Donkey (Shrek)

Donkey is a fictional fast-talking donkey created by William Steig and adapted by DreamWorks Animation for the Shrek franchise. The character is voiced by Eddie Murphy. He is described as unattractive, awkward, and as the goofy best friend of the main character, Shrek.[1]

Shrek character
Donkey (Shrek).pngDonkeyStallion.png
Donkey (left) and Donkey as a Stallion (right)
First appearanceShrek! (1990 novel)
Shrek (2001 film)
Last appearanceShrek Forever After (2010)
Created byWilliam Steig
Voiced byEddie Murphy (films, Father of the Pride, Far Far Away Idol, Shrek the Halls, Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular, Shrek 4-D)
Mark Moseley (video games)
Dean Edwards (Scared Shrekless, Thriller Night)
In-universe information
Horse (briefly)
FamilyUnnamed grandmother
Shrek and Fiona (owners)
ChildrenDebbie, Coco, Bananas, Peanut, Parfait, Eclair

Donkey in Shrek filmsEdit

Shrek (2001)Edit

Donkey first makes his debut at a sale of mythical characters from beloved fairy-tales being sold to the evil Lord Farquaad's knights. An old woman attempts to sell Donkey, but magic pixie dust accidentally is unleashed upon him from a caged fairy, thus giving him the temporary ability to fly. However, the spell unleashed upon Donkey then breaks and he falls to the ground, being chased by Farquaad's knights into the woods, where he meets Shrek. Shrek is at first reluctant to meet the talkative and annoying Donkey, who begins following him around.

Donkey requests to stay with Shrek since he has no one else. Shrek refuses, but finally gives in due to Donkey's constant begging, however, he only allows him to stay outside of his house and only for one night. When Shrek discovers all the fairy tale creatures are residing in his swamp, Donkey denies bringing them to the swamp, and the creatures reveal that Lord Farquaad evicted them there. Seeing how Donkey knows where Farquaad is and is the only one who is willing to help Shrek, he accompanies Shrek to Duloc, Farquaad's kingdom.

When they arrive, however, Farquaad has his men try to kill Shrek in an arena to find the perfect champion to find and bring him back Princess Fiona, whom he wants to make his bride. Donkey and Shrek easily defeat Farquaad's men, and Farquaad decides to have Shrek be his champion instead. However, Shrek shows no interest, and only demands his swamp back. When Farquaad offers Shrek a deal to return him his swamp if he agrees to go on the quest, Shrek agrees, and Donkey follows Shrek on his quest to find Fiona. While coming to the castle, Donkey unintentionally catches the unwanted attention of the fire-breathing dragon.

Shrek escapes, but Donkey is caught and cornered. Before the dragon attempts to doom him, he tries to avoid his fate by complimenting the dragon, whom he discovers is a female, and the dragon is greatly flattered by Donkey's compliments. She takes him to her lair to be intimate with him. However, Shrek rescues Donkey before things become too personal, and the two narrowly escape with the Princess.

One night, during camp, Donkey asks Shrek why he hates everyone so much, and Shrek angrily reveals that everyone judges him a scary monster before getting to actually know him. Donkey acknowledges that he already knew that there was more to Shrek's character when they met. Donkey begins to notice a romance between Fiona and Shrek, despite their denials. The next night, Donkey goes inside a windmill to talk to the Princess, only to discover that she becomes an ogre herself after sunset. Shrek overhears them talking, and misinterprets the conversation as Fiona insulting him. The next day, Shrek berates her for what she said and Lord Farquaad comes to take her.

Donkey tries to clear things up with Shrek, but Shrek berates Donkey as well, and even insults him. Hurt and angered, Donkey claims his half of the swamp for his hard work helping him. The two get into a heated fallout, whereupon Donkey finally explains that Fiona did not say that Shrek was ugly. Hearing this, the two make up and become friends. Donkey then has the dragon, whom he reconnected with earlier, take him and Shrek to Fiona's wedding to clear things up with each other. After Shrek saves Fiona from marrying Lord Farquaad and Dragon swallows Farquaad, Donkey sings "I'm a Believer" at Shrek and Fiona's wedding reception and takes his love, Dragon, as his wife. On Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party!, he sings "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot.

Shrek 2 (2004)Edit

Donkey first appears in the film, having been remaining at Shrek's house while Shrek and Fiona were away on their honeymoon. When they return, Shrek tells Donkey to leave, but Donkey is hesitant. Fiona suggests that he should return for Dragon's sake, but then reveals that he is having troubles in his relationship with Dragon as she was acting strangely, but he could not determine the cause, so he decides to move back in with them. However, Shrek makes him leave.

As Shrek and Fiona begin to have a moment, Donkey abruptly returns and interrupts, claiming that a chariot of royal men have arrived. A messenger appears and tells the newlywed couple that Fiona's parents have invited them to a royal ball to celebrate their marriage, as well as her father to give his royal blessing. Shrek is completely hesitant to accept, as he knows that her parents will never accept them as Ogres, though he eventually gives up and goes, accompanied by Donkey to the Far Far Away kingdom but keeps on asking every second "Are we there yet?" Shrek and Fiona keep answering no.

He then meets Puss in Boots and becomes jealous as he is spending a lot of time with Shrek. By the end of the film they are great friends. At one point in the film, he reveals that he was the donkey traded by Jack for the magic beans, which greatly offended him. He and Shrek ended up drinking the "Happily Ever After" potion from the Fairy Godmother's workshop and while Shrek transformed into a human, Donkey became a magnificently bred and handsome white stallion (albeit with the same buck teeth and voice, and on the bottle it says that it is not for those with nervous disorders. After which Shrek and everyone else stares at Donkey as it is strongly hinted that he has one, but Donkey remains clueless as to the reason of why everyone is staring at him.)

Donkey rides Shrek and Puss back to the castle. When Shrek goes inside, Fiona (who had also changed back to human form) comes running out to find Shrek. Donkey then explains why they changed, and that Shrek went inside looking for her. However, Shrek comes back outside heartbroken after Fiona went back in, as Charming and Fairy Godmother beat them both to it: Charming tricking Fiona into thinking he is Shrek, and Fairy Godmother convincing Shrek that Fiona is better off with Charming. Shrek, Donkey and Puss lament in a bar called "The Poison Apple," only to discover Fiona's father Harold secretly talking to Fairy Godmother, revealing the scam. Unfortunately, they are both caught when Donkey's talking habits causes him to accidentally blurt out, completely exposing them. They are eventually caught and captured by Godmother's men, and are arrested. However, the other fairy tale creatures witness this, and break them out, and Gingerbread Man has The Muffin Man create a giant, Godzilla-sized Gingerbread man called "Mongo," which Donkey helps lead to the castle. They succeed with getting in, but Mongo is defeated by the castle's guards.

After the trio finished their mission with victory, both return to their normal forms, though Donkey seemed to be quite disappointed at returning to his original form although Shrek told Donkey he still sees Donkey as a noble steed, he later sings "Livin' La Vida Loca" along with Puss during the party. After the credits, Donkey and Dragon are reunited and he meets their newborn children, flying flame breathing miniature Donkeys, although he ends up exclaiming: "I gotta get a job!". He later sings "Disco Inferno" on Far Far Away Idol.

Shrek the Third (2007)Edit

Donkey is enjoying fatherhood in Shrek the Third, and he is still first and foremost Shrek's sidekick and closest friend. When Far Far Away is in need of a new king, Donkey ventures off with Shrek in search of Fiona's cousin Arthur Pendragon, known simply as Artie at the Worcestershire boarding school where he resides. In their magical transport back to Far Far Away (aided by a slightly off-kilter Merlin), Donkey and Puss accidentally switch bodies.

Puss finds Donkey's quadrupedal form hideous, while Donkey can't figure out how Puss can walk with such fancy accoutrements. They are forced to put their differences aside in order to save Far Far Away from a vindictive Prince Charming. After Charming is defeated, Merlin comes to change them back, but switches their tails (in the next scene, their tails have been corrected as well). He later is seen playing with Shrek's newborn ogre triplets.

Donkey is last seen in the credits performing "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)", along with Puss, to the ogre triplets.

Shrek Forever After (2010)Edit

In the fourth film, Donkey brings his "Dronkey" children over to Shrek's swamp often, much to Shrek's annoyance at the ensuing daily chaos. He takes part in innocently ruining Shrek's babies' birthday party.

In Rumplestiltskin's alternate universe, Donkey first meets Shrek when he pulled a wagon the ogre was imprisoned in, forced to sing (reminiscent of a car stereo) by the witches, who whip him to change songs. After being taken to Rumplestiltskin, Shrek escapes and takes Donkey with him, much to the latter's chagrin. At first, Donkey fears Shrek and runs away, but returns after seeing Shrek crying over his babies' toy. Having never seen an ogre cry before, Donkey decides to trust Shrek and befriends him.

Donkey also proves to be highly intelligent, and helps Shrek find a loophole in Rumplestiltskin's contract, comparing Shrek's situation to The Twilight Zone. The duo meet Fiona, Puss, and the rebellion of ogres in the woods, and Donkey befriends Puss in Boots and the ogres as well. Donkey later saves Shrek and Fiona from the Pied Piper (at Puss' urging), and then leads the assault on Rumplestiltskin's castle. He also attempts to seduce the Dragon, having learned from Shrek that she is his wife in the other reality, to stop her from eating Shrek and Fiona but he fails to do so, luckily, none of them are harmed. After Rumplestiltskin is defeated, Donkey sadly watches as Shrek begins to turn into pixie dust when his time is up.

In the ending, with reality restored, Donkey celebrates Shrek's children's birthday. Later on, he is seen with Dragon, who playfully gobbles him up, and then he, along with the other characters, is last seen making a mud angel.

Other appearancesEdit

Donkey was also seen in the 2007 Christmas special Shrek The Halls, where he is trying to help Shrek get his Christmas Spirit. Donkey was voiced by original voice actor Eddie Murphy.

He also appeared in the 2010 Halloween special Scared Shrekless, where Shrek challenges his friends to spend the night in Lord Farquaad's castle while telling scary stories. He is voiced by Dean Edwards, marking the first time that main cast member Eddie Murphy did not reprise his role. Another appearance Donkey made was in a short, which was released along with Shrek Forever After.

Donkey also appears in Shrek the Musical. The role was originated on Broadway by Tony Award nominee Daniel Breaker. Alan Mingo, Jr. plays the role on the United States national tour, and Richard Blackwood plays the role in the West End production.

Donkey also made an appearance in an episode of Father of the Pride, again voiced by Eddie Murphy. Two Donkeys appeared: One Donkey's stunt double and the other being the actual Donkey. In this episode, Donkey is portrayed as arrogant and self-centered actor, who plays his Shrek counterpart in the film series. He mistakenly claims that Shrek the Third is coming out in 2006.

Donkey is the focus of the Donkey Live! attraction at the Universal Studios Singapore theme park. The show is a digital puppetry presentation in which Donkey, along with a live actor, interacts with the audience in the format of a stand-up comedy performance.

Donkey also appears in many YouTube DreamWorks originals videos, voiced by Jason Lewis.

The lead character of Rucio from the animated film Donkey Xote intentionally bears a resemblance to the character of Donkey.


Perry, a miniature donkey in Palo Alto, California, was used as the model for Donkey.[2]


Empire listed Donkey as No. 21 on their "50 Best Animated Movie Characters".[3]


  1. ^ McEntire, Lili (2010). "Meet Donkey". Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  2. ^ Barney, Chuck (November 27, 2015). "Palo Alto donkey is a true screen gem". Vallejo Times Herald. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters". Empire. 2010-11-08. p. 30. Retrieved February 5, 2012.