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Princess Fiona

Princess Fiona

Character of the shrek film series

Princess Fiona is a fictional character in DreamWorks' Shrek franchise, first appearing in the animated film Shrek (2001). One of the film series' main characters, Fiona is introduced as a beautiful princess placed under a curse that transforms her into an ogre at night. She is initially determined to break the enchantment by kissing a prince, only to meet and fall in love with Shrek, an ogre, instead. The character's origins and relationships with other characters are further explored in subsequent films; she introduces her new husband Shrek to her parents in Shrek 2 (2004), becomes a mother by Shrek the Third (2007), and is an empowered warrior in Shrek Forever After (2010), much of which takes place in an alternate reality in which Fiona and Shrek never meet.

Created by screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, Fiona is loosely based on the unsightly princess in William Steig's children's book Shrek! (1990), from which her role and appearance were significantly modified. The screenwriters adapted the character into a princess under a shapeshifting enchantment, an idea initially greatly contested by other filmmakers. Fiona is voiced by actress Cameron Diaz. Comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo was originally cast as the character until she was fired from the first film with little explanation. Fiona was one of the first human characters to have a lead role in a computer-animated film, thus the animators aspired to make her both beautiful and realistic in appearance. However, an early test screening resulted in children reacting negatively towards the character's uncanny realism, prompting the animators to re-design Fiona into a more stylized, cartoonish heroine. Several revolutionary achievements in computer animation were applied to the character to render convincing skin, hair, clothing and lighting.

The character is considered a parody of traditional princesses in both fairy tales and animated Disney films. Reception towards Fiona has been mostly positive, with critics commending her characterization, martial arts prowess and Diaz's performance. However, reviewers were divided over the character's human design, some of whom were impressed by her technological innovations, while others found her realism unsettling and too similar to Diaz. Several media publications consider Fiona a feminist icon, crediting her with subverting princess and gender stereotypes by embracing her flaws. Diaz also became one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses due to her role in the Shrek franchise, earning $3 million for her performance in the first film and upwards of $10 million for each sequel.


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Blair Marnell
April 12, 2021
Digital Trends
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