Two television specials, the Christmas television special Shrek the Halls (2007), and a Halloween television special Scared Shrekless (2010), have been produced. A spin-off film titled Puss in Boots was released in October 2011, and a 2008 Broadway musical adaptation was produced for two years.
The series primarily focuses on Shrek, a reclusive by kindhearted ogre, who becomes a respected hero with an ever growing collection of friends and family in a fairy tale world in spite of himself.
In May 2010, The New York Times called the principal Shrek characters "brilliantly realized" and said "nearly a decade after the first Shrek film they remain as vital and engaging fusions of image, personality and voice as any character in the history of animation." The series was a great financial success, being the 12th highest-grossing franchise of all time, and the highest-grossing animated franchise.
Shrek, a solitary ogre, finds a surprise when fairy tale creatures are sent to live in the swamp by the evil Lord Farquaad. Shrek befriends a talking Donkey, and the two set off to meet with Lord Farquaad. Lord Farquaad needs Princess Fiona to marry him so he will become king. So when Shrek and Donkey visit him, they are forced to rescue her from an enormous fire-breathing dragon. The Dragon turns out to be a girl, and she falls in love with Donkey. Donkey, Shrek, and Fiona escape, and Dragon chases them.
Once Shrek and Donkey rescue Fiona they take her back to Lord Farquaad. Along the way, however, Shrek falls in love with Fiona. Fiona reveals she is cursed to Donkey and turns into an ogress at night. The only way the curse could be broken is by true love's first kiss. Fiona and Farquaad have a marriage ceremony, but they are interrupted by Shrek, who tells Fiona he loves her. Donkey and Dragon enter and Dragon eats Lord Farquaad. Shrek and Fiona kiss, and Fiona turns into an ogress permanently. Shrek gets his swamp back, and the two marry there. After a karaoke party the two set off on their honeymoon.
The second film opens with Prince Charming on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from the Dragon. When he gets there, he finds the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs in Fiona's bed. He asks the wolf where Fiona is and the wolf tells him she is on her honeymoon with Shrek. Once Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon, they find Donkey in the swamp who tells him he and Dragon are going through a rough patch. They then get invited to the land of Far Far Away by Fiona's parents who want to bless their marriage. When they arrive Shrek and Fiona aren't what they expected. The evil Prince Charming and his mother, the Fairy Godmother, are trying to break up Shrek's marriage by making Fiona fall in love with Prince Charming. However it doesn't work and Shrek and Fiona stay together. Shrek and Donkey get a new sidekick called Puss in Boots. They have a lengthy quest to search the Fairy Godmother's cottage to get a love potion. At the end of the film, King Harold turns back into a frog.
Shrek and Fiona are reluctantly reigning over Far, Far Away during King Harold's prolonged illness. The King promises that if they can't find Fiona's cousin, Artie, he will make him next in line, so Shrek doesn't have to run the country after his death. As Shrek, Donkey, Puss set out to find Artie, Fiona reveals that she is pregnant. Shrek is shocked as he believes he won't be a good father and will ruin his child's life. This is reinforced by his relationship with his father, 'he tried to eat me.' After finding Artie, Artie is frightened of being king, and they end up on a island where they meet Artie's former magic teacher, Merlin. Meanwhile, Charming plots to overthrow Shrek and become king, but this is foiled by Shrek. The film ends with Shrek and Fiona caring for their ogre triplets and joined by Queen Lillian, Donkey, Dragon, The Dronkeys and Puss.
Shrek has become a domestic family man, living happily with Princess Fiona and the triplets. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitchforks. Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre", Shrek is tricked into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far, Far Away, were ogres are hunted, Rumplestiltskin is king, Puss is fat, Donkey doesn't know who Shrek is, and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Shrek joins the Resistance and meets Fiona, but she doesn't love him. Rumplestiltskin sets bounty on Shrek and uses the Pied Piper; as a reward for finding Shrek, he offers a "deal of a lifetime". Shrek turns himself in and instead of asking for his life back, frees the captured ogres. The ogres then ambush the palace, and Shrek and Fiona battle Dragon. As the twenty four hours are almost up and Shrek lays dying, Fiona kisses him and everything reverts to Shrek's universe. At the end, instead of storming out of the triplets birthday party Shrek kisses Fiona and appreciates all that he has, truly living happily forever after.
Fifth film (TBA)
Following the success of Shrek 2 in May 2004, Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed that the Shrek story has been outlined into five films almost from the beginning. "Before the first one was finished we talked about what the whole story of Shrek is, and each of the chapters answers questions about the first movie and gives us an insight," said Katzenberg, "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie." After the release of Shrek the Third in 2007, Katzenberg announced that the fifth film would be released in 2013.
In May 2009, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced that the fourth film's title would be Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. Later in 2009, that was confirmed by Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DWA, with him saying: "All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film."
Puss in Boots is a computer-animated American action comedy film that was released on October 28, 2011. The film is based on and follows the character of Puss in Boots on his adventure with Kitty Softpaws and mastermind Humpty Dumpty before his first appearance in Shrek 2.
Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves (TBA)
In November 2012, executive producer Guillermo del Toro said that a couple of drafts for a sequel were already done, and that the director Chris Miller wants to take Puss on an adventure to exotic places. In April 2014, Antonio Banderas, the voice of Puss, said that the work on the sequel had just begun. On June 12, 2014, the movie was titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves and was scheduled to be released on November 2, 2018.