Currently sitting at the #2 most watched spot for Netflix USA it’s no surprise as to why. A cult favorite, the Shrek franchise, which boasts a total of four films with a fifth one allegedly on the way, has some of the biggest names in Hollywood backing its animated characters. Shrek 2 in particular has a vocal slate including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, and Rupert Everett. In Shrek, audiences were told the tale of a big green ogre named Shrek (Myers) who finds the peace and quiet of his remote swamp overrun by the most unruly fairytale character in the books. After facing down the diabolical Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow), who displaced the characters from their homes, Shrek must set out on a journey to deliver Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to Farquaad to be his wife if he ever wants his swamp back.
Shrek 2 picks up after the events of Shrek with the titular character and Princess returning from their honeymoon. Upon their arrival back to the swamp, they discover that Fiona’s parents found out about the wedding and have invited the newlyweds to their kingdom, Far Far Away, for a royal celebration. The only hangup is that Fiona’s family has no clue about her curse or that her hubby isn’t a handsome prince, but is instead an uncouth ogre. With Donkey (Eddie Murphy) at their side, Shrek and Fiona set out to confront Fiona’s well-to-do family as well as Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) who is ticked off that Fiona tied herself to Shrek and not her son, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett).
Met by both critical acclaim and a positive audience response, Shrek 2, which was released in 2004, crashed into theaters at the #1 spot during its opening weekend, holding the position through its second week. All in all, the feature stayed in the Top Ten for ten weeks and brought in a whopping $928.7 million worldwide leading it to hold the title of the top grossing film of the year. On Rotten Tomatoes, Shrek 2 sits with a critics rating of 89% and an audience score of 69%. The sequel always hits less than the original, so the audience score isn’t too much of a shocker. Like the first film, viewers loved the witty dialogue and character situations as well as the performances from Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and the rest of the ensemble.
Outside of the swamp, Eddie Murphy has been one of the top names in comedy since 1980 when he hit popularity during his time on Saturday Night Live. Following four seasons on the NBC weekend sketch show, Murphy continued to ride the wave of success. In film, the revered stand up comedian gained recognition in 1982’s 48 Hrs., Trading Places, and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, each of which he earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for. Through the 90s, Murphy appeared in more critically acclaimed films including The Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle, the latter of which experienced such positive feedback that it was granted a sequel in 2001.
Getting to the more serious side of things during the 2000s, Murphy would go on to stun audiences everywhere when he took on the part of James “Thunder” Early in the musical-to-film, award circuit favorite, Dreamgirls. For his role as the fictional soul singer, Murphy brought in a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and nabbed an Academy Award nomination. Though the decade of 2010 slowed down a bit, Murphy came back swinging in 2019 when he both produced and starred in the biographical comedy Dolemite Is My Name. For his portrayal of comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who was well known for his stand up work as well as his series of blaxploitation films, Murphy received yet another Golden Globe nomination. The film itself also gained massive amounts of praise from critics, situated at a 97% standing on Rotten Tomatoes. Most recently, Murphy returned to star in Coming 2 America, a sequel to his fan favorite 1988 film, Coming to America. Always ready to deliver the laughs, Eddie Murphy’s performance in the Shrek franchise has been a hit for parents and children alike. Lucky for all of us, we can head to Netflix and stream Shrek 2 for the foreseeable future.