(Cartoon) ( 2001)
© 2003 by Raymond Weschler
(Actors are listed for their voices)
A big scary looking ogre who wants to be left alone to live his life in an
isolated swamp. An ogre is a horrible looking green monster in fairy tales
that is said to eat human beings and everyone else, but Shrek is actually
quite loveable when you get to know him.
A funny and friendly talking Donkey who meets Shrek while trying to run away
from some soldiers who want to capture him. He has no name other than "Donkey"
(hes not even called "The Donkey").
Princess Fiona................Cameron Diaz
A princess who lives in a castle trapped by a fire-breathing dragon (a giant
lizard-like monster in fairy tales). She waits for a handsome prince or knight
to save her so she can marry him and live "happily ever after."
Lord Farquaad..................John Lithgow
A very short and mean-spirited prince who is the leader of the land of DuLoc,
who needs to marry in order to become the King. He decides that he will marry
Princess Fiona, but first he must find a way to rescue her from the dragon
in order to bring her back to his castle.
Although this film is both a cartoon and a fairy tale, it was clearly made as much
for adults as for children. Fairy tales are usually stories for kids that involve
fantastic forces and beings such as fairies (tiny little people), wizards (strange
men with magical powers) and goblins (evil spirits). Like this movie, they also often
involve a beautiful princess. This particular fairy tale is about the adventures of
Shrek, an irritable ogre who is actually lonely and even kind-hearted, once you accept
the fact that he is indeed an ogre, which is an ugly and scary-looking green monster
(Note ogre is pronounced o-ger).
One day Shrek meets Donkey, a fast-talking and funny animal, and soon after, Shreks
isolated life is turned into chaos when hundreds of fairy tale beings invade his swamp.
Donkey explains to Shrek that Lord Farquaad, of the distant land of DuLoc, probably
forced the creatures on to his land, and thus Shrek and Donkey head off for Farquaads
castle to try and get back his life of peace and quiet.
After arriving at Farquaads castle, Shrek agrees to try and rescue the beautiful
Princess Fiona from the castle where she is living, trapped by a fire-eating dragon
(a giant snake-like monster with wings). Farquaad wants to marry Fiona so he can legally
become King of DuLoc, and thus he tells Shrek that if he brings him the Princess, he
will force the fairy tale characters out of his swamp. Soon after, Shrek and Donkey head
off to rescue Fiona.
They are able to free Fiona from the dragon, and all three are soon on their way
back to Farquaads castle. Fiona seems particularly eager to get back and marry
Farquaad, who she thinks must be her "true love." But the princess seems to have a
dark secret, and Shrek and Donkey are not so sure that Farquaad is really the man
for her. Once back at the castle, the wedding is about to take place, but then Fionas
secret is revealed, and Shrek, the ugly green monster, learns that he really doesnt want
to live alone for the rest of his life, if he himself could find his own true love...
A note on the language used in this film: Much of the language used here is very
colloquial and often incorrect, especially those words spoken by Donkey. Be aware
of double negatives, and most common in this film, the use of "aint." Avoid that word
when speaking; Instead, you should correctly conjugate the verb "to be." Finally, there
are several song lyrics described, marked by an [S].
Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know
Shreks quiet and isolation ends as Donkey arrives in his life.
Once upon a time there was a lovely princess.
The words most commonly used to start a fairy tale or childrens story.
But she had an enchantment upon her of a fearful sort.
Very poetic language to say "She was so charming (or enchanting) that she was scary."
A fire-breathing dragon.
A mythical creature that looks like a huge snake with wings.
Many brave knights had attempted to free
her from the dreadful prison, but none prevailed.
A "knight" is a type of solider in the middle ages (over 500
years ago) who was known for serving the king or rich landowners.
Like thats ever gonna happen! What a load of...
Note that the first sentence is a sarcastic or cynical way of saying "that will
never happen." If something is a "load of crap," it is a lot of nonsense.
I aint the sharpest tool in the shed. [Song]
A "shed" is a small detached room for storing tools or other types
of equipment. This sentence is a funny way of saying "I am not the smartest
person here" ("Sharp" means both very pointed and intelligent).
All that glitters is gold [S]
"To glitter" is to sparkle or shine in the dark.
Hold on! Do you know what that thing can do to you?
A common way of telling a person to stop and think
carefully before they do what theyre about to do.
Yeah, itll grind your bones for its bread.
"To grind" something is to reduce it to powder
or tiny pieces by rubbing together, or using friction.
Ogres; Theyll make a suit out of your freshly peeled skin.
A "suit" is expensive or formal clothing that includes pants and a coat.
Skin that is "peeled" has had the outer layer stripped or pulled off.
Theyll squeeze the jelly from your eyes.
"To squeeze" something is to compact it into a smaller size by putting
pressure on it from opposite sides. "Jelly" is a type of soft dessert\
made with sugar and juice.
Wanted: Fairy Tale creatures.
A "creature" is any animal, especially one thats scary or disturbing.
Thats 20 pieces of silver for the witches.
A "witch" is another mythical figure who is usually an
old and scary-looking woman with super natural powers.
Ill never be stubborn again.
If a person is "stubborn," they are rigid and refuse to change their mind.
Im not a puppet. Im a real boy.
A small wooden toy shaped like a human or other animal. Note that the
character who says this is Pinocchio, whose nose grows whenever he lies.
Five shillings for the possessed toy.
A "shilling" is a coin in English money (perhaps worth 10 cents). If
a person is "possessed," their bodies contain a devil or other evil spirit
(Note people or perhaps animals can be possessed, but rarely toys!).
Hes really quite a chatterbox. Talk, you boneheaded dolt!
A "chatterbox" is a slangy word for a person who talks a lot ("To chatter" is
to talk a lot or aimlessly). If a person is "boneheaded," they are stupid, and
a "dolt" is a strong insult word for a simple and stupid person.
Im the talkingest damn thing you ever saw!
"Damn" is a somewhat crude but common filler
word used to express anger or other emotion.
Get her out of my sight! :: No, I swear!
In this context, "I swear" is a common way to
say "I promise you that I am telling the truth."
You might have seen a housefly...but you aint never seen a donkey fly!
A clever play on words; Note that a "housefly" is
a fly (and a noun, of course), but "to fly" is a verb.
Seize him! Hes getting away!
"To seize" a person is to forcefully hold or stop them.
"To get away" is to escape, in this case by running quickly.
By the order of Lord Farquaad, I am authorized to place you under
arrest and transport you to a designated...resettlement facility.
If a person is "authorized" to do something, they are given legal permission
to do it. "To place a person under arrest" is to legally seize them and usually
put them in jail. A "designated" place is one that is specifically chosen, and
a "resettlement facility" is a place or building to which people are often told
they have to move.
Then you showed up and bam! They was tripping
over themselves like babes in the woods.
"To show up" is a common phrasal verb meaning to arrive. "Bam" is a slangy
word to describe a violent or loud noise, like two cars crashing into each other.
"To trip" is to fall while walking. A "babe in the woods" is an innocent person
who isnt prepared for the dangers they face.
I got a great idea! Itll stick with you.
"To stick with" a person is to follow them everywhere.
Youre a mean, green, fighting machine. Together
well scare the spit out of anybody who crosses us!
"To scare the shit out of" a person is greatly scare of terrify them
("Spit" is mouth saliva, but this expression is rarely if ever used).
Here, "to cross" a person is turn against or betray them.
You definitely need some tic-tacs or something because your breath stinks!
A well-known candy that makes peoples bad breath smell fresh.
I ate some rotten berries. Man, I had some
strong gasses eking out of my butt that day.
If fruit is "rotten," it is old, smelly and decaying. "Man" is a common
filler word to express emotion, often placed at the beginning of sentences.
In this case, "gas" refers to the bad smelling farts that people produce
when they eat too much. "To eke out" is to leave quietly or sneak out.
Im an ogre. You know---"grab your torch and pitchforks."
"To grab" is to forcefully take or seize. A "torch" is a large burning
stick that is used for light, and a "pitchfork" is a long-handled fork that
is often used by farmers to dig up the soil or stacks of hay.
Youve got that kind of I-dont-care-what-nobody-thinks-of-me thing.
Note that lots of words can be placed together to form one giant adjective
"). This is a slangy way of saying "Its clear that you dont
care what people think of you."
And it is lovely! Just beautiful.
Widely used in British English for pretty or attractive.
Youre quite a decorator. Its amazing what
youve done with such a modest budget.
A "decorator" designs how rooms inside houses look. "Amazing" is an important
alternative to incredible or fantastic. If a person (or dragon) is on "a modest
budget," they dont have a lot of money to spend.
I like that boulder.
A very large rock.
I hate it when you get somebody in your face.
If a person is "in your face," they are physically too
close and are probably bothering or annoying you.
Youre trying to give them a hint and they
wont leave. Theres that awkward silence.
A "hint" is a subtle or indirect clue or suggestion. If a period of
silence is "awkward," it is socially uncomfortable or embarrassing.
You dont know what its like to be considered a freak.
A useful colloquial word for a person who is considered monstrous,
totally bizarre or physically very strange, who could be in the circus.
We can stay up late, swapping manly stories,
and in the morning, Im making waffles!
"To swap" stories is to exchange them, or tell them to each other. "Manly" is
a silly adjective meaning masculine or macho, and "waffles" are a type of\
breakfast food that is similar to pancakes.
I guess thats cool.
In this case, "cool" means not bad, though
it more often means good or excellent.
The fairy-tale creatures arrive in Shreks swamp, Lord Farquaad
decides who hell marry, and then Shrek and Farquaad make a deal.
Well gents, its a far cry from the farm, but what choice do we have?
"Gents" is a way of saying gentlemen. If something is "a far cry from" a farm,
its very different than a farm, though it could be compared to it.
Blah! Awful stuff!
"Blah" is a childs way of expressing disgust or disapproval. "Awful"
means extremely bad, and "stuff" is a very general word for things.
Dead broad off the table!
A "broad" is a silly, slangy and somewhat dated word for a woman.
I live in a swamp. I put up signs! Im a terrifying ogre!
A "swamp" is a wetland that is usually covered with water and
woody vegetation. If something is "terrifying," it is extremely scary.
All of you move it! Come on, lets go!
The most common and versatile phrasal verb
in the English language, here meaning "hurry up!"
Lord Farquaad! He huffed and he puffed and he signed an eviction notice.
"To huff" is to breath heavily, and to "puff" is to breath in, as in when
you breath in on a cigarette (These are words from a famous fairy tale about
three little pigs). An "eviction notice" is a legal document from a landlord
demanding that a tenant move out from a building ("To evict" a person is to
legally throw them out).
Attention, all fairy tale things.
A silly way of referring to the various characters from fairy tales
or childrens stories mentioned here, including Snow White and Cinderella.
Your welcome is officially worn out.
If you "wear out" a welcome, the people who invited
you are no longer happy that youre still there.
Im gonna get you off my land and back where you came from!
Note that "going to"----> "gonna" in rapid speech. This is Shreks way of
telling all the fairy tell characters that hes going to force them to leave.
Shrek and donkey, the stalwart friends, off in a whirlwind big-city adventure.
"Stalwart friends" are those who are strong and stick together no matter
how bad the troubles they have. A "whirlwind" adventure involves seeing
lots of things in little time, with a sense of great rush or urgency.
Im not the monster here, you are. You and the rest
of that fairy tale trash, poisoning my perfect world.
"To poison" something is to give it a dangerous or deadly
substance, such as a horrible chemical, that can kill or destroy it.
Eat me! :: Ive tried to be fair to you creatures,
but now my patience has reaches its end.
"Eat me" is a sillier and less vulgar insult than "fuck you!" A "creature"
is any kind of animal, from a human to an insect to a dragon.
Do you know the muffin man?
A "muffin" is a type of round sweet bread that is made with eggs.
My Lord! We found it!
An alternative way of saying "My God," used to express strong emotion.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, is this not the most perfect
kingdom of them all? :: Well, technically, youre not a king.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall" are famous opening words for many fairy tale
characters when they are talking to their mirror in order to find out the truth
of a situation. A "kingdom" is a land or country where a king rules over
his people. "Technically" is a way of saying legally, or in fact.
Just sit back and relax my Lord, because its
time for you to meet todays eligible bachelorettes.
In this case, "Lord" is a way of addressing a king or other high leader.
If a person is "eligible," theyre available to meet and go out with others.
A "bachelorette" is a young and attractive woman who is not married.
Bachelorette #1 is a mentally abused shut-in from a kingdom far, far away.
If a person is "mentally abused," they have been emotionally mistreated, often by
their parents. A "shut-in" is a person who never leaves their room or house, though
this is a rarely used expression.
She likes sushi and hot tubing anytime.
A "hot tub" is a large bath filled with very hot water for relaxing, though
here its used as a verb. This is describing the character Cinderella.
Bachelorette #2 is a cape-wearing girl from the land of fancy.
A "cape" is clothing that fits closely at the neck and hangs loosely
over the shoulders. The "land of fancy" is a fairy tale way of referring
to places where everyone is happy and well taken care of ("Fancy" means
expensive or posh when referring to restaurants or houses).
Although she lives with seven other men, shes not easy.
A very clever way of referring to the fairy tale character Snow White, who is
famous for living with the seven dwarfs (little people). Note that in certain
contexts, if a girl is "easy," she has sex with lots of men.
Just kiss her dead frozen lips and find out what a
live wire she is. Come on, give it up for Snow White.
A "live wire" is a slangy way of referring to a person who has a lot of
unpredictable energy. In this context, "to give it up for" a person is to
clap or applaud for them when they take the stage or begin to speak.
And last but certainly not least...
A way of introducing the last person in a group,
but one who you still consider very important or good.
Bacherlorette #3 is a fiery red head from a dragon-
guarded castle surrounded by hot boiling lava!
A girl who is fiery has a lot of passion or energy, and perhaps specifically
sexual energy. "Lava" is the hot deadly liquid that is thrown out of active
Dont let that cool you off.
In this case, "to cool off" means to calm down or lose interest.
Shes a loaded pistol who likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.
A "loaded pistol" is a slangy way of referring to a person who is passionate
but perhaps emotionally unstable. A "pina colada" is a tropical drink made
with coconut, pineapple and liquor.
Yours for the rescuing, Princess Fiona.
"To rescue" a person is to save them from a great danger.
I will make this princess my queen and DuLoc will finally have the perfect king.
The fairy tale land where Lord Farquaad lives.
Captain, assemble your finest men. Were going to have a tournament.
A "captain" is a high rank or level in the military. "To assemble" people
means to bring them together. A "tournament" is a type of contest, usually
involving some sport or other skill.
Do you think maybe he compensating for something?
"To compensate for" something is to try and do very well at something else
because youre not so good or lucky in that first thing (Shrek is saying that
Lord Farquaad is probably embarrassed by having such a small penis, and that
is why he built such a big castle!).
Here we have some rules, let us lay them down [S]
"To lay down the rules" is to announce exactly what the rules are, in
the expectation that they will be followed (A "rule" is another word
for a law or regulation).
Dont make waves, stay in line, and well get along fine. [S]
"To make waves" is to do things that cause trouble or excitement.
"To stay in line" is to follow the law or rules and to avoid trouble.
Brave knights, you are the best and brightest in all the land.
Another word for smartest.
All right, youre going the right way for a smacked bottom.
"To smack" something is to hit or slap it. A persons bottom is
their ass, behind or butt (Or for that matter, their derriere or tush!).
That champion shall have the honor...privilege to go forth and
rescue the lovely princess Fiona from the fiery keep of the dragon.
A "privilege" is a right or honor that is given by someone else. Here, "fiery"
means literally made of or surrounded by fire, and in this context, "keep" is
a dated way of saying guardianship or physical custody.
The first runner-up will take his place, and so on and so forth.
In a contest, a "runner-up" is the person who finishes right after the winner or
person in front of them. "And so on and so forth" is a way of ending a sentence
when describing the continuation of a pattern.
Some of you may die, but its a sacrifice that Im willing to make.
A classic line that captures the courage of politicians throughout history!
Look, its hideous.
A powerful adjective that means totally gross, horrible or disgusting.
The one who kills the ogre will be champion! Have at him!
"To have at" a person is to attack them with great force.
Cant we just settle this over a pint?
"To settle" an argument is to talk about it until you reach an agreement.
"A pint" is a quantity of food or liquid, and here, refers to a pint of beer.
Hey Shrek, tag me!
"To tag" a person is to briefly touch them, often in a game like baseball.
Im here to Thursday. Try the veal.
The meat of very young cows.
Youve won the honor of embarking on a great and noble quest.
"To embark" on a journey is to start out on it. If a goal is "noble," it is honorable
or morally justified. A "quest" is a great journey involving lots of adventure.
Where you dumped those fairy tale creatures.
"To dump" something is to get rid of it or throw it away, like trash.
Indeed. OK, ogre, Ill make you a deal.
"Indeed" is a common British way of saying in fact, or perhaps
certainly. A "deal" is an important word for an agreement.
Exactly the way it was? :: Down to the last slime-covered toad stool.
"Slime" is the unpleasant sticky and dirty film or substance that is found in
bathtubs that are dirty, or in wet swamp lands. A "toadstool" is a type of
poisonous mushroom found in swamps or other wet places.
And the squatters? :: As good as gone.
"Squatters" are people who illegally live in abandoned or poor apartments or
houses without paying rent. If you say that a person is "good as gone," youre
saying that they will soon be gone, for sure.
Shrek and Donkey head off to rescue Princess Fiona.
Let me get this straight. Were just gonna go fight a dragon
and rescue a princess so Farquaad will give you back a swamp?...
"To get this straight" is to very carefully discuss something
so that you are sure you understand what exactly is happening.
....which you only dont have because he filled it full of freaks in the first place.
A person or animal who is considered monstrous, totally bizarre
or physically very strange, who could be in the circus
Why dont you just pull some of that ogre stuff on him?
Donkeys slangy way of asking "Why dont you act
like a scary ogre so that youll scare him away?"
Throttle him, lay siege to his fortress.
"To throttle" a person is to violently choke them around the neck. "To lay siege
to" a place is to surround it with soldiers and continue to attack it, often over
a long period of time. A "fortress" is a castle or other well defended place which
is hard to attack.
The whole ogre trip.
In this case, "trip" is a slangy way of saying attitude or viewpoint.
Maybe I could have decapitated an entire village and put their heads
on a pike, gotten a knife, cut open their spleen and drank their fluids.
"To decapitate" someone is a violent verb meaning to cut their head off.
A "pike" is a sharp point or spike. A persons "spleen" is an organ in their
stomach, and a word that is sometimes used just because it sounds funny!
You leave them out in the sun, they get
all brown, start sprouting little white hairs.
"To sprout" hair is to let it grow quickly (When plants sprout, they grow upward).
Onions have layers.
A "layer" is one thickness or fold lying over or under another (Onions do
have layers, as do some cakes, types of skin, and lots of other things).
You know what else everyone likes? Parfaits.
A dessert made of fruit, ice cream and whipped cream.
You dense, irritating miniature beast of burden!
Shreks way of totally insulting Donkey. If a person is "dense," they are
stupid and often dont understand what is being told to them. If a person is
"irritating," they are annoying, bothersome, or more colloquially, a pain in
the ass. "Miniature" means very small, and a "beast of burden" is any farm animal
that is used to do heavy work, such as pulling a cart.
Do you have a tissue or something because Im making a mess.
In this case, "a mess" refers to tears and nose mucus, though it usually
refers to lots trash or clutter in a room, or more generally, a bad situation.
Just the word parfait makes me start slobbering.
"To slobber" is to let saliva dribble or roll down from the mouth.
Im on my way from misery to happiness today.
A good word for extreme unhappiness, sadness or despair.
You gotta warn somebody before you just crack one off. My mouth was open.
This is Donkeys way of saying to pop or explode
(He is referring to the act of farting or passing gas).
Its brimstone. We must be getting close.
A type of sulfur rock which smells very bad.
It didnt come off no stone, neither.
If a smell "comes off" something, it is the source of it.
I have a bit of a confession to make.
A "confession" is the act of admitting to having done something wrong or
embarrassing, sometimes while speaking to a priest or church official.
Donkeys dont have layers. We wear our fear right out there on our sleeves.
"To wear your fear on your sleeves" is to be honest about your fear instead of
trying to hide it (The expression can be used with other emotions). A "sleeve" is
the part of a shirt that covers your arms.
Im just a little bit uncomfortable about being
on a rickety bridge over a boiling lake of lava.
If a bridge is "rickety," it is very weak and in poor shape, and perhaps about
to break in two or collapse. "Lava" is the dangerous hot liquid that shoots out
of active volcanoes.
Well just tackle this one little baby step at a time.
"To tackle" a person is to physically force them to the ground, but if you
tackle a problem, you find a solution for it. Note that big problems are solved
one step at a time, or one small part at a time.
So where is this fire-breathing pain in the neck anyway?
If a person (or dragon) is a "pain in the neck," they are causing big problems
or being annoying or bothersome (A "pain in the ass" is a more common expression).
Fear is a sensible response to an unfamiliar situation.
If something is "sensible," it is reasonable or rational.
It sure doesnt mean youre a coward if youre a little girl.
A "coward" is a person who is easily scared or has no courage.
I sure as heck aint no coward.
A filler term used to express emotion such as anger or frustration
(Note however that "as hell" is much more common).
You handle the dragon, Ill handle the stairs.
In this case, "to handle" the dragon is to fight him or to take care of
the problems that she may cause ("To handle" the stairs is to find a way
to use or go up them without getting hurt).
Ill find those stairs. Ill whip their butt, too.
"To whip a persons butt" is a very slangy way of saying to beat them up
or physically hurt them (but note that you wouldnt normally use this expression
with an inanimate object like stairs).
Ill take drastic steps. Kick it to the curb.
Dont mess with me. Im the stair master.
"Drastic steps" are very serious actions that might be dangerous or risky.
The "curb" is the part of a sidewalk right next to the street. "To mess with" a
person is to anger or provoke them. A "stairmaster" is a well known exercise machine,
but as used here by Donkey, a "stair master" is a person who has mastered or perfected
the use of normal stairs (This is a subtle but clever play on words).
I mean, white sparkling teeth.
If teeth "sparkle" in the dark, they give off bright moving points of
light (the way firecrackers do when they are lit during the 4th of July).
You must bleach them, cause that is one dazzling smile you got there.
"To bleach" teeth or clothes is to make them whiter through a chemical process.
"Dazzling" means to shine brightly or be truly impressive or incredible or
amazing in some type of performance.
Do I detect a hint of minty freshness?
"To detect" something is to notice it even though it is subtle or not obvious.
A "hint" of something is just a small suggestion or tiny amount of it. If your breath
has "minty freshness," it has the pleasant smell of mint, which is a well known plant.
Youre just reeking of feminine beauty.
"To reek" is to powerfully give off a bad smell, though here donkey
uses it incorrectly to suggest you can reek of something nice.
Im an asthmatic, and I dont know if it would
work out if youre gonna blow smoke rings.
An "asthmatic" is a person who has the disease asthma, which makes it difficult
to breath. In this case, "to work out" means to be helpful. "Smoke rings" are
circular rings of smoke that some people make when smoking.
Are you Princess Fiona? :: I am, awaiting a knight so bold as you to rescue me.
A "knight" is a type of solider in the middle ages who was known for serving
the king or rich landowners. If a person is "bold," they are very brave and
likely to take quick and decisive actions.
You should sweep me off my feet out yonder
window and down a rope on to your valiant steed.
Much of this is poetic old English; "To sweep a woman off her feet" is to totally
charm or seduce her. "Out yonder" is Shakespearean English meaning "over there."
If a person or animal is "valiant," they show great courage or bravery, and "steed"
is a very old-fashioned word for a horse.
We have to savor this moment.
"To savor" something is to take the time to really enjoy or appreciate it.
You could recite an epic poem for me. A ballad, a limerick, a sonnet.
"To recite" a poem is to read it outloud. An "epic poem" is a very long poem\
that usually tells a great story. A "ballad" is a slow romantic song, a "limerick"
is a humorous verse or small poem, and a "sonnet" is a short song that is performed
in classical music.
Sir Shrek, I pray that you take this favor as a token of my gratitude.
In old English, "to pray" meant to sincerely ask or request. A "token"
is a small symbol, and "gratitude" is another word for appreciation.
You didnt slay the dragon? :: Its on my to do list, now come on.
"To slay" a person or animal is to kill them violently, often with a sword
or knife. A persons "to-do list" is a list of the things that they want to do.
You were meant to charge in, sword drawn, banner flying.
"To charge in" to a place is to rush in with great energy. A "sword" is a
soldiers weapon with a large blade, and if it is "drawn," it is in the persons
hand, ready to use. A "banner" is a type of large flag.
Thats what the other knight did. :: Right before they burst into flames.
If something "bursts into flames," it explodes and then goes up in fire.
I have to save my ass.
A slangy way of saying "I have to protect myself."
Im not emotionally ready for a commitment of this
magnitude, really that is the word Im looking for.
"Commitment" in an important word when discussing romantic relationships,
since it is the decision to spend the rest of your life with your partner.
"Magnitude" means great size, number or power.
Lets back up a little and take this one step at a time.
In this case, to "back up" means to look back and see how you got
where you are, and thus in doing so, it also means to slow down.
We really should get to know each other first as friends or pen pals.
"Pen pals" are people who have become close friends through writing
letters to each other, but who have often not actually met in person.
Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona head back to Farquaads castle.
Youre going to tear it off?
"To tear off" something is to pull it off or forcefully remove it.
It talks! :: Yeah, its getting him to shut up that is the trick.
In this case, "trick" is used to mean the most difficult part (More
generally, a trick is an act that is designed to fool or cheat people).
Youre amazing, wonderful...a little unorthodox, I admit.
If a person is "unorthodox," they act in ways that are considered
strange or different, or more specifically, not normal or typical.
Thy deed is great and thine heart is pure.
More Shakespearean English from Princess Fiona: "Thy" and "thine"
both meant your. A "deed" is a good or noble act that is well done.
I am eternally in your debt.
If something is "eternal," it is forever. If you are "in a persons debt,"
you owe them something of great value for what they have done to help you.
And where would a brave knight be without his noble steed?
A "noble" person is one who has excellent character or morals. This is Princess
Fionas way of saying Shrek could not survive without Donkey.
You may remove your helmet, good Sir knight.
A "helmet" is a protective covering for the head that is usually made
of a hard material (Theyre often worn by those who drive motorcycles).
That wasnt in the job description. :: Maybe its a perk.
A "perk" is an advantage of a job that is not part of the actual salary
paid, such as vacations, health insurance or the use of a company car.
Its destiny...a princess locked in a tower and
beset by a dragon is rescued by a brave knight.
"Destiny" is an excellent word for something for which a person is destined.
or more specifically, fate or fortune. If a person is "beset" by troubles,
they are surrounded or being attacked by them.
You think that Shrek is your true love?
The person (or in this case, ogre) that a person is destined to be with.
Lets just say Im not your type, OK?
In this context, a common way of saying "I am not the type of person
that would be good for you in a serious romantic relationship."
As you command, your highness.
"To command" is to order, and "your highness" is the
way one should address a princess or queen.
You were expecting Prince Charming? :: Yes, actually.
A general name for any man who is considered
handsome, charming and eligible to marry.
So much for noble steed.
"Maybe this donkey isnt so wonderful after all."
Im no ones messenger boy! Im a delivery boy. :: You wouldnt dare!
A "delivery boy" physically delivers or transports various things to people who order
them. "To dare" to do something is to do it even though there is great risk or danger.
Put me down or you will suffer the consequences.
An important word for the logical or predictable results of an action.
This is not dignified!
The quality of being respectable in manner, behavior or language.
Say theres a women who digs you, right, but you really dont like her that way?
Note that "Say" can be used at the beginning of a sentence to discuss a possible
situation. "To dig" a person is a very slangy way of saying to like or be sexually
attracted to them.
How do you let her down real easy so her feelings arent
hurt, but you dont get burned to a crisp and eaten?
"To let a person down easy" is to very gently give them bad news, in this case
that youre not interested in them romantically. If something is "burned to a
crisp," they are burned so badly that only a blackened shell is left (Crispy,
of course, means very crunchy).
And what of my groom-to-be, Lord Farquaad? Whats he like?
A "groom" is the man who is going to marry the bride in a wedding,
and in this grammatical construction, "to-be" simply means future.
Let me put it this way, princess. Men of Farquaads stature are in short supply.
In this case, "to put" is a widely used way of saying to express or say.
The second sentence is a play on words since "stature" can mean both reputation
for excellence and physical size; Shrek is not saying there are few people with
Farquaads excellence, but rather that Farquaad is physically short (or even that
he has a small penis!). If something is "in short supply," there are few left.
Youre just jealous that you can never measure
up to be a great ruler like Lord Farquaad.
Another play on words; "To measure up" to somebody is to compare them
in a general sense, though here it may mean to be the same physical size
as them. A "ruler" is the political leader of a nation.
Theres robbers in the woods.
One way of referring to the forest.
Shrek, we can do better than that. I dont think this is fit for a princess.
If something is not "fit for" a princess, it is considered
inappropriate or not dignified enough for her.
It just needs a few homey touches.
"Homey" is a nice little adjective meaning warm and cozy, like a home.
In this context, "touches" are small but worthwhile improvements.
I bid thee goodnight.
Fionas Shakespearean English; You should just say "goodnight" (!)
Theres bloodnut the flatulent. You can guess what
hes famous for. :: Now I know that youre making this up.
"Flatulent" is a unpleasant adjective referring to the passing of gas,
or farting (Shrek is talking about the astrological star symbols in the sky).
"To make up" a story is to create it from your head, because its doesnt
exist in real life.
Theres the group of hunters running away from his stench.
A powerful word to describe an extremely bad or unpleasant smell.
You cut me deep, Shrek. You cut me real deep, just now.
This is Donkeys way of telling Shrek that
his feelings have been very badly hurt.
No, this is one of those drop-it-and-leave-it-alone things.
In this case, "drop it" means to forget about it. Note this is part
of another one of those long phrases that function as one adjective.
Why are you blocking?
In this context, "to block" means to be unable to talk about something
(This is a very modern way of discussing psychological problems).
Oh, now were getting somewhere. :: For the love of Pete!
Shreks favorite way of expressing frustration,
but this is rarely if ever used in real life.
What you got against the whole world, anyway?
Donkeys way of asking why Shrek is always so angry at everyone.
They judge me before they even know me. Thats why Im better off alone.
In this case, "to judge" a person is to form an opinion about them.
Are there any donkeys up there? :: Gabby, the small and annoying.
A useful adjective meaning irritating or bothersome.
We got off to a kind of bad start yesterday, and I wanted to make it up to you.
"To make it up to" a person is to do something nice
for them after having done something bad to them earlier.
Shes as nasty as you are.
In this case, "nasty" means impolite or rude.
Shrek, Donkey and Fiona meet Monsieur Hood, and then
sadly for Shrek, Fiona and Farquaad prepare to marry.
Be still, mon cherie, for I am your savior...and
I am rescuing you from this green beast.
"Mon cherie" is French for "my dear." A "savior" is a person who saves
the life of another, and a "beast" is a disgusting animal or monster.
Look, pal, I dont know who you think you are
:: Of course, how rude, let me introduce myself.
"Pal" is a colloquial word for friend, though it is often used,
as here, to address a person that is annoying or bothering you.
I steal from the rich and give to the needy.
If a person is "needy," they are poor or have few physical possessions
(This sentence is the philosophy of Monsieur Hood, who is based on the
legendary character Robin Hood, who lived in 12th century England. "Monsieur"
is the French word for Mr.).
He takes a wee percentage. :: But Im not greedy. [S]
"Wee" is an interesting adjective that means very small or tiny.
I rescue pretty damsels. Man, Im good. [S]
A very old fashioned British word for a young
unmarried woman of noble birth or high social class.
I like an honest fight and a salty little maid. [S]
In this case, a funny word for very spirited or perhaps sexually exciting
(This is Monsieur Hoods way of describing the type of women he likes).
What hes basically saying is that he likes to get...paid. [S]
A clever line; "To get laid" means to have sex.
When an ogre in the bush grabs a lady by the tush. [S]
A silly and somewhat vulgar word for ass, butt, derriere, etc.
Ill take my blade and ram it through your head. [S]
In this case, a "blade" is a sword or knife. "To ram a
knife through" something is to violently push through it.
Theres an arrow in your butt!
A pointed weapon shot from a bow that flies through the air like a missile.
Keep your legs elevated! Turn your head and cough.
If something is "elevated," it is kept high or above. The second sentence
is what doctors always tell their patients during a physical exam.
Does anyone know the Heimlich?
"The Heimlich maneuver" is the famous process by which a person
saves the life of another who is choking, by squeezing on their stomach.
Blue flower, red thorns. OK, Im on it.
A "thorn" is the sharp or pointy part of a flower or plant that can
easily cause you to bleed if you touch it without being careful. If a person
is given a job to do and they say theyre "on it," they are taking care of it.
Now you hold still and Ill yank this thing out.
To "hold still" is to not move, and "to yank" something
is to try and pull it out with great energy or force.
What do you propose we do?
"To propose" a plan of action is to officially suggest that it be done.
Thats the last thing on my mind.
"There is no way I was thinking about that."
My beloved master and me. [S]
"Beloved" is an old-fashioned word for much loved or cherished
A "master" is the owner of an animal (or perhaps owner of a slave).
It gets us through all kinds of weather.
It something "gets you through" bad weather, it helps you to survive it.
She will be the only thing that comes between me and the awful sting. [S]
"Awful" means extremely bad. A "sting" is the sharp pain
of certain insect bites, such as those caused by a bee or spider.
That comes from living in a world thats so damn mean.
A vulgar but common filler word to express frustration or other emotion.
Your future awaits you.
"To await" is an old-fashioned way of saying to wait for.
I guess we better move on.
Note that in some contexts, "to guess" means to think, and that "better"
is the only adverb that can function as a modal verb (meaning "should")!
"To move on" is to move in a forward direction, or perhaps to forget about
what had been the focus of attention.
You look awful. :: I dont want t say nothing, but I got this twinge in my neck.
A "twinge" is a sudden or sharp pain.
Weedrat, rotisserie style. :: Well, this is delicious.
A "weedrat" is not a real animal (though "weeds" are a type of hated
plant that kills grass). If meat is cooked "rotisserie style," its cooked
over a slow burning fire while turning on a metal spit or pole.
I dont mean to brag, but I make a mean woodrat stew.
"To brag" is to boast or talk in an overly proud manner. As a colloquial
adjective, "mean" can actually mean very good or excellent! A "stew" is a
thick soup of meats and vegetables.
Swamp toad soup, fish eye tatare, you name it.
A "toad" is a type of frog, and any meat served "tatare" style is raw!
"You name it" is a way of saying "Anything you can think of..."
I got instincts and I know you two were digging on each other.
Your "instincts" are the feelings or intuition that you have about a situation,
based on experience and not any formal education. If two people "dig on" each
other, they are romantically attracted to each other, although this is very slangy
and rarely used.
Come on Shrek, wake up and smell the pheromones.
"Wake up and smell the coffee" is a much loved colloquial expression which
means "Be serious and start accepting the reality of the situation." This saying
is never used with "pheromones," which are chemical substances produced by animals
to sexually attract others.
It was very spooky in here and I aint playing no games.
"Spooky" is an excellent word for scary or creepy (used when you are in a house
with lots of ghosts). Remember that you should never say "aint" (In this case,
youd say "am not.")
I told Shrek those rats were a bad idea. You are what you eat, I said.
A widely used expression which is said to try
and encourage people to eat healthy foods.
This shouldnt be the norm, until you find
loves first kiss, and then take loves true form.
The "norm" refers to what is considered normal for any given
situation. In this case, "form" is the shape or nature of something.
When I was a little girl, a witch cast a spell on me.
A "witch" is a mythical old and mean woman with supernatural powers. "To cast" a
spell is to project it or put it on a person, and the "spell" itself is a spoken
word or form of words, often said by a witch, which carries out magic powers
(In this case, turning Fiona into a different person).
You only look like this at night. Shreks ugly 24-7.
A common way of saying all the time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
Only my true loves kiss can break the spell.
Note that a witch will cast a spell, and often a kiss will break it.
Who could ever love a beast so hideous and ugly?
A powerful adjective meaning completely disgusting, gross and offensive.
Whats the point of being able to talk if you gotta keep secrets?
Note that "have got to"--------> "gotta" in rapid speech.
Before this is over, Im gonna need a whole lot
of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitching.
In this context, "therapy" refers to counseling by a psychologist to help solve mental
or emotional problems. If your eye "twitches," it moves jerkily, with sudden motions.
Very well, Ogre, the deed to your swamp, cleared out, as agreed.
A "deed" is a legal document giving a person official possession to a piece
of land or property. If a property has been "cleared out," it has been emptied
of things or people, or in this case, fairy tale creatures.
Forgive me princess for startling you, but you startled
me, for I have never seen such a radiant beauty before.
"To startle" a person is to suddenly scare or surprise them.
If a persons beauty is "radiant," it shines like the sun.
This is so sweet; you dont have to waste good manners on the ogre.
"Good manners" refer to correct social behavior that shows respect,
such as waiting to start eating until the cook has sat down at the table.
Beautiful, fair, flawless Fiona. I ask your hand in marriage.
If a woman is "fair," she looks pure and clean. A person who is "flawless" is
perfect, or has no imperfections or flaws. "To ask a womans hand in marriage"
is a very old-fashioned way of asking her to marry.
Will you be the perfect bride for the perfect groom?
At a wedding, the "bride" is the woman getting married and the "groom" is the man.
Lets get married today. :: Oh, anxious, are we?
If a person is "anxious," they are worried or
uneasy or eagerly wishing for something.
Theres the caterer, the cake, the band, the guest list.
A "caterer" is a person who brings the food and drink
to social events such as a wedding (The verb is "to cater").
Captain, round up some guests.
"To round up" a group of people is to quickly bring them together.
Nobody goes home with me. Especially
useless, pathetic, annoying, talking donkeys.
If a person is "pathetic," they are so bad or stupid that they inspire pity.
An "annoying" person is irritating, bothersome or a pain in the ass.
The baffled king composing "Hallelujah."
If a person is "baffled," they are completely confused. "To compose" a song
or a piece of music is to write it (Hallelujah is a famous piece of classical
All I ever learned from love is how to shoot someone who outdrew you. [S]
"To outdraw" a person in a gun fight is to shoot them
first by being quicker and perhaps also more accurate.
I helped rescue the princess. I did half the work, I get half the booty.
Treasure or valuable goods, often that are stolen during a war.
Stubborn jackass! :: Smelly ogre!
If a person or animal is "stubborn," they refuse to follow orders or to
change their mind. A "jackass" is a colloquial word for a jerk or idiot, and
of course, a male donkey! If a person or animal is "smelly," it smells bad.
Come back here! Im not through with you yet!
One way of saying "I havent finished yelling at you!"
Youre always pushing me around or pushing me away.
"To push around" a person is to treat them badly or abuse them by always telling
them what to do or by threatening them. "To push away" a person is to try to keep
them physically apart or distant.
I forgive you, for stabbing me in the back.
"To stab a person in the back" is to betray them or turn against them after
having been friends or allied with them ("To stab" a person is to literally
push a knife into them).
Youre so wrapped in layers, onion boy, youre afraid of your own feelings.
To "wrap" something is to cover it, the way a gift box is covered with
paper. A "layer" is one thickness or fold lying over or under another one.
Never fear, for where theres a will, theres a way, and I have a way.
This is a very famous saying that basically says if you are determined to do
something or have enough motivation, you will find a way to do it.
I guess its just my animal magnetism.
"Animal magnetism" is a certain ability to charm,
generally in a very sexual or romantic way.
Alright, dont get all slobbery. No one likes a kiss-ass.
"To slobber" is to let saliva or spit run down from your mouth (and thus
if youre slobbery, youre letting that happen, perhaps because youre being
too emotional). A "kiss-ass" is an insult word for a person who acts too nice in
order to get people to do him favors, though here its a play on words since an
"ass" is literally a donkey (who in this case, wants to kiss).
Shrek and Donkey return to the castle to stop
the wedding, and Fiona soon finds her real true love.
Alright, hop on and hold on tight.
To "hop on" to a horse is to climb on to it so it can be ridden horseback.
I havent had a chance to install the seatbelts yet.
"To install" something is to set it up for use or service, and "seatbelts"
are the safety straps that people wear while seated in a car or plane.
Revered silence. Reverence. [Written signs]
"Reverence" is the great respect or awe shown to a king
or religious figure (the adjective "revered" is never used).
We gather here today to bear witness to the union of our new king...
"To gather" is to come together in a group. "To bear witness"
is a very official way of saying to see or observe.
Could we just skip ahead to the "I dos."
"To skip ahead" is to jump from one thing to another without doing whats in
the middle. "I do" is what is said by the bride and the groomat a wedding when
they are asked if they will marry the other.
Theres a line you have to wait for.
In this case, a "line" is a particular expression or set of words.
The preachers gonna say "Speak now or forever
hold your peace," and thats when you say "I object."
A "preacher" is a minister who gives sermons or speeches to those in a
church. If you are asked to "hold you peace" at a wedding, you are asked to
not speak once the marriage is done, even if you think the marriage was a bad
idea. "I object" is a formal way of saying "I disapprove" at a wedding (and in
certain contexts, in a court during a trial).
You got to try a little tenderness! [S]
A way of saying a gentle or loving show of emotion.
The chicks love that romantic crap!
"Chicks" is a silly but still widely used slang word for attractive girls
or young women. "Crap" is an alternative to bullshit in the sense of lies,
nonsense, etc.. (crap literally means shit).
Alright! Cut it out!
"Alright" means OK, and "cut it out" is an excellent
colloquial expression which simply means "stop it!"
When you got to check it out.
"To check out" something is to look at it or examine it carefully.
And so, by the power vested in me...
"To vest" power in a person is to officially give or grant it to them. This is
a legal term, and the sentence is official language used during a wedding.
Theyre at the alter!
An "alter" is a raised structure that serves as
the center of a religious ceremony or wedding.
Its rude enough being alive when nobody wants
you, but showing up uninvited to a wedding!
"To show up" is an excellent phrasal verb meaning to arrive.
This is Lord Farquaads ridiculous way of talking about Shrek.
Hes just marrying you so he can be king! :: Outrageous!
If something is "outrageous" (in this case, an accusation), it is way beyond
what is considered decent or in good taste, but is shocking or ridiculous.
Oh, this is precious!
In this case, "precious" is used sarcastically to mean completely
ridiculous, though it more generally means of great value or importance.
Who cares! Its preposterous!
Another excellent word that means so ridiculous or
against common sense that it isnt possible to believe.
Fiona, my love, were but a kiss away from our "happily ever after!"
Many fairy tales end with the words "and they lived happily ever after."
Ugh, that explains a lot. :: Ugh, its disgusting.
If something is "disgusting," it is completely ugly, gross or offensive.
This hocus-pocus alters nothing.
"Hocus-pocus" is an interesting word for nonsense or a magical trick
designed to fool people. "To alter" is to change or modify (and should not
be confused with an altar, which is a raised platform or structure).
This marriage is binding and that makes me king!
If something is "binding," it is legal or valid and brings legal obligations.
Dont just stand there, you morons!
A "moron" is a funny word for a stupid person, jerk or idiot.
It makes you regret the day we met; Ill see you drawn and quartered.
A horrible fate!; If a person is "drawn and quartered," they
are hung, but then before they die, they are cut into pieces.
I will have you locked in that tower for the rest of your days.
A tower is a tall, narrow building, and the "rest of your
days" is a poetic way of saying "the rest of your life"
Im a donkey on the edge.
If a person (or animal) is "on the edge," they are often about
to explode out of emotional or physical pain or frustration.
Celebrity marriages; They never last, do they?
A reference to marriages between two famous
people, especially Hollywood movie stars.
Disappointment haunted all my dreams. [S]
"To haunt" is to visit in a harmful or frightening way,
like when a ghost is living inside an old and scary house.
Not a trace of doubt in my mind...[S]
A "trace of doubt" is a fear that you could be wrong.
I believe in self-assertion, destiny or a slight diversion [S]
"Self-assertion" is the act of standing up for yourself against others. "Destiny" is
what is certain to happen to you in the future, or your fate or fortune. "Slight"
means very small, and a "diversion" is anything that amuses or entertains, or helps
take your mind off lifes problems.
Im a freak, an apparition [S]
A "freak" is a slangy word for a person who is considered monstrous, totally
bizarre or physically very strange. An "apparition" is a rare word for a ghost-like
figure or any strange sighting.
Some Potential Questions for ESL Class Discussion
1. How does this film compare to the kinds of cartoons you saw as a child?
2. Was it made for children or adults? Who is more likely to enjoy it?
3. Are fairy tales popular in your own culture? What are some of
the more famous ones that compare to Snow White and Cinderella?
4. Who was your favorite character in this movie? Why?
5. What did you like and not like about this film?