Papa Bear is based on the eldest bear of the same name from Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
He appeared in a cage with Mama Bear in the beginning of the film, and later showed up with Baby Bear in the swamp. In the end, he and his son attend Shrek and Fiona's wedding. They would appear in the film's home video short film "Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party!" alongside Mama Bear.
While he doesn't appear in the film, he shows up in the video game adaptation. First as a cameo in Fairy Godmother's cottage sleeping in the waiting room, and later as a firefighter at Far Far Away. He orders Shrek and the gang to put out fires caused by both Mongo and the knights. Papa Bear is also present with Mama Bear and Baby Bear, who are causally on a "porridge break" near the fire trucks.
Papa Bear and his family were mentioned in the episode "Triple Threat Music Review". Shrek had heavily criticized the family's performance for singing fifteen straight songs about missing porridge. Donkey argued that they had raw emotion, while Shrek yelled at the bears for not having a lock on their doors. Unfortunately this meant that they would no longer watch the show, formerly being the biggest fans of "Swamp Talk".
- Papa Bear and Baby Bear are one of the several characters introduced in the first film to never appear in future installments.
- Papa Bear's Appearance in the Shrek 2 video game is based on that of Smokey Bear.
- His line "Only you can put out these fires" is a direct line from Smokey.