Andrew Ralph Adamson is a New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter best known for directing the first two Shrek films.

Prior to Shrek

Before directing the first Shrek film, he was a visual effects supervisor for films such as A Time to Kill and Batman & Robin. Afterwards, he was hired as co-director of Shrek, where he shared the position with Vicky Jenson, a then-storyboard artist.


When hired for the first film, he had several arguments with producer Jeffery Katzenberg over the adult appeal. Ideas such as extreme sexual innuendos and Guns n' Roses songs never made it to the final product. Upon its release on May 18, 2001, the film was a smash hit, bringing in $484.4 million and won the first Academy Award for "Best Animated Feature". This helped make Adamson an A-list director at the time, and immediately went to work on the sequel alongside a now cancelled animated featured titled Truckers.

Shrek 2

After the success of the first film, Adamson returned to helm Shrek 2, where he was joined by Conrad Vernon and Kelly Asbury (who was originally going to co-direct the first movie, but left a year later to work on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). With the original writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio not returning, Adamson took the reigns to write the screenplay himself alongside returning writer Joe Stillman and J. David Stern & David N. Weiss (of Rugrats and Jimmy Neutron fame). His first draft had Shrek running for king in Far Far Away and calling for a "Fairy Tale Election". Upon further exploring the idea, he deemed the idea more "intellectual than emotional", thus scrapping the concept all together. Shrek 2 was eventually released on May 19, 2004 to major success, ranking in over $919.8 million, becoming not only the highest grossing animated film at the time, but also the most successful film of 2004.

Shrek the Third/Beyond Shrek

After the success of Shrek 2, Adamson wrote a story draft for Shrek the Third with the intention to return as director. However, he was too busy directing Walden Media's Chronicles of Narnia series, so he gave the job to Chris Miller. Since then, Andrew Adamson directed a few independent films such as Pip and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, with only an executive producer credit for Shrek Forever After and Puss in Boots. The aforementioned films both received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. As of 2018, he has several films in development, including an animated adaptation of the comic 'Zombies vs. Robots' titled Inherit the Earth and a live-action Curious George movie.