Donkey is a talking donkey from the Shrek series of films, voiced by Eddie Murphy. The character also appeared briefly in the original story Shrek!. He has 6 offspring, Dronkeys, with his wife, Dragon.
Donkey is talkative, loves to dance, enjoys singing, idle chatter, which proves rather annoying to those around him. He also has a sweet tooth, and enjoys such foods as cake, waffles, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, a person named "Enchablo", [parfait and "upside-down coconut soufflé with mango chutney sauce." In a scene about Merlin's bonfire, Donkey's sweet tooth gets the best of him, for he sees only a fudge torte in the enchanted smoke.
Some of Donkey's foibles include acrophobia (though to be fair this was shown when he was forced to cross a rickety bridge over a huge pool of lava), color blindness (however in the musical he can clearly tell Shrek is green, suggesting that he simply does not know how to identify some colors), hypochondria, he also faints at the sight of blood, and cowardice. These, coupled with his impatience and short attention span, prove trying in emergencies. Furthermore, he is often naïve and tactless, and even a bit dense (as in the third film, wherein he has had children but doesn't understand how children are conceived).
In the "Meet the Cast of Shrek 2" segment that is featured in the Special Features part on the Shrek 2 DVD, Eddie Murphy says: "Donkey is a really positive character. He's always looking at the bright side of everything, trying to work it out. A happy-go-lucky donkey."
Donkey in the Shrek films
The first appearance of Donkey is when an old woman tries to sell him to Lord Farquaad's guards for money. Since Donkey refuses to talk, the captain doesn't believe that he can. By his own oral accounts, Donkey had suffered a life of abuse and ridicule before (literally) running into Shrek, a grouchy, reclusive ogre in the first film. When Shrek defends Donkey from a pursuing group of armed guardsmen, Donkey expresses profound gratitude and takes a liking to Shrek immediately, despite the reclusive ogre's best attempts to fend him off.
Donkey follows along enthusiastically when Shrek is forced to go on a quest to retrieve the Princess Fiona from a volcanic, dragon-guarded keep for a corrupt lord. It is at this keep that Donkey unwittingly meets his future mate, Dragon — a dragoness who is infatuated with him almost immediately upon meeting him (Donkey was the only one who ever said anything nice about/to her). At first, Donkey is afraid of Dragon and wants nothing to do with her but when he finds her depressed because she misses him, he begins to like her. Donkey is initially instrumental in aiding Shrek and Fiona's relationship with one another, helping them overcome any confusion and uncertainties they have so that they finally may be together by the end of the film. When Fiona and Shrek are married, she tosses her bouquet and Dragon catches it. Shrek encourages Donkey to be with Dragon and he accepts her as his mate.
Donkey was having troubles in his relationship with the dragon as she was acting strangely, but he could not determine the cause, and accompanied Shrek and Fiona to the Far Far Away kingdom but keeps on asking every second like what kids would say on long trips "Are we there yet?" Shrek and Fiona keep answering no.
He and Shrek ended up drinking the Happy Ever After potion from the Fairy Godmother's workshop and while Shrek transformed into a human, Donkey became a large white horse. But after the duo worked together with their friends to stop her plans to force Fiona to engage with her son, the Prince Charming, both return to their normal forms, though Donkey seemed to be quite disappointed at returning to his original form. After the credits, Donkey and the Dragon are reunited and he meets their newborn children.
Donkey is enjoying fatherhood in Shrek the Third, but he is still first and foremost Shrek's sidekick and closest friend. When Far Far Away is in need of a new king, Donkey ventures off with Shrek in search of Fiona's cousin Arthur Pendragon, known simply as Artie at the Worcestershire boarding school where he resides. In their magical transport back to Far Far Away (aided by a slightly off-kilter Merlin), Donkey and Puss accidentally switch bodies, (most likely from holding hands) and Puss finds Donkey's quadrupedal form hideous. Donkey, meanwhile, can't figure out how Puss can walk with such fancy accoutrements. They must put that aside and work together, however, if they are to save Far Far Away from a vindictive Prince Charming. After Charming is defeated, the same sorcerer comes to change them back, it works, but switches their tails.
Donkey appeared in the film, was released theatrically in May 21 2010. Due to the time change caused by Rumpelstiltskin, Donkey is now intellectual, has his fur messed up, and is afraid of Shrek at first. Eddie Murphy voiced Donkey again.
In the 2008 musical adaptation of Shrek, Donkey is portrayed by Tony-nominee Daniel Breaker. Breaker said that he had never seen any of the Shrek films before and chose not to, so his performance would not be a copy of Eddie Murphy's Donkey. The main (and possibly only) difference between the animated and musical versions of Donkey is that on Broadway Donkey walks on his "hind" legs; otherwise the two are the same lovable jabbering jackasses. Donkey's past is never brought up, but at one point he tells Shrek that he "did six years in solitary (confinement) for impersonating a pinata".
After Shrek leaves his swamp to confront Lord Farquaad, Donkey literally runs into him while trying to escape the lord's goons. When Shrek succeeds in frightening them away, Donkey refuses to leave Shrek's side and begs him to "Don't Let Me Go". Shrek reluctantly allows him to tag along and they meet Farquaad together, who sends them to rescue Princess Fiona. When Shrek wonders if this is going to be the longest day of his life, Donkey immediately comes up with "the perfect remedy for that" by getting Shrek to join him in a "Travel Song". Donkey and Shrek have a turning point in their friendship when Shrek saves him while crossing the bridge to the Dragon's castle. Shrek leaves Donkey alone so he may rescue Fiona, but the Dragon discovers him and plans to turn him into a "Donkey Pot Pie". Donkey, however, manages to charm her by complimenting her teeth. Now she becomes infatuated with him and when he runs away, she sends her dancing skeletons--knights who have failed to reach Fiona and encountered Dragon instead--after him. He escapes with Shrek and Fiona, and is overjoyed when Fiona calls him a noble steed, which gives him new-found confidence. After he asks Shrek who he would be if he could be anyone different, he joins him in the Act One finale, "Who I'd Be".
In Act Two he joins Shrek in giving some subtle hints about Fiona's groom-to-be ("He's a little intimidating; you may want to lower your expectations, etc.") He tries to keep Fiona and Shrek separate when they start fighting over who had the worst childhood during "I Think I Got You Beat", but then tries stay as far away as possible when the two start to bond over farting. After he notices a romantic attraction between them, he helps out in setting the mood for a romantic dinner with a little help from the Three Blind Mice (seen here as backup singers similar to Dreamgirls) in "Make a Move". He later discovers Fiona in her ogress form and promises not to tell Shrek about her curse, though insists that if she loves him, she should. Shrek, however, has overheard part of their conversation and thinks the two of them have betrayed him by pretending to be his friends while thinking he is a hideous monster. The next morning Donkey wakes up late to discover Fiona riding to Duloc with Lord Farquaad (who Shrek fetched during the night). He tries to explain to Shrek what happened but the angry ogre refuses to listen and pushes him away. After Shrek returns to his lonely swamp, Donkey arrives and after a brief fight, they forgive each other and acknowledge their friendship. Donkey convinces him to go back to Duloc and tell Fiona how he really feels about her before her fateful wedding, telling him he has his own way of getting to the church before they run offstage together. It turns out his transportation is Dragon, who has somehow escaped the castle, rejoined Donkey, and crashes through the stained-glass window to devour Farquaad. Donkey pops up next to her yelling "Nobody move! I've got a Dragon here and I'm not afraid to use it! I'm a Donkey on the edge!" He witnesses Shrek and Fiona kiss and joins them in their celebration of a happy ending.
Donkey went through possibly the most changes from the Seattle previews to the Broadway stage. He was originally played by Chester Gregory II, had different scenes with more lines from the movie and different songs, and his costume--which designer Tim Hatley stated to be the most difficult to create--was changed numerous times before the one used today was created.
- Steven Spielberg (Dreamworks co-founder and executive producer of Shrek) wanted his good friend Steve Martin to voice Donkey.
- Donkey guest-starred on an episode of the DreamWorks Animation-produced television series Father of the Pride. Simply entitled “Donkey”, the episode portrays Donkey as a rather conceited Hollywood actor whom all the series' characters admire. In the show he appears to shoot a Japanese SUV commercial, but in real life Donkey was used in Chinese SUV commercials.
- The filmmakers had intended to change Dragon into a beautiful pink winged mare to coincide with Donkey's metamorphosis into a handsome white stallion in Shrek 2, as the Fairy Godmother's Happily Ever After potion affects both the drinker and their “true love”. Dragon's equine depiction never made it into the final film, however, Dragon was not left in her true form either at the time; she only appeared in a post-credits scene, when everyone is "back to normal".
- Donkey is an interactable character at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, offering personalized chatter to those that approach his cart.
- One thing known about Donkey is that he likes making waffles. This is noted in Shrek when he says to Shrek "And in the morning, I'm making waffles!" and in Shrek 4-D when he says to Dragon "Let's go home and make some waffles!". He also gets "carried away" with a story about a 50-foot waffle Santa Claus in Shrek the Halls.
- Donkey appeared in the original book as a regular sized donkey who Shrek rode on briefly during his journey.
- Strangely, Donkey does not appear in the first Shrek game for Xbox. Neither was he mentioned.
- In Scared Shrekless, he appeared to be getting slightly older as his voice had a slight change to it (performed by Dean Edwards, who filled in for Eddie Murphy who declined to reprise his role). However, in Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular, since Eddie Murphy returned, Donkey didn't get older after all.
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