Cameron Diaz’s Best Blockbuster Is A Streaming Success

Cameron Diaz's 2001 animated hit, Shrek, is streaming at the top of the charts on Hulu.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

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Shrek, the 2001 animated film starring Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and John Lithgow, is currently number two on the Hulu streaming chart. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, computer-animated comedy is loosely based on the 1990 children’s picture book of the same name by William Steig.

The plot revolves around an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) who enjoys a reclusive life in his cozy home. His peace is interrupted when a group of fairy tale creatures are banished to his swamp by the evil Lord Farquaad. Determined to reclaim his solitude, Shrek visits Farquaad, who promises to relocate the creatures if the ogre rescues Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a tower guarded by a dragon.

Shrek embarks on his quest, accompanied by a talking Donkey (Eddie Murphy) who insists on joining him. Along the way, the pair faces various obstacles, including a group of Robin Hood’s Merry Men and the fiery dragon guarding Fiona (Cameron Diaz). When they reach the tower, Shrek rescues Fiona, and the trio begins the journey back to Lord Farquaad’s (John Lithgow) castle.

Along the way, Shrek and Fiona fall in love. But things go sideways when Donkey discovers the Princess has a secret. When the sun goes down, she turns into an ogre.

She tells Donkey that only “true love’s kiss” can break the curse returning her to “loves true form.” When Shrek overhears Fiona referring to herself as an “ugly beast,” he is devastated, believing she is talking about him.

The heartbroken ogre angrily leaves and returns with Lord Farquaad the next day. Hurt by Shrek’s abrupt hostility, Fiona (Cameron Diaz) accepts Farquaad’s marriage proposal, asking that they be married before sundown. Shrek returns to his swamp alone but is no longer happy in his solitude.

Donkey arrives and confronts Shrek, explaining Fiona was talking about someone else.

At Donkey’s urging, Shrek decides to confess his feelings to the Princess before her wedding. When they arrive at the castle, they interrupt the ceremony, revealing Fiona’s secret to everyone. Enraged, Farquaad orders them to be arrested.

But the dragon appears and devours him, allowing Shrek and Fiona to escape. In the final scene, the couple marries in the swamp, surrounded by their fairy tale friends.

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Shrek was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $491 million at the global box office. It also received universal praise for its humor, animation, heartwarming story, and the voice acting of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and the rest of the cast. Additionally, Shrek was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 74th Academy Awards and won for Best Animated Feature.

The Cameron Diaz movie also earned six nominations at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, taking home the trophy for Best Adapted Screenplay. Since then, Shrek has become a beloved cultural icon, referenced and parodied in countless movies, television shows, and memes. It has been praised for its positive messages about self-acceptance and inclusivity.

Interestingly, Shrek was initially intended to be a traditionally animated movie. But the filmmakers decided to switch to computer animation after seeing the test footage. Chris Farley was originally cast as the titular character but died before the project was complete.

Mike Myers was hired to replace him well after Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy had joined.

The Shrek franchise is one of the most financially successful animated series of all time. It includes four computer-animated films – Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010). Collectively, the movies earned over $3 billion worldwide.

The franchise has also spawned two spin-offs – Puss in Boots (2011) and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), and eight short films.

Shrek’s cultural impact is immeasurable, with its clever subversion of fairy tale tropes. Its catchy soundtrack and memorable characters (voiced by Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy) have also made it a pop culture phenomenon. Additionally, the film’s success led to a renewed interest in animation as a legitimate art form.

Before its release, animated films were primarily aimed at children and were not taken seriously by the film industry. However, Shrek’s critical and commercial success proved that animation could appeal to children and adults and be profitable at the box office.