film of all time. It is DreamWorks's most successful film to date and was also the highest-grossing fully animated film of all time worldwide for six years until Toy Story 3 surpassed it in 2010.
After Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) and Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) come back from their honeymoon, they find an invitation to a royal ball with Fiona's parents to celebrate their marriage, an event Shrek is reluctant to participate in. Fiona, Shrek and Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away and meet Fiona's parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian (voiced by John Cleese and Julie Andrews), who are surprised by Fiona's choice of husband and her new appearance. Harold becoming repulsed and at a shared meal, Shrek and Harold get into a heated argument over how Shrek and Fiona will raise their family. Fiona, disgusted at Shrek's and her father's behavior, locks herself away in her room that evening, where she meets her Fairy Godmother (voiced by Jennifer Saunders), who is also surprised at Fiona's new looks. Shrek worries that he has lost his true love, particularly after finding the diary from her teenhood and reading that she was once infatuated with Prince Charming (voiced by Rupert Everett). King Harold is accosted by the Fairy Godmother and Charming, her son. He had arranged with the Fairy Godmother that Prince Charming would overcome many obstacles in order to rescue Fiona and break the spell, finding instead the Big Bad Wolf using the tallest tower as a hangout. They reprimand Harold for breaking an old promise that Charming would be able to marry Fiona and demand that he find a way to get rid of Shrek. After Shrek reads Fiona's diary and pages containing the single phrase "Mrs. Fiona Charming", Harold arranges for Shrek and Donkey to join him on a fictitious hunting trip, which really is a trap to lure the two into the hands of an assassin, Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas).
When Fiona realizes that Shrek left, she asks her father for help, but he replies that he always wanted the best for her and that she should think about what is the best for her, too. Puss is unable to defeat Shrek and, revealing that he was paid by Harold, asks to come along as a way to make amends. Shrek decides to go to the Fairy Godmother for help. However, the Fairy Godmother states that ogres do not live "happily ever after." Nonetheless, the three sneak into the Fairy Godmother's potion factory and steal a "Happily Ever After" potion that Shrek believes will restore Fiona's love for him. Shrek and Donkey both drink the potion, which doesn't appear to work, but when it starts to rain, they leave, and in doing so they fail to notice that a mushroom that Shrek previously sneezed potion on changes into a beautiful rose. They wait out the storm in a barn and, while there, Shrek and Donkey become dizzy and fall over and into a deep sleep. When they awake, they discover the potion has taken effect: Shrek is now a handsome human, while Donkey has turned into a stallion. In order to make the change permanent, Shrek must kiss Fiona by midnight. He, Donkey, and Puss return to the castle to discover that the potion has also transformed Fiona back into her former, human self. However, the Fairy Godmother, having learned of the potion's theft, sends Charming to the castle, where he poses as Shrek to win Fiona's love. Although Harold recognizes Charming for who he really is, he doesn't speak up. Shrek sees Charming and Fiona together, and the Fairy Godmother tricks him into thinking that they have fallen in love and urges him to leave. Believing Fiona to be happier with Charming, Shrek sadly leaves.
Realizing that Fiona hasn't fallen for Charming, the Fairy Godmother gives Harold a love potion to put in Fiona's tea, which will cause her to fall in love with the first person she kisses. Harold, knowing that it is wrong to do that to Fiona, refuses, but the Fairy Godmother threatens to take away his 'Happily Ever After', which she helped him get. Shrek, Donkey and Puss overhear the exchange, and are noticed by the Fairy Godmother, who has them arrested by the royal guards and thrown into a dungeon, in a parody of COPS. When the royal ball begins, several of Shrek's friends band together to free the trio (having seen their arrest via the Magic Mirror), in parody of Mission Impossible, and create a gigantic gingerbread man (whose name is Mongo), which breaks through the castle's defenses so Shrek can stop Charming from kissing Fiona, but Mongo is presumably killed when his arms break and he falls into the moat with Gingy devastated. When Shrek arrives, Charming forcibly kisses Fiona, who then knocks him out with a headbutt.
When the Fairy Godmother confronts Harold, he reveals that he never gave Fiona the love potion, having realized her love for Shrek. The Fairy Godmother tries to attack Shrek and Fiona with a spell from her wand, presumably to kill him, but it rebounds off Harold's armor when he commits self-sacrifice to save Shrek, and disintegrates the Fairy Godmother into a cloud of bubbles; it also returns Harold to his true form, that of the Frog Prince. The Fairy Godmother had made a deal with Harold to turn him into a handsome man, so that he could win over Lillian, to make her kiss him and change him into a human permanently, in exchange for Charming marrying his soon-to-be daughter. Harold apologizes to Shrek and Fiona for everything he has done, and now realizes what is best for Fiona. Shrek forgives him, and Lillian tells Harold that she still loves him no matter what.
When it is almost midnight, Shrek tells Fiona that if they kiss now, then their change will be permanent. But Fiona says that she wants to spend her life with the ogre she married and Shrek and Fiona let the potion's effects wear off, with Donkey changing back as well, much to his chagrin. Harold gives his blessing to the marriage, and the party resumes as Puss and Donkey (along with Mongo) sing "Livin' la Vida Loca".
In a post-credits scene, Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are still partying in the night. Dragon, who Donkey has married following the events of the first film, arrives with her and Donkey's new children called the "Dronkeys".
Shrek film series chronology
Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 also somewhat acts as a parody film, targeting adapted children’s fantasies (mainly those adapted by Disney); and like other DreamWork’s animated films, also features references to American popular culture. For example:
- The character design of the mermaid that washes up on Shrek in the beginning of the movie bears heavy reference to Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
- The restaurant King Harold, Fairy Godmother and Charming “drive thru” bears reference to Bob’s Big Boy.
- The way Puss in Boots engraves his trademarked “P” insignia in a tree with his sword is based on the way Zorro (also adapted by Disney into a television series of the same name) “makes the sign of a ‘Z’”. The character’s behavior is also somewhat based on Zorro. [Also interesting, the character Zorro in the film The Legend of Zorro was acted out by Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, who also did the voicing of Puss in Boots in Shrek 2.]
- Mike Myers as Shrek
- Eddie Murphy as Donkey
- Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots
- Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona
- John Cleese as King Harold
- Julie Andrews as Queen Lillian
- Jennifer Saunders as Fairy Godmother
- Rupert Everett as Prince Charming
- Joan Rivers (US)/Kate Thornton (UK) as Red Carpet Announcer
- Larry King (US)/Jonathan Ross (UK) as Doris the Ugly Stepsister
- Aron Warner as Big Bad Wolf
- Cody Cameron as Pinocchio; The Three Little Pigs
- Christopher Knights and Simon J Smith as Three Blind Mice
- Conrad Vernon as Gingerbread Man; Muffin Man; Mongo; Cedric; Announcer
- Tom Waits as Captain Hook
- Chris Miller as Magic Mirror
- Mark Moseley as Dresser
- Kelly Cooney as Fast Food Clerk
- Kelly Asbury as Page; Elf; Nobleman; Nobleman's son
- Andrew Adamson as Captain of the Guard
- Special guest stars
- Richard Fairbrass as himself (in the extended DVD version only)
- Joan Rivers' cameo marked the first time that a real person had been represented on screen by the Shrek animation team. Her part (though retaining her visual representation) was redubbed by presenter Kate Thornton for the United Kingdom release, as Rivers is not well known in the United Kingdom.
- On the DVD Special Features, Simon Cowell appears as himself on Far Far Away Idol, a parody of American Idol. (see Home Media)
In July 2001, it was reported that the main cast of the original Shrek were set for huge paychecks for voicing a sequel to the movie. Following a successful collaboration with the original film, Eddie Murphy had signed a two-year, first-look production deal with DreamWorks, where he also signed writer-director Todd Field to a two-year deal. The film was produced with a US$70 million budget.
DreamWorks began production of the film in 2001 after the release of the original movie. DreamWorks made sure there was something new to see in Shrek 2 by putting more human characters in the film than there were in its predecessor and improving their appearance, with the use of a few systems that dealt with hair and fur to improve its appearance and movement.
Puss in Boots required a whole new set of tools in the film to handle his fur, belt and feather plume in his hat. The character also required an upgrade in the fur shader for his introduction in the film.
According to production designer Guillaume Aretos, Shrek 2 appeared to be a lot darker than the original film; "There are a lot of medieval paintings and illustrations that we used quite a bit also. Other than that there are my own influences, which are classical paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, but those are not as direct. In fact, nothing was absolutely direct. The design of Shrek is always a twist on reality anyway, so we tried to [pack] as much detail and interest as we could in the imagery.”
Singer and Songwriter Adams Duritz said that the song Accidentally in Love "fits into the movie because it's the story of people who fall in love who weren't supposed to fall in love." The score of the film was composed by Harry Gregson Williams which was performed at a high school. The score had to be operated on different levels which Harry said as "Fun". His score came out as an Eels song into a very romantic scene with Shrek and Fiona, or a funny scene with donkey.
In April 2004, the film was selected for competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Shrek 2 was originally going to release in June 2004. The film then planned to release on May 21, 2004. Though, Shrek 2 released on May 19, 2004 (two days before). A day before the film went to theaters, the first five minutes were shown on Nickelodeon's U-Pick Live.
It was the first film with over 4,000 theaters in overall count; over 3,700 theaters was its count for an opening day. Spider-Man 2 was the first film with over 4,000 theaters for an opening day and second for overall counts. When the film was released on DVD on November 5, 2004, it was the second Shrek film to be presented in its original ratio of 1.85:1 on the Region 1 anamorphic widescreen DVD.
Shrek 2 has been released on VHS and DVD on November 5, 2004 and on Game Boy Advance Video on November 17, 2005. A 3D-converted version of the film has been released on Blu-ray Disc on December 1, 2010, along with the other three films of the series.
Far Far Away Idol
Far Far Away Idol is an extra on the DVD and VHS release based on American Idol and guest starring Simon Cowell. Taking place right after Shrek 2 ends, the characters from Shrek compete in singing popular song while being judged by Shrek, Fiona and Cowell.
After the performances, on the DVD release, the viewer gets to pick the winner. However, if any character outside of Shrek (along with Princess Fiona), Donkey and Puss were selected, Cowell would refuse to accept the winner and proclaim himself the victor, leaping onto a table and performing his "own" rendition of "My Way". At the end, the DVD and VHS release give a link to a website where the viewer can vote for his favourite to determine the ultimate winner.
The film opened at #1 with a Friday-to-Sunday total of $108,037,878, and a total of $128,983,060 since its Wednesday launch, from a then-record 4,163 theaters, for an average of $25,952 per theater over the weekend. At the time Shrek 2's Friday-to-Sunday total was the second-highest opening weekend trailing only Spider-Man's $114,844,116. In addition, Saturday alone managed to obtain $44,797,042, making it the highest single day gross at the time, beating Spider-Man's first Saturday gross of $43,622,264. It also ranked #1 in its second weekend, grossing $95,578,365 over the 4-day Memorial Day weekend, narrowly beating out the $85,807,341 4-day tally of new opener The Day After Tomorrow. The film spent a total of 10 weeks in the weekly top 10, and stayed in theaters for 149 days (roughly 21 weeks), closing on November 25, 2004.
The film grossed $441,226,247 domestically (US and Canada), and $478,612,511 in foreign markets, making a total of $919.8 million worldwide making it the highest-grossing film of 2004, and the highest-grossing film of the Shrek franchise. This also puts the film at fifth on the all-time domestic box-office list and 19th on the worldwide box-office list.
The movie also took away the highest worldwide gross made by an animated feature which before held by Finding Nemo, although the latter still had a higher overseas-only gross. With DVD sales and Shrek 2 merchandise are estimated to total almost $800 million, the film (which was produced with a budget of $150 million) is DreamWorks' most profitable film to date.
In August 2010 Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 3 surpassed Shrek 2 to become the highest-grossing animated film worldwide ($1.063 billion), but Shrek 2 still holds the record for the highest-grossing animated film at the American and Canadian box office as well as the highest-grossing animated PG-rated film at this box office. In October 2011, Disney's 3-D re-release of The Lion King, surpassed Shrek 2 to become the second highest animated film of all time.
The film was well received by a number of critics, many rating it as good as its predecessor, and some rated it even better. Based on reviews collected from 211 critics by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 89% gave Shrek 2 a positive review. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average rating of 75 out of 100 based on 40 professional reviews published in newspapers, magazines and in highly regarded Internet sites, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".
Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars saying it's "bright, lively, and entertaining.", while Robert Denerstein of Denver Rocky Mountain News called it "Sharply funny". James Kendrick praised the plot, who called it "familiar, but funny".
In contrast to the praise it received, even in some positive reviews, some critics said that the film wasn't as good as the original film. Peter Rainer of New York Magazine stated the film "manages to undo much of what made its predecessor such a computer-generated joy ride."
Awards and nominations
Shrek 2 won five People's Choice Awards: Favorite Animated Movie, Favorite Animated Movie Star for "Donkey" (Eddie Murphy), Favorite Movie Comedy, and Favorite Movie Villain for "Fairy Godmother" (Jennifer Saunders), and Favorite Sequel. It also won two Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated and Choice Award Choice Movie - Comedy. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to The Incredibles. One of the film's songs, "Accidentally in Love" received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
The American Film Institute nominated Shrek 2 for its Top 10 Animated Films list.
- Shrek 2 (Shrek 2: Team Action) (2004)
- Shrek 2 Activity Center: Twisted Fairy Tale Fun (2004)
- Shrek 2: Beg for Mercy (2004)
- Shrek Super Slam (2005)
- Shrek Smash n' Crash Racing (2006)
Sequels and spin-offs
Shrek 2 has two sequels including Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. A spin-off film Puss in Boots was released on October 28, 2011, and focuses on the character of Puss in Boots, who was introduced in this film.
- List of animated feature-length films
- List of computer-animated films
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- Official website
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- Shrek 2 at Rotten Tomatoes
- Shrek 2 at Metacritic
- Shrek 2 at Box Office Mojo
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