- “Shrek 2” came out in 2004, but even superfans of the franchise probably missed some of these sneaky details and clever jokes.
- The film parodies a lot of real-life brands and stores, and it references many fairy-tale characters.
- Renditions of real-life public figures, like Prince Charles and Justin Timberlake, also appear in “Shrek 2.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The success of the first “Shrek” movie in 2001, led to sequels, spin-offs, and even a Broadway musical.
Just like the first instalment, “Shrek 2” has plenty of details and creative visual jokes throughout the film that even fans who’ve seen it dozens of times may have missed.
Read on for some of the clever jokes, references, and details in “Shrek 2.”
The title card shows two sets of Shrek ears.
The sequel’s title card incorporates Shrek’s ears into the logo, just like the first instalment did.
A group of fireflies arranges itself to spell “Shrek” on the door of Fiona and Shrek’s honeymoon suite. And their room number, “2,” also gets adorned with a set of the iconic ogre ears.
The sequel opens with a book of fairy tales, but this time, it tells the story of “Shrek.”
In “Shrek,” the opening sequence featured a book of fairy tales that Shrek reads aloud in his outhouse.
“Shrek 2” opens with the same book, but this time, the story inside recaps key events from the first movie in classic fairy-tale styling.
The Big Bad Wolf is reading “Pork Illustrated” and eating bacon-flavored pork rinds.
Just like in the first movie, the Big Bad Wolf wears a pink nightgown and is typically lounging in bed in the sequel – a reference to his behaviour in “Little Red Riding Hood.”
His first scene in “Shrek 2” also shows him reading a magazine called Pork Illustrated with a pig in a bikini on the cover.
The magazine, which is a clever reference to Sports Illustrated, plays into the fact that the Big Bad Wolf is also a character commonly associated with the story of “The Three Little Pigs.”
To further drive home the theme, the wolf is also munching on some bacon-flavored pork rinds.
The onion carriage from the end of the first movie is frequently seen in the sequel.
At the end of the first movie, Shrek and Fiona ride away from their wedding in a carriage made out of an onion.
The onion was a significant part of the first movie, as it was used in Shrek’s ogre metaphor, and the carriage becomes Shrek and Fiona’s main form of transportation in “Shrek 2.”
Hansel and Gretel are referenced more than once.
Shrek and Fiona have their honeymoon in a gingerbread house decorated with icing and candy called Hansel’s Honeymoon Hideaway.
The design of the house and its name are clear allusions to Hansel and Gretel, the fairy-tale children who wander into a candy house and are trapped by a hungry witch.
Later on, the Fairy Godmother also mentions “Hansel and Gretel” while going through her stack of fairy tales.
Princess Ariel appears to show up for an unexpected cameo.
The opening scenes of the film are a montage of Shrek and Fiona’s honeymoon.
During a romantic moment on the beach, a wave comes in, and Shrek goes from embracing Fiona to kissing a mermaid who washed in from the ocean. The mermaid has bright-red hair and a greenish-blue tail that are very similar to Disney’s Princess Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”
When Fiona drags the mermaid off Shrek and throws her back in the water, her purple bra is also shown, which further cements the mermaid’s similarities to Ariel.
Shrek and Fiona recreate an iconic scene from “Spider-Man” (2002).
During their honeymoon montage, Shrek gets caught in a trap in the forest that flips him upside down, dunks his head in mud, and leaves him dangling from a tree branch.
After Fiona fights off the men who set the trap, she rushes to her husband to check on him.
As she wipes the mud from his mouth and kisses him, viewers may be reminded of the iconic kiss between Peter Parker and Mary Jane in the first instalment of the Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” series.
There are also references to Rapunzel, Tinkerbell, and Cinderella.
This is a movie full of fairy-tale references, including famous princesses and fairies.
When Shrek and Fiona trap glowing fairies to use as lamps, they seem to all be dressed exactly like Disney’s Tinkerbell, with short green dresses and green shoes.
Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey also drive by Rapunzel’s tower, which has a long blonde braid cascading from the window, and Cinderella’s castle, which has a gate adorned with a glass slipper.
The princesses’ Hollywood Hills-style mansions are also clearly marked by gates with their names on them.
The sign in front of Shrek’s swamp has been updated to show that Fiona moved in.
Shrek has a “Beware! Ogre” sign in front of his swamp during the first movie to ward off potential visitors.
When Shrek and Fiona return home from their honeymoon, there’s an added drawing of Fiona next to the one of Shrek, and the sign reads, “Beware! Ogres,” to show that Fiona has moved in, too.
The Kingdom of Far Far Away is supposed to resemble Hollywood.
Much of this movie takes place in the Kingdom of Far Far Away, which is ruled by Fiona’s parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian.
As Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey approach the kingdom, there’s a Hollywood-style sign that reads “Far Far Away,” and they travel down roads that bear striking resemblances to Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard.
There are even people selling fairy-tale star maps on the street, like the ones in Hollywood that show tourists where celebrities live.
A coffee chain that looks a lot like Starbucks appears throughout the movie.
Farbucks Coffee is visible several times throughout the film, including when Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey first arrive in Far Far Away.
The name alone seems to be a clear reference to Starbucks, and the fictional logo even uses a green-and-white design similar to the actual coffee chain’s.
Viewers paying close attention will also notice that there is a Farbucks on both corners of the same street in one scene, likely a nod to the idea that Starbucks has become so popular that one can be seen on virtually every corner.
The main road of the Kingdom is filled with real-life store references.
Farbucks Coffee is just one of the brand references that can be seen in the film.
Signs advertise shops and products like Versarchery, Burger Prince, Epiphany & Co, Baskin Robin Hood, Tower of London Records, Gap Queen, and Banana Kingdom – which appear to be medieval renamings of the popular brands Versace, Burger King, Tiffany & Co, Baskin Robbins, London Records, Gap, and Banana Republic.
A shopper is also carrying a Saxxon Fifth Avenue bag.
The majority of the brand references are shown on store windows and awnings, but one reference appears on a shopping bag.
A woman crossing the street is shown holding a black bag that reads “Saxxon Fifth Avenue,” a reference to the well-known Saks Fifth Avenue department store.
Like the other stores, this one got a “Shrek”-style medieval twist. Saxon refers to the group that conquered part of England in the fifth century.
Fiona’s dress flies up in an apparent reference to Marilyn Monroe.
When Fairy Godmother first shows up, she performs a musical number during which she uses her magic to change Fiona’s room and clothing.
She makes Fiona’s furniture talk and move about like the furniture in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” but there’s another, quicker movie reference as well.
When Fiona’s dress is changed to a gold gown, it flies up, revealing her shoes, and Fiona uses her hands to push the dress back down. This seems to be a reenactment of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic scene from “The Seven Year Itch,” which has been imitated in countless films since the 1950s.
Prince Charles makes an animated cameo during the musical number.
During the Fairy Godmother’s big song, Fiona sits down at her vanity and an image of Prince Charles appears on her mirror as the furniture sings, “The kind of gal the prince would date.”
There are plenty of references to fictional princes and princesses in “Shrek 2,” so this brief cameo of the real British royal is particularly fun.
There’s a bar that seems to reference “Snow White” where more villainous fairy-tale characters congregate.
There are several scenes set in a bar called The Poison Apple – likely a reference to “Snow White.”
When King Harold first visits the bar, he sits next to the Headless Horseman and an Ugly Stepsister (from “Cinderella”) is working as the bartender.
Later, when Shrek goes to The Poison Apple, Captain Hook is playing the piano.
The bar also has some fun medieval signs in the background.
Inside The Poison Apple, there are also fun medieval takes on common bar signs.
One reads “No One Under Age XXI Served,” in reference to the US minimum legal drinking age of 21. There is also a “We reserve the right to behead anyone” sign, which is a rather unique twist on the right to refuse service.
Fiona’s bedroom has posters that resemble pop-culture icons.
Since Fiona lived in a tower for years before Shrek rescued her, she hasn’t been in her childhood bedroom at her parents’ castle since she was a kid.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that there are some fun posters and trinkets sprinkled around the room.
One poster in her bedroom shows a celebrity named “Sir Justin,” who seems to bear resemblance to musician Justin Timberlake.
The Fairy Godmother’s factory has several features commonly found in real offices.
Fairy Godmother’s cottage looks like a storybook version of a factory on the outside, but it also has some common office features inside.
Her reception area has before and after posters along the wall, like those more commonly seen in a salon or plastic surgeon’s office. There’s also an Employee of the Month sign in the factory area next to a janitor’s closet.
Fairy Godmother references multiple fairy tales and one unexpected movie in the same scene.
When Shrek asks Fairy Godmother for a potion, she goes through the books in her library to prove that ogres don’t live happily ever after, listing “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Thumbelina,” “The Golden Bird,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Pretty Woman.”
All of these are classic fairy tales, except for the last one.
A spilled potion turns people into animals, animals into people, and two employees into “Beauty and the Beast” characters.
The giant vat of potion that Shrek pours out in the Fairy Godmother’s factory seems to transform everyone who gets covered in it.
Two swans are changed into dancers, and the majority of the Fairy Godmother’s employees are transformed into birds. But two employees turn into more recognisable characters instead.
When they’re affected by the potion, they turn into a clock and candelabra – both with faces – in an apparent reference to two of the main characters in “Beauty and the Beast.”
Jill, of “Jack and Jill,” is cleverly referenced in the scene where Shrek becomes a human.
After Shrek and Donkey drink the potion they stole from Fairy Godmother, Shrek wakes up to see three women discussing his good looks and arguing over who gets to touch him.
When Shrek complains about his head hurting, one of the women quickly gets up and says, “Here, I fetched you a pail of water.”
A few moments later, she says her name is Jill, which makes sense given the famous nursery rhyme that goes “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.”
The love potion Fairy Godmother gives King Harold seems to be another pop-culture reference.
When King Herold gets the love potion from Fairy Godmother – which he plans on slipping into Fiona’s drink to make her fall in love with Prince Charming – the bottle has IX (Roman numeral nine) written on the front of it.
This seems to either be a reference to the 1992 rom-com “Love Potion No. 9” or the hit song of the same name by The Searchers.
Gingy’s legs have been reattached since his injury in the first movie.
Gingy, the gingerbread man, was tortured in the first movie, which resulted in his legs being ripped off.
In the sequel, his legs have new icing stitches holding them together.
The Kingdom of Far Far Away has a TV show that seems to be a parody of “Cops.”
Shrek’s friends are watching TV together when a show called “Knights” comes on.
The narration and camera style make it clear that this is a parody of the long-running reality TV show “Cops.”
The Muffin Man actually lives on Drury Lane.
Gingy was tortured about the whereabouts of the Muffin Man during the first “Shrek” movie.
The baker not only appears in the sequel, but a view of a sign outside his house also shows that he does indeed live on Drury Lane, as the nursery rhyme states.
There are multiple stories referenced during the big fight with Fairy Godmother.
When Shrek and his friends show up to stop Fiona and Prince Charming from getting together, they get into a pretty chaotic fight with Fairy Godmother.
As Shrek’s friends fight the villain, they perform iconic moments from their respective stories.
For example, Pinocchio is turned into a real boy, a pig flies out a window, and the Big Bad Wolf huffs and puffs.
During the end credits, Dragon brings Donkey their kids.
Dragon and Donkey met and began their relationship during the first movie. But aside from Donkey mentioning her, Dragon is noticeably absent from the sequel.
However, she shows up during the end credits and surprises Donkey by introducing him to their kids, which are interesting donkey-dragon hybrid creatures.
Dragon’s pregnancy explains the comments Donkey made in the film about her being “moody.”
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