"Shrek!" is a picture book written and illustrated in 1990 by William Steig about a young ogre who finds the ogre of his dreams when he leaves home to see the world. The name "Shrek" is taken from the German and Yiddish word "Schreck"/"Shreck", meaning "fear, terror." The book served as the basis for the popular "Shrek" film series over a decade after its publication.


This book follows the life of Shrek, an ogre who is kicked out of his house to get his own life. As he walks around aimlessly, a witch prophesies that he will find true love after a long journey. In the end, he marries a princess-ogre uglier than he is.

Differences between the book and films

The Academy Award-winning film "Shrek" is based on the book, with the characters of Shrek and Princess Fiona "evolving" from the book's characters. In addition, other completely new aspects were added to the film that do not exist in the original book, including, but not limited to

*Incorporating characters from other fairy tales, such as Snow White and The Gingerbread Man in a parody context, as well as new original characters such as the villain, Lord Farquaad.
*Incorporating references to American pop culture that existed at the time of the film's production.
*An ending where Fiona, a human woman, transforms into a female ogre; the original book featured a female ogre from the beginning.
*Shrek was redesigned for the movie. Most notably, in the movie he is bald, wears different clothes, and has more human-like teeth although they are a greeny-yellow colour.
*In the film, Princess Fiona is not ever as ugly as him

The film later spawned two sequels, Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third, and the upcoming 2010 film, Shrek Goes Fourth. For the release of the latter, "Shrek!" was released with a collection of other stories by Steig, with a "Now a Major Motion Picture" label on the cover.

External links

* [ William Steig's web page describing the original 1990 storybook]
* [ Shrek! in hardcover]

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