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Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy film loosely based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book of the same name and directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson in their directorial debut. It stars the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow, and somewhat serves as a parody of other films adapted from numerous fairy tales, mainly animated Disney films.
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The film focuses on an ogre named Shrek who finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures who have been banished there by order of the evil Lord Farquaad. In order to get his swamp back, Shrek makes a deal with Farquaad to bring him a queen in exchange for the deed for his swamp. Shrek sets out with a talking Donkey and rescues Princess Fiona. While they take Fiona to Farquaad so she can marry him, Shrek starts to fall in love with the princess and soon discovers a shocking secret about her.
The rights to Steig's book were originally bought by Steven Spielberg in 1991, before the founding of DreamWorks, when he thought about making a traditionally animated film based on the book. However, John H. Williamsconvinced him to bring the film to DreamWorks in 1994, the time the studio was founded, and the film was put quickly into active development by Jeffrey Katzenberg after the rights were bought by the studio in 1995. Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice for the title character, recording about 80%–90% of his dialogue. After Farley died in 1997 before he could finish, Mike Myers was brought in to work for the character, who, after his first recording, decided to record his voice in a Scottish accent. The film was also originally planned to be motion-captured, but after poor results, the studio decided to recruit Pacific Data Images to help Shrek get its final computer-animated look.
Shrek established DreamWorks Animation as a prime competitor to Pixar in feature film computer animation, and grossed $484.4 million at the worldwide box office against its $60 million production budget. It was acclaimed as an animated film worthy of adult interest, with many adult-oriented jokes and themes but a simple enough plot and humor to appeal to children. Shrek won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for six British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Eddie Murphy for his voice performance as Donkey, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film's success prompted DreamWorks to create three sequels—Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010), two holiday specials—Shrek the Halls (2007) and Scared Shrekless (2010), and a spin-off film—Puss in Boots (2011). A fifth film, planned as the last of the series, was cancelled in 2009, with the announcement that the fourth film would conclude the series. However, the fifth film was revived in 2016, with a planned release for 2019/2020. The film's success also inspired other merchandise, such as video games, a stage musical, and a comic book adaptation by Dark Horse Comics. The film's main title character was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2010.