‘Shrek’: Are Shrek and Donkey Friends?

Shrek is a “fearsome” ogre and Donkey is, well, a very talkative donkey. The two characters from Dreamworks’ animated film seem like an unlikely pair. Together, however, they save Princess Fiona and make plenty of friends along the way.

Here’s what we know about these characters from the original movie and its sequels. 

Actors Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, and Julie Andrews attend the premiere of the Dreamworks Pictures' film 'Shrek 2'
Actors Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, and Julie Andrews attend the premiere of the Dreamworks Pictures’ film ‘Shrek 2’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Shrek and Donkey are two characters in the animated movie ‘Shrek’

The original animated film Shrek, released in 2001, tells the unique story of one ogre who tried to live a life of peace and solitude. All of that changed when fairytale creatures were forced into his home and swamp. 

In order to return to his old life, this character was sent on a quest with a chatterbox donkey to rescue a princess. Of course, with a cast featured Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers, there were plenty of jokes and gags along the way. 

“The tone, the reverential irreverent humor, was also a bit different,” director Vicky Jenson said during an interview with Comic Book. “Not taking itself too seriously, but at the same time letting real feelings come through.” 

“Shrek used humor to keep everybody away, but he had a broken heart, and when he revealed it to Donkey, you felt it,” she continued. “So yeah, finding the balance, it was trial and error. That’s the benefit of animation.”

Shrek and Donkey teamed up during the original animated film, going on an adventure together. However, this unlikely duo didn’t start out as friends. Shrek was annoyed at Donkey, even if he did stand up for this character from time to time.

Are Shrek and Donkey friends?

At first, Shrek didn’t want to befriend Donkey. Partly, that was because of Donkey’s talkative tendencies. It was also because of his aversion to creating friendships. It was his swamp, after all. Why did he have to share it? 

After going on an adventure to save Princess Fiona, these two became close friends, even living together in Shrek’s swamp. As of August 2021, the original Shrek is available for streaming on the subscription platform, Hulu.

Shrek and Donkey returned for ‘Shrek’ sequels

After becoming friends, Shrek and Donkey teamed up for more adventures, including Princesss Fiona. In 2004, Dreamworks released Shrek 2, in which Fiona’s parents invited the characters to the kingdom of Far Far Away.

In 2007, another animated film starring Shrek premiered, titled Shrek 3. Additionally, Dreamworks created the spinoff Puss in Boots, telling to story of another misfit character of the same name. 

These characters also appeared in Shrek The Musical, initially published in 2008. These were original songs performed by Shrek and Princess Fiona and other characters like Lord Maximus Farquaad.

The sequel to Shrek is also available on the streaming platform Hulu, as is the Spanish version of the original film.

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