Donkey is the deuteragonist of the Shrek franchise. He is one of Shrek's best friends, Dragon's husband, and the Dronkeys' father. Because he talks (seemingly without end), Shrek's catchphrase became "DONKEY!"
He is voiced by comedian, Eddie Murphy who also voiced Mushu from Disney's Mulan and played Professor Sherman Klump in the 1996 Nutty Professor movie.
Donkey first makes his debut at a sale of animal or mythical characters from beloved fairy-tales being sold to the evil Lord Farquaad's knights. His owner, an old woman, attempts to sell Donkey, claiming he can talk intelligently. However, Donkey refuses to speak so no one believes her. The business owner sends his guards to rid him of her, then magic pixie dust accidentally is unleashed upon Donkey from a caged fairy, thus giving him the temporary ability to fly, he flies off saying "You might have seen a housefly, maybe even a superfly, but I bet you ain't never seen a DONKEY fly!". However, the spell unleashed upon Donkey then breaks and he falls to the ground.
Now knowing he can talk, Donkey is chased by Farquaad's knights into the woods, where he literally bumps into Shrek. Shrek scares the knights away, unintentionally saving Donkey's life. To repay him, Donkey decided to become his friend, much to the chargin of the grumpy Shrek who preferred to live alone and thus tries to scare him away too. It doesn't work and Donkey merely comments that Shrek needs some Tic-Tacs.
On their way to Shrek's house, Donkey keeps talking (& singing) consistently, which annoys Shrek. When they get there, Donkey pleads to Shrek to let him stay. Shrek begrudgingly says yes, but says that he can only stay for one night and must sleep outside.
Later, when Shrek's swamp is overrun with other fairy tale creatures put their by Lord Farquaad, Shrek decides to go to Duloc to confront him. Donkey tells Shrek that he knows the way to Duloc and the two leaving for it immediately.
When they arrive at Duloc and have their picture taken, Shrek and Donkey find Farquaad at the castle arena where he has held a contest to find a warrior worthy to send on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona, a beautiful princess who is imprisoned in a castle guarded by a Dragon and whom Lord Farquaad wants to make his bride. Upon seeing the duo, Farquaad orders his knights to kill them but Shrek & Donkey manage to fight then all off. Impressed, Farquaad declares that Shrek and Donkey will be the ones to rescue Fiona, telling Shrek that if he can accomplish this task, he give back his swamp.
On their way to the Dragon's castle, Donkey asks Shrek why he didn't just force Farquaad in giving him back his swamp. Shrek then tries to explain to Donkey that their is more to ogres than just ravaging and destroying. Using an onion as an example, Shrek tells Donkey that ogres have layers. Donkey however doesn't get it and they proceed onwards.
When they arrive at the castle and cross the bridge over its lava-filled moat, Donkey tries to chicken out as he's afraid of heights. In order to get him to move, Shrek teasingly shakes the bridge to scare Donkey into walking across to the other side. While exploring the castle, Donkey encounters the dragon who proceeds to chase him before cornering him on a broken bridge. Using his quick thinking, Donkey tries to flatter the dragon by complementing her teeth and breath. He also discovers that the dragon is a female and further sweet talks her, making her spare his life. Unfortunately it also causes her to fall in love with him and carry him to her chambers. In her chambers, She coils up Donkey in her tail and flirts with him persistently, stroking him, nuzzling him and licking his tail. Her attraction appears quite one-sided as Donkey tries to talk his way out. This doesn't stop her though and she attempts to kiss him. Luckily though, Shrek managed to intervene, landing on top of Donkey and knocking him out of her tail, causing dragon to kiss Shrek's butt instead which infuriates her into resuming her rampage. Things often went roughly between Shrek and Donkey during the quest mainly due to Shrek's being reluctant about having Donkey as a forced "friend" and poor attitude, but by the end of the movie they were close friends. After Shrek saved Fiona from marrying Lord Farquaad and Dragon swallowed the evil fiend, Donkey sang "I'm a Believer" at Shrek and Fiona's wedding reception and takes his love, Dragon, as his wife. At the Shrek and the Swamp Gang Karaoke Dance Party, he sings "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot.
Donkey was having troubles in his relationship with Dragon as she was acting strangely, but he could not determine the cause (later revealed to be because she was laying eggs), and accompanied Shrek and Fiona 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's 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's staring at him). After the duo worked together with their mission to stop her plans to force Fiona to engage with her son Prince Charming, 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. After the credits, Donkey and Dragon are reunited and he meets their newborn children, flying flame breathing miniature Donkeys. He later sings "Disco Inferno" on Far Far Away Idol.
Shrek the Third
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, (most likely from holding hands) and Puss finds Donkey's quadrupedal form hideous. Donkey, meanwhile, can't figure out how Puss can walk with such fancy accouterments. They must put that aside and work together, however, if they are to save Far Far Away from a vindictive Prince Charming. After Charming is defeated, the same sorcerer comes to change them back, it works, but switches their tails (in the next scene, their tails have been corrected as well).
Shrek Forever After
In the fourth and final film, Donkey brings his Dronkey children over 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 reality, 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 Rumpelstiltskin, 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 and Puss later save Shrek and Fiona from the Pied Piper, and then lead the assault on Rumplestiltskin's castle. 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.
- In the movies, he is voiced by Eddie Murphy, but in various video games, he is voiced by Mark Moseley, who also voiced Mushu, another character formally voiced by Murphy.
- Donkey appears as "Donkey Mario" in the SuperMarioLogan video "Shrek's Crappy Wish", where Shrekhad made a wish that Mario would change into a real donkey.