This article is about the fictional universe, world or reality where all films and other stories of the Shrek franchise (including Puss in Boots spin-offs) take place. It largely imitates fairy tale fantasy settings, with medieval technology and society combined with magical elements. It is populated by humans and fantastical creatures.
It seems that, just like humans, most animals and other creatures are intelligent and able to speak, alongside some individual beings of other kinds, like plants (the Evil Trees) or food (Gingerbread Man). Others, like the Dragon, are intelligent, but do not speak. Horses, birds and dogs, by the way, are species with no apparent intelligence.
Geographically, it has a variety of climates and biomes, including swamps, forests, deserts, mountains, and snowy environments. Hydrographically, it is known to have rivers and at least one large ocean which separates two landmasses.
Politically, it has systems similar to those of the Middle Ages, with the two known countries being monarchies: Far Far Away (a kingdom) and Duloc (a lordship). Some places, like the Swamp and Merlin's House, seem to be separated from legislatures.
Because of references to the real world in the series (see below), it has been suspected that that world may be in fact Earth, while no place in the series has been identified as a real-world location, meaning that the world may be entirely fictional. There is not enough evidence to confirm either hypothesis. Since this is not a focus of the series, few information was given about that world as a whole.
Also, specifically, the central continent is based on the real life British Isles.
References to the real world
While Shrek is thought to take place in a fantasy world, the films include parodical references to places and other elements of the real world.
- When Shrek turned into a good-looking human in Shrek 2, one of the girls asked if he is from Europe. It may suggest that if the franchise takes place on Earth, Far Far Away is located outside Europe.
- Puss in Boots speaks with a Spanish accent, suggesting that Spain may exist in this world. When Donkey says to Puss in Boots "I supposed to parade around in these goofy boots", Puss in Boots replies to him: "Hey! Hey! Be very careful with those! Hee Haw! They were made in Madrid by the finest Hee Haw!".
- Princess Alessandra Belagomba, as seen in Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos, is Princess of Italy.
- In Shrek the Third, the Evil Queen says she has always wanted to own a spa in France.
- San Ricardo is purportedly located in Spain.
- Joan Rivers hosts the red carpet ceremony for the Far Far Away Ball in Shrek 2.
- Simon Cowell, a real-life TV host, appears physically in Far Far Away Idol.
- Fiona has a Justin Timberlake poster in her room in the Far Far Away Palace.
Many songs performed in the franchise are real-life modern songs.
There are four known landmasses: the main continent where most known places are located, a second continent where the Worcestershire Academy is located, the Pirate Island and the island where Merlin's House is located.
The main continent takes up most of the known world. It may be round or disc-shaped. There are two rivers which run through the main continent: Pinocchio River and a large unnamed river which has a waterfall. Some of its distinguishing features are:
- Far Far Away, the largest known nation in the universe
- Duloc, a Lordship city, home to villagers and many magical creatures
- The Dragon's Keep, an abandoned fortress
- Shrek's Swamp
- Sherwood Forest, home of Monsieur Hood and his Merrymen
- Various towns and villages
- Worcestershire Academy, a boarding school with an Arthurian legend twist
- Hook's Pirate Ship
- Fairy Falls and the Honeymoon Hotel
- Dead End Graveyard
- Hansel's Honeymoon Hideout
- The Crone's Nest
- San Ricardo
- San Lorenzo
Possibly invented places
The flora of this world is much like the real world's: diverse with many biomes, including swamps, forests, deserts, mountains, and snowy environments, alongside with rivers and oceans. The only known intelligent and talking woods are the Evil Trees and Pinocchio. Fungi can be affected by magic, as seen in Shrek 2 when Shrek sneezed the Happily Ever After Potion at a mushroom and it transformed into a rose minutes later.
The creatures inhabiting this world are very diverse. Humans, ogres and cats are intelligent and able to speak. The same may be said about most other species, although some only from what is known of individual examples. Dragon, the only known dragon, clearly understands what humans say, but does not speak. Other species, like horses, dogs and birds, are seemly not intelligent at all, just like their real-life counterparts. Some food also have life, like Gingerbread Man (a gingerbread cookie) and Humpty Dumpty (an egg).
List of creatures
This is a list of known creatures (animals and others):
* means that only one individual of this species is known
- Intelligent and talking
- Intelligent, but non-talking
Politics and government
Only two government systems have been shown in the franchise: Far Far Away, a kingdom, and Duloc, a lordship. The first is likely an absolute monarchy as it imitates medieval kingdoms shown in fairy tales, while the second was much like a totalitarian dictatorship. The concept of private property also seems to exist outside royal rules, since the Swamp and Merlin's House are under no apparent jurisdiction (although, in the musical, Farquaad does state that the swamp is in Duloc's territory). It is not known under what government is the Worcestershire Academy.
There is a cathedral in Duloc, implying that Christianity or some kind of religion may exist in this world. The ghost of Farquaad suggests that paranormal events occur but not commonly.
Money, such as shillings, is widely used in that world by different species.