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After Happily Ever After
The computer-animated comedy "Shrek” opened in 2001 to worldwide box office success and critical acclaim, culminating in an Academy Award®, the first ever presented in the new category of Best Animated Feature. On the heels of that success, plans for "Shrek 2” were put into the works, but far from being a given, the sequel was contingent on a number of crucial factors, the first being the story.

Producer Aron Warner offers, "We wanted to do something very different from ‘Shrek,' by widening the scope. During the process, we were continually asking ourselves, ‘Is this funny? Is it as heartfelt? Does it have as much to say as the first movie did?'”

"We didn't want to go back and rehash the same things,” producer David Lipman affirms. "We wanted to revisit this world, but have it be as fresh and exciting and fun as the original.”

Writer/director Andrew Adamson notes, "When Jeffrey Katzenberg first came to me about doing a sequel, I realized we had painted ourselves into a corner as far as your typical fairy tale goes: We'd let Shrek and Fiona get married, presumably to live happily ever after. But that ended up creating a whole new story angle for us. I started thinking about what happens after marriage, the idea being that you don't just marry your spouse, you marry their whole family.”

Meeting the parents was probably the last thing on Shrek's mind when he literally swept Princess Fiona off her feet and married her. But royal trumpets signal the end of the newlyweds' honeymoon when Shrek's new in-laws—the king and queen of Far Far Away—send a formal invitation for Princess Fiona to come home for a royal ball to celebrate her wedding to her "Prince Charming.”

Therein lay another important aspect of the story: meeting expectations…or rather not meeting them. Adamson says, "We all know that Fiona had expected to meet Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Well, her parents were expecting the same thing, so her showing up with an ogre, as an ogre, is a pretty big shock.”

Director Kelly Asbury remarks, "‘Shrek 2' explores what happens when the natural balance of fairy tales is disrupted. Fiona's parents locked her in a tower expecting a handsome prince to rescue her and break the curse that turned her into an ogre when the sun went down. They expected everything to go as planned, the way it usually happens in fairy tales. They hadn't counted on an ogre named Shrek coming along and breaking the curse in the reverse. Now their daughter is an ogress day and night because, as he's known to do in our fairy-tale world, Shrek skewed the direction of things a bit.”

"Shrek” derived a lot of laughter from lampooning some of our most beloved fairy tales and the sequel is no more sparing, taking aim at fairy-tale conventions, as well as some familiar movie moments. Director Conrad Vernon says that the filmmakers had fun finding more fairy tales to spoof. "We really dug into the books to pull from different fairy tales. There were a lot we hadn't used, but the problem was that some of them are so obscure, no one has ever heard of them. So we basically stayed with familiar fairy tales, and found new ways to turn them on their ear.”

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