Movie Reviews

10 Dark Shrek Theories That Will Change How You See Dreamworks' Movie Franchise

Summary

  • The Shrek franchise subverted Disney’s fairytale formula in 2001, leading to positive lessons on self-expression for kids and adults.
  • Audiences can look at Shrek movies through a new lens, considering dark theories surrounding hidden truths and Easter eggs.
  • The films hint at Fiona possibly turning to cannibalism, Fairy Godmother cursing Fiona, Shrek being the last ogre survivor, and Donkey’s dark origin story.

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After four wildly successful movies, the Shrek franchise has an enormous audience and many dark theories have popped up over the years that change how viewers watch the films. In 2001, Shrek started it all by taking the fairytale formula popularized by Disney and creating a whole new type of animated film that subverted the genre. Since then, every following installment of the Shrek universe has expanded upon the fairytale world and provided positive lessons about self-expression while being fun to watch for kids and adults alike.

While waiting for Shrek 5 to come out, the audience can reacquaint themselves with the first four movies and look at them through a new lens after considering what hidden truths and Easter eggs might be hiding in the plot.

The films have also spun off into the Puss in Boots movies, with the latest movie, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish making waves for its animation style. Additionally, though it might take some time, Shrek 5 should include elements of the audience’s Shrek 5 wishlist. While waiting for Shrek 5 to come out, the audience can reacquaint themselves with the first four movies and look at them through a new lens after considering what hidden truths and Easter eggs might be hiding in the plot. There’s little that’s off the table when it comes to theories about Shrek.

10 Princess Fiona Is A Cannibal

She got hungry waiting in the tower all those years

For the most part, the jokes the Shrek movies make about ogres eating people are just jokes. Shrek often feeds into this narrative to scare people away and keep them off his property, but there’s little truth to them. However, in Fiona’s case, she might have had to turn to this horrible act out of necessity. She was kept in her tower for many years since she was a child, and it’s never made clear how much supplies or resources she had to sustain herself. The one thing that was available to her was other people.

The dragon might have been the one to kill them, but Fiona could have used their dead bodies for fuel out of desperation.

When Shrek arrives to rescue her it seems it’s only her, the dragon, and the many skeletons of the knights who tried to reach her. The dragon might have been the one to kill them, but Fiona could have used their dead bodies for fuel out of desperation. As Fiona turns into an ogre every night her hunger might have been too much to bear while in this form. After being rescued, she put this part of her life behind her, but in dire situations like hers, it’s not uncommon for people to do things they never thought possible.

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9 The Fairy Godmother Cursed Fiona

To ensure her son would become king

In Shrek 2, the filmmakers raised the stakes from the first movie, showing the audience the aftermath of a typical happily ever after. Shrek tries to fit into Fiona’s world, but the main antagonist, the Fairy Godmother, gets in the way. She aims to get her son, Prince Charming, on the throne, and to do this, he needs to marry Fiona. Based on her actions, the Fairy Godmother is not someone who would leave this to fate. To ensure that Prince Charming would be Fiona’s true love kiss, she would have been capable of placing the curse.

Fiona’s curse is what trapped her in the tower, waiting to be rescued by her one true love. In Shrek 2, Shrek sees that Fiona spent her childhood fantasizing about being saved by Prince Charming, something that the Fairy Godmother likely orchestrated. In the Fairy Godmother’s best scenes in Shrek, she’s a hilarious character, but also shown to be a keen manipulator who isn’t afraid to bend the rules to get what she wants. However, cursing an innocent child is going too far.

8 Shrek Is The Last Survivor Of An Ogre Massacre

That’s why he’s alone when he meets Donkey

However, it’s never explained why he lives by himself or where the rest of the ogres are.

Shrek’s isolation and loner qualities are a recurring issue in the Shrek movies, as he doesn’t truly want to be alone, but his fear of being rejected makes him push people away. Though Fiona accepts him for who he is, Shrek has difficulty fitting in with his new family after spending many years on his own. However, it’s never explained why he lives by himself or where the rest of the ogres are. It’s conceivable that ogres are merely solitary creatures who prefer a solitary life.

However, due to the prejudice against ogres that the humans in the Shrek universe display, this probably isn’t the case. Humans and other fairytale creatures have an immense bias against and fear of ogres, and these two qualities lead individuals to do terrible things. If a violent massacre occurred, Shrek could be the sole survivor of his family and community. Anyone who experienced something as traumatic as this would be hesitant to trust others and would want to be left alone.

7 Shrek’s Parents Abandoned Him

He wasn’t cut out for the ogre lifestyle

His family being killed would be bad enough, but it would leave another deep emotional wound if Shrek’s parents were alive and well somewhere, but they left him behind. In the fourth movie, Shrek Forever After, when Shrek accidentally makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, he travels to an alternate reality where he was never born. Here, Fiona is a warrior who leads a group of ogres against Rumpelstiltskin’s evil tyranny as king of the land.

Going by this logic, many ogres exist in the main Shrek timeline, but Shrek is just estranged from them. This would make sense as the ogres in Shrek Forever After are more athletic and warrior-minded than Shrek has ever been. Though he’s physically imposing and strong, violence was never something Shrek was interested in. He only uses his ogre-like qualities as a bluff to keep people away. If he hadn’t fit in as a child, it could have made his parents believe he wasn’t meant to be an ogre, leaving him on his own.

6 Donkey Was A Real Boy Cursed In The Pinocchio Story

That’s why he can talk & has a human-like personality

Donkey is one of the best characters in the movies, and Donkey’s most hilarious quotes in Shrek give the story essential moments of levity and perspective. In the first movie, Donkey briefly explains how he became an animal with the ability to talk, but he doesn’t go into detail, and it’s clearly a painful memory. However, for fans of the fairytale Pinocchio, there could be a sinister side to the story that Donkey refuses to speak about. Talking animals aren’t shocking in fairytale worlds, but Shrek is startled by the ability, signaling its uniqueness.

In Pinocchio, the titular character comes across a group of young boys who skip school and are tricked into consuming a spell that turns them into donkeys.

In Pinocchio, the titular character comes across a group of young boys who skip school and are tricked into consuming a spell that turns them into donkeys. It’s a terrifying moment from the original children’s movie and is a blatant cautionary tale about the dangers of shirking responsibilities. However, some of the donkeys retain their ability to talk, and if this is what happened to Donkey, it’s not surprising that he wouldn’t want to remember it.

5 Shrek Didn’t Have A Name Until He Met Donkey

No one had ever asked for his name before

The friendship between Shrek and Donkey is one of the most enduring throughout the series, and though Shrek tries to push Donkey away, their connection helps the other grow and change. There’s a pivotal moment in the first Shrek film when Donkey asks Shrek’s name, and he hesitates for a moment before giving it. This could be attributed to the fact that Shrek hadn’t spoken to anyone for a long time, and felt uncomfortable trying to make conversation. Or it could have a deeper meaning about Shrek’s past.

Being separated from his family at a young age, Shrek might never have had a name until Donkey asked him for it. No one would have given a name, and fewer people would have inquired about what it is. It’s unknown how long Shrek was living by himself, but it can be assumed that it was quite a while before he and Donkey met. The small act of Donkey asking for his name and accepting him allowed Shrek to take steps toward building a family.

4 Fairy Godmother Created The Evil Queen

Her actions and schemes had consequences on everyone in Far Far Away

This means that both Snow White and the woman who would become the Evil Queen each went to the Fairy Godmother at some point in their stories.

Fiona and Shrek were hardly the only people the Fairy Godmother interfered with in Shrek, as most of the creatures and people in Far Far Away had come to her at one time or another. Her spells, potions, and plans all worked to give her clients what they thought they wanted but also place the Fairy Godmother in a position of power over them. This means that both Snow White and the woman who would become the Evil Queen each went to the Fairy Godmother at some point in their stories.

The Fairy Godmother then had to decide who she wanted to help, and since she was dedicated to maintaining the illusion of perfection and happy endings in the kingdom, she went with Snow White. This act gave the Evil Queen a reason to hate Snow White and the entire kingdom. In the movie, The Fairy Godmother has a potion that will turn people into their hearts desire and promises happy endings to anyone who can pay. Betraying the Evil Queen would have pushed her over the edge and changed her fate forever.

3 Dragon Is A Cursed Princess

Like Fiona, she was also trapped in the castle

Though the Dragon comes to terms with her reality and later is happy to be herself, she might not have started out life as a dragon. In the first movie, it seems the Dragon is just as much of a prisoner as Fiona is. This theory starts to make sense when viewed through the lens of the storybook heavily featured in Shrek 1. The story depicts a princess who doesn’t resemble Fiona and constantly returns to images of the Dragon during descriptions of a princess under a curse who needs to be awoken.

It’s possible the Dragon was the princess in these images. If that’s true it would also explain her human-like behavior. She goes on to fall in love with Donkey and has a family with him, as well as being a dedicated part of Shrek’s team throughout his adventures. In the end, the curse might have become permanent when the Dragon accepted her fate and decided to enjoy life in her form, but it leads to questions about what her life might have been like otherwise.

2 Puss In Boots Was The One Who Killed The Ogres

He’s known as a ruthless bounty hunter and fighter

Much of Puss’ reputation in the Shrek movies and the Puss in Boots universe revolves around his amazing fighting skills and the fact that he’s often a hired sword. Though he quickly aligns himself with Shrek when they meet in Shrek 2, even having a rivalry with Donkey about who Shrek likes more, his past is never explained. If the reason Shrek lives alone is because the rest of the ogres are dead, then that means somebody killed them. While the humans are combative with ogres, they’re outmatched in terms of strength and ability.

However, if Puss was on the side of the humans, it’s possible that he turned the tide in the war against the ogres.

However, if Puss was on the side of the humans, it’s possible that he turned the tide in the war against the ogres. He’s been known to get the best of Shrek on several occasions. Keeping this from Shrek would be a horrible betrayal, but it makes sense considering how Puss only looked out for himself before he found a family among his friends. Once he and Shrek became close, it would have been impossible for him to come clean, making their whole relationship a lie.

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1 Shrek & Fiona Destroyed Duloc

After ending Farquaad’s reign, they made sure to cover their tracks

The first Shrek movie is used as set up in the following films, and the land it takes place in, Duloc, is rarely talked about again. Once Fiona and Shrek return to the swamp and spend time in Far Far Away, they move on with their lives and don’t think about their initial conflict with Lord Farquaad. In the 2010 short film special, Scared Shrekless, a portion of the story takes place in the now-abandoned and decimated Duloc, where Farquaad lived and ruled.

However, it’s never revealed what happened to Duloc after Farquaad died, meaning Fiona and Shrek might have erased all memories of the kingdom. Though Shrek and Fiona are supposed to be the good guys in the story, it’s not uncommon for them to go to extreme lengths to get what they want and do what they think is right. Their first act as a couple could have been to destroy Duloc and leave that part of their relationship behind.

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