Eddie Murphy thinks Donkey should have gotten a spin-off before Puss in Boots.
The fantasy universe that Shrek lives in has recently been nominated for an Oscar, as Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is up for the Best Animated Feature category. In an interview with eTalk that was posted on YouTube, Eddie Murphy says he hoped his character, Donkey, would be considered for a feature spin-off, and admits that he would be happy to play the role again for any story set in the fairytale land of Duloc. In fact, he thinks Donkey should have gotten a spin-off before Puss in Boots.
Shrek is the titular character of the main body of movies, an ogre who lives in a swamp and is voiced by Mike Myers. Eddie Murphy, as the voice of Donkey, provides a counterpoint to the surly Shrek as he gleefully makes himself the ogre’s friend through humor and persistence. He is Shrek’s best friend and constant companion throughout their adventures in the movies, and the two eventually share a special bond that unites their families on later adventures.
Eddie Murphy also didn’t put on a voice to play Donkey so much as he lent his personality to the portrayal of the character, giving answer to the question what if Eddie Murphy had been born a donkey and cursed with speech? It’s easy to see Donkey’s personality in Eddie Murphy’s comment about whether the talkative equine should have gotten a spin-off over his feline friend: “They should have done a Donkey movie. Donkey is funnier than Puss in Boots. I mean, I love Puss in Boots, but he ain’t funny as the Donkey.”
However, Eddie Murphy also added that any spin-off starring Donkey would be up to DreamWorks, the studio behind the Shrek franchise. Donkey was one of the stars in the first film, a buddy movie about how the ogre and donkey rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon. Both characters find love by the end of the film, introducing their families into the sequels. When we meet Donkey, he is being sold by a farmer who can’t stand that the pack animal is so talkative, but he winds up making friends who value what he has to say.
Eddie Murphy is famous for a lot of roles besides Donkey and recently has reprised two of them, that of Axel Foley in a Beverly Hills Cop sequel and of Prince Akeem in Coming 2 America. He also starred in the recent Netflix film You People with Jonah Hill, which is about the romance between a Jewish man and a Black Muslim woman. You People was released on January 20 and co-stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nia Long, Laura London, and David Duchovny.
A Shrek spin-off starring Donkey could be hilarious, but a large part of the success of the original movies was the interaction between the donkey and the ogre. Without Shrek as his straight man, it’s possible audiences could get as tired of Donkey as the farmer did. However, the success of such a film is derived from the charm of its central character, and so many people love Eddie Murphy as Donkey that it could also be a hilarious romp through Duloc without Shrek to constrain his four-hooved friend.