Shrek is a Dreamworks classic and is up there as one of the best animated movies alongside Disney’s best. The franchise gave fans a lot of life lessons, especially when it came to the character of Shrek (Mike Myers). Beyond the comical charades and themes of adventure, Shrek was an ogre who accepted who he was.
To be fair, Shrek also had his temper tantrums and didn’t always make the best decisions, which led to other characters suffering as well. Many ridiculed Shrek because of his attitude towards Donkey (Eddie Murphy). But the giant green ogre has qualities that make him one of the most realistic and best Dreamworks characters ever.
10 Best: He Loved Himself For Who He Was
One of the best qualities about Shrek is that he was content with who he was. Being an ogre isn’t easy, as he was hated by humans and feared by other magical creatures. Fans get to see that Shrek takes some joy in being able to scare the wits out of the townsfolk.
Shrek is happy with who he is in his swamp home. While he knows he’s gross and smelly, he accepts himself without judgment. When marrying Fiona (Cameron Diaz), he doesn’t try to change his ogre mannerisms.
9 Worst: He Only Cared About Himself, At First
While Shrek may have liked his life as an ogre, he only really cared about himself in the first movie. Shrek was living a peaceful life in his swamp when he realizes that other mystical creatures were inhabiting his home. Instead of understanding that Farquaad (John Lithgow) robbed them of their homes, Shrek wants no part of it.
He only goes after Farquaad and Fiona because Farquaad promised to give him the deed to his land. Throughout the other installments, Shrek’s decisions were often based on his own desires.
8 Best: He Understands Right From Wrong
Shrek can be selfish and mean, but at least he knows right from wrong. In the first movie, Shrek knows that Fiona marrying Farquaad is wrong, as he only wants her for selfish reasons and her life would be miserable. In Shrek 2, Shrek ridicules Fiona’s father for leaving her in the tower, stating that it wasn’t right of him to lock up his daughter just for her to be found by a prince.
In Shrek 3, Fiona and Shrek are set to take over the throne, but Shrek is aware that he isn’t meant for it. Shrek looks to find someone to take over the throne and searches for Arthur “Artie” Pendragon (Justin Timberlake).
7 Worst: He Rejects Fiona Because Of What He Misheard
As Shrek travels with Diona back to the kingdom to marry Farquaad, Shrek finds himself falling for her. The night before their final journey, Shrek musters up the courage to confess his feelings. At the same time, Donkey discovers Fiona’s curse. As Donkey and Fiona talk, Fiona explains that no one could ever love an ogre.
It just so happens that Shrek heard everything she said and initially believes she’s talking about him. With his heart broken, he rejects Fiona the next day and gives her the cold shoulder. Shrek doesn’t believe Donkey about what really happened. This leads to Shrek giving Fiona up to Farquaad.
6 Best: He Fell In Love With Fiona Anyway
Not many would have assumed that Shrek would find love during his journey to take Fiona to Farquaad. Shrek originally saw Fiona as a stuck-up princess with unrealistic dreams. Along the way, she proved to be so much more and even a badass character. Above all, Shrek fell in love with Fiona, despite knowing she was a normal human.
Shrek never really thought twice about their differences. He was willing to risk it all to stop her marriage to Farquaad. When it’s revealed that Fiona was cursed to be an ogre, it didn’t matter to him.
5 Worst: He Believed Fiona Wanted A “Normal” Guy
Shrek 2 had fans feeling sympathetic for Shrek. After their honeymoon, Shrek and Fiona return to the kingdom and shock Fiona’s parents with the fact that they’re both ogres. During their stay, Shrek realizes that Fiona’s expectations don’t match what she now has. He reads her journal, where she doodled about becoming Mrs. Charming.
In an effort to give Fiona what he believes she’s always wanted, he sneaks into Fairy Godmother’s (Jennifer Saunders) potion factory. Shrek takes a “Happily Ever After” potion that makes him human and incredibly good-looking. He believes it will make him good enough for Fiona, but instead, it leads to disaster.
4 Best: He Always Rescued The People He Cared For
This goes without saying that Shrek is his own type of hero. Despite his bad tendencies, he always looked for the people closest to him – the number one person being Fiona. To start, Shrek had to stop Fiona from marrying Farquaad. Later on, he had to try and rescue Fiona from the clutches of Charming (Rupert Everett), who was pretending to be Shrek.
On more than one occasion, Shrek also had to make sure Donkey didn’t fall to his death or suffer major injuries. It’s safe to say that Shrek became his own type of knight in shining armor, not just for Fiona, but for everyone else too.
3 Worst: When He Signed The Contract With Rumpelstiltskin
Shrek Forever After used a famous fairytale character as its central villain – Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), and Shrek would make one of his worst decisions with him. Rumpel pretends to be rescued by Shrek and gives Shrek a deal – a day as a “real ogre” in exchange for a day from his childhood.
Shrek having pent-up frustration over his family life and not being a real ogre lead him to sign the contract. It becomes his worst mistake and he’s transported to an alternate reality and tricked by Rumpel. In this reality, he never rescued Fiona, never fell in love, and never had children.
2 Best: He Understood What Mattered
Shrek wholeheartedly believed what people said about him at the beginning of his story. He relished being an ogre and started to believe people when they called him a monster. In Shrek 3, Shrek gives Arthur a piece of advice. He started to ignore what people said about him. The only thing that mattered was how he saw himself and his worth.
In Shrek Forever After, Shrek somewhat fails at reverting back to his reality and as he fades away, he knows what really mattered. Despite having not succeeded, he tells Fiona that the best part of the day was that he got to fall in love with her all over again.
1 Worst: He Doubted Family Life & Being An Ogre
In Shrek Forever After, Shrek is at the end of his rope with his newfound reality of being a family man. Shrek’s doubting having children, becoming a father and no longer being the scary ogre was his worst mistake. At his triplets birthday party, Shrek becomes heated over the crying, chaos, and pesky children.
This leads Shrek to snap and roar at the entire room in a rage. Fiona looks at him in disappointment as his children start crying. Shrek storms off and almost regrets his new life. He actually wished he had the peace and quiet he was afforded as the scary ogre.
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