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Any day. A day from your past. Like the day you had the flu. The day you lost a pet. The day some meddling oaf stuck his big NOSE WHERE IT DOESN'T BELONG, DESTROYING YOUR BUSINESS, AND RUINING YOUR LIFE! Just for an example.
~ Rumpelstiltskin to Shrek.
Shrek: So tell me, what happens now? Rumpelstiltskin: Have a nice day. (chuckling)
~ Rumpelstiltskin to Shrek after cajoling him.
Shrek: 'Stiltskin. We had a deal! You agreed to free all ogres! Rumpelstiltskin: Oh yeah. But Fiona isn't all ogre, is she. By day one way by night another. Blardy blardy blar. AHAHAHAHAHA NOBODY'S SMART BUT ME!
~ Rumpelstiltskin gloating derisively.
Rumpelstiltskin, also known as Rumpel Stiltskin, Mr. Stiltskin or simply Rumpel, is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' twentieth full-length animated feature film Shrek Forever After, the fourth and final installment of the Shrek film series. He is also a minor character in the 2010 TV special Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular and a cameo character in the 2011 short film Thriller Night.
He is a scheming and devious trickster whose plot to take over the kingdom of Far Far Away was accidentally ruined thanks to Shrek rescusing Princess Fiona from the Dragon's Keep. When the opportunity arises, Rumpel decides to trick a vulnerable Shrek into signing him a contract that ends up altering the whole world. He is completely different from the fairytale character of the same name.
He was voiced by Walt Dohrn in his first villainous role.
Rumpelstiltskin can best be described as an ill-tempered, derisive, sleazy, sinister, devious, manipulative, perfidious, odious, despicable and power-hungry con artist. He will do anything to gain power, as he would even lie to Fiona's parents to get to their throne. He also throws a fit of rage after learning that Shrek rescued the Princess and the King ripped up the contract. However, he does love his pet goose Fifi, as he pampers him a lot and was horrified when he explodes to death. He is also shown to be a charismatic and comedic villain, as he has a good sense of humor.
Rumpelstiltskin become a deal maker thanks to the recommendation of King Midas and adopted a pet goose named Fifi who Rumpel always loved. Since the beginning he was known for being evil, cruel and manipulative.
Shrek Forever After
Rumpel first appeared in the film, where he is about to get King Harold and Queen Lillian sign away the kingdom of Far Far Away to him to free Princess Fiona (despite their deal with Prince Charming and Fairy Godmother). At first, Harold is tempted to sign the deal, but at the last minute, he and Lillian are informed by one of their servants that Fiona has already been saved by Shrek (in accordance with his and Donkey's own deal with Lord Farquaad). With Rumpel's deal now pointless, Harold happily rips the contract in half and leaves with Lillian, much to Rumpel's complete distraught. Following the defeats of Farquaad, the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming, Rumpel's dealmaking business becomes decimated, leaving him scrounging in the streets with a hateful grudge against Shrek and wishes he was never born.
Eventually, Rumpel discovered Shrek is feeling frustrated that he is no longer feared as an ogre during his kids' birthday party. Deciding to get his chance, Rumpel fakes an accident with his carriage, and eventually catches the eye of Shrek, inviting him to a roast rat for dinner. He pretends to sympathize with Shrek by giving him a ride in his carriage and offers a deal contract that will let Shrek be a real ogre like he used to be for a day in exchange for one other day from his past being erased, specifically a day that he does not remember. Shrek signs the contract, unaware that the day in question was actually the day when he was born. With the contract signed, reality gets changed, and Shrek is horrified to find out that Rumpel has taken over Far Far Away and terrorized the people with an army of witches that hunt ogres.
To make matters worse, Rumpel has also enslaved some of Shrek's friends, including Shrek's best friend Donkey. When Shrek is brought to the castle, he demands that Rumpel explain what he has done. Rumpel confessed that he tricked Shrek into erasing his own existence, thus he never met Fiona and had children. Rumpel also confessed that due to Shrek's absence, he successfully tricked King Harold and Queen Lillian into signing their kingdom (and their lives) away before revealing that when the twenty-four hours of the day are up, Shrek will fade into nonexistence, thus securing Rumpel's reign for power. Rumpel attempts to get his witches to attack Shrek, but the ogre managed to escape the castle with Donkey.
Later, Shrek and Donkey learn that the contract will become void if Shrek can find Fiona and break her curse by performing a true love's kiss with her. They later find out that Fiona is leading a resistance group of ogres against Rumpel, but Shrek is having trouble wooing up Fiona since she was never rescued from the Dragon's Keep and is very disillusioned about true love. Being aware of what Shrek is planning, Rumpel tells his witches that they must bring Shrek back soon before he could kiss Fiona. He hires the Pied Piper to bring Shrek back to the castle with the other ogres. Though the Piper succeeds in capturing all of the ogres, Shrek and Fiona escape thanks to Donkey and an obese Puss in Boots. As a last resort, Rumpel offers a new deal, the "Deal of a Lifetime" as he calls it to whoever turns Shrek in.
After a warrior Gingy tells Shrek about this, Shrek turns himself in to get this deal, and in return, Shrek has Rumpel free all the other ogres. However, Rumpel has Shrek locked in a dungeon before doing the same to Fiona, as Rumpel pointed out that Fiona is still cursed, thus she isn't an ogre. It is revealed that Rumpel will have Shrek and Fiona fed to Dragon (whom has never met Shrek and Donkey and is now a villain like in the original film) to ensure his final claim of victory. However, Donkey, Puss in Boots, and the ogres arrive and fight Rumpelstiltskin and his witches. Rumpel tries to escape on Fifi, but Shrek and Fiona, having defeated Dragon, pull Fifi down and defeat Rumpel.
Despite Rumpel and his forces being defeated by the resistance, the 24 hours are up and Shrek is starting to disappear as the sun is about to rise. However, Fiona (who now loves Shrek for his efforts in stopping Rumpel) kisses him before he vanishes completely into oblivion. Much to everyone's surprise, Fiona still remains an ogre as the sun rises, thus her curse is broken. Because of this, the alternate reality changes, and as everyone disappears from existence, Rumple is left alone to float on the yellow void that torns his world apart, much to his complete horror. The reality is then restored to normal up to the day when a revived Shrek lost his temper at his kids' birthday party. Shrek then reunites with his family and friends, developing a newfound appreciation for them.
With Rumpel's plot for conquest and revenge foiled, Shrek arranges for Rumpel to be captured and placed inside a cage for life as punishment for his actions. During the credits, Fiona kills Fifi by making her explode by singing a high note (similar to the blue bird scene in the first Shrek film), much to Rumpel's distraught. Rumpel is then tormented by the Pied Piper, being forced to dance in his cage, probably remaining here for the rest of his life.
Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular
In Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular, Rumpelstiltskin is shown to still be imprisoned in a cage at the swamp, he tries to convince Donkey to free him by his cage, to no avail. Rumpelstiltskin is later seen receiving coal for Christmas. It is unknown if Rumpelstiltskin ever escaped from the cage.
Despite the fact that he didn't die in Shrek 4, Rumpelstiltskin appears as a zombie in the short Thriller Night. However, given that this was Shrek's dream, his death didn't actually happened, apparently.
In the Shrek Forever After soundtrack, which has a story and apparently takes place after the events of the movie, we learn that Rumpelstiltskin now hosts a popular radio show. It's unknown if Rumpelstiltskin has escaped due to this but it isn't likely because if he had escaped he would have most likely seek revenge on Shrek, though it could be possible too that he has suppressed his hatred towards Shrek and has reformed for good or just opted to not bother him anymore.
Rumpelstiltskin: "Have I been waiting for you! Ladies, this is the guy that made all of this possible! (whispers) So, tell me, how are you enjoying your day?" Shrek: "All right, Rumpel, what’s going on? What have you done?" Rumpelstiltskin: "No, Shrek, it’s not what I’ve done. It’s what you’ve done. Thanks to you, the King and Queen signed their kingdom over to me." Shrek: "They would never do that." Rumpelstiltskin: "They would if I promised them all their problems would disappear. And then THEY disappeared! They would have done anything if they thought it would end their daughter’s curse." Shrek: "I ended Fiona’s curse!" Rumpelstiltskin: "How could you when you never existed?" Shrek: "You better start making sense, you dirty little man!" Rumpelstiltskin: "(takes the contract from Shrek's vest) Here, let me spell it out for you! (points to fine print) You gave me a day from your past, a day you couldn’t even remember. A day when you were an innocent, mindless little baby. (hums the "Happy Birthday" song)" Shrek: "You took the day I was born." Rumpelstiltskin: "No, Shrek. You gave it to me." Shrek: "Enjoy this while you can, Stiltskin, because when this day is up...." Rumpelstiltskin: "Bub-bub-bub-bub...! But you haven’t heard the best part. (a witch places a huge hourglass on the table) Since you were never born, once this day comes to an end, so will you." Shrek: (Witches start laughing) "Where’s Fiona? Where’s my family!?" Rumpelstiltskin: "Silly little ogre. You don’t get it, do you? You see, you were never born. You never met Fiona. (menacingly) Your kids don’t exist. (Shrek glares, Rumpelstiltskin and the witches begin to laugh) How’s that for a metaphysical paradox?! (Shrek grits his teeth, Rumpelstiltskin and the witches laugh even harder) Looks like you got exactly what you wanted!! (Shrek snarls with intense fury as Rumpel and the witches continue to laugh and mock him) HAPPY OGRE DAY!!!"
~ Rumpelstiltskin tauntingly revealing to Shrek how he tricked him into erasing his own existence and creating a universe where he took over Far Far Away.
Rumpelstiltskin: "Some people like to look at the goblet as--as half empty. Me, I like to look at it as half full. We’ve gone from the bottom to the top, ladies, but we’re not just an empire, we’re a family. Everyone has got their cupcake? Cupcake? Cupcake? Good. Yes? Baba? Good. Yeah, you know, we have put away a lot of ogres. And so one got away. Who cares? It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. Except, funny thing... Now that I think about it, the ogre who got away is Shrek! And if he shares a kiss with Fiona by sunrise, it IS the end of the world! OUR world! MY EMPIRE!! But, as I was saying, (takes pitcher of water and pours it into glass and starts threatening the witches with it) I like to look at the goblet as half full. Yelling makes me so parched. Would anyone care for some water? Wet your whistle? A clear, crisp, delicious glass...of aqua purificada? Anybody’s thirsty? Nobody’s thirsty? No? Well, then does anyone care to tell me what it’s going to take to get this ogre?! You." Broomsy Witch: "Faster brooms?" Rumpelstiltskin: "No!" Hat Witch: "Pointier hats?" Rumpelstiltskin: "No! You!" Witch: "Maybe we could hire a professional bounty hunter? (Rumpelstiltskin, in frustration, throws water into her face causing her to melt) What a world! What a world!" Rumpelstiltskin: "You know, actually not a bad idea. Baba! I need a bounty hunter. And if music doth soothe the savage beast… (chortles evilly a bit) then I think I might know just the person!"
~ Rumpelstiltskin having a meeting with his witches on how to capture Shrek and decides to hire a bounty hunter.
NO! N-n-n-n-n-n-no!! No, not yet! No, I'm not ready!! NO, WAIT!! AAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!
~ Rumpelstiltskin meeting his defeat after Fiona kisses Shrek to break the contract and fix the timeline.
Originally, Walt Dohrn was meant to do a scratch track for Rumpelstiltskin, and a professional actor was going to voice the character. However, Dohrn's performance during the storyboard pitches was so well-loved that he wound up officially casted for the role.
Rumpelstiltskin shares similarities with each one of the main antagonists of the first three Shrek movies.
He is short and rules an empire with an iron fist (in an alternate universe) like Lord Farquaad, the main antagonist of the first movie.
Rumpelstiltskin has magical powers and had a business that helped characters alter their fates like the Fairy Godmother, the main antagonist of the second movie.
Rumpelstiltskin had his life ruined by Shrek's rescuing Princess Fiona and sought revenge on Shrek, like Prince Charming, the main antagonist of the third movie.
Despite his similarities with previous Shrek antagonists, Rumpelstiltskin was designed to be as different from them as possible; for example, he was envisioned as being a "ratty, childish, scummy man" in comparison to the Fairy Godmother's persona as an elonquent businesswoman.
Despite wearing his angry wig for only three seconds in the film, Rumpelstiltskin appears wearing it a lot in the franchising and marketing of the film, making it appear that it's his hair in the alternate timeline.
Rumpelstiltskin is the only main antagonist in a Shrek film who is known to survive in the movie where he was the main antagonist, although it is unknown if Prince Charming is still alive or not.
He is the only one of the four main villains to appear as a villain in a fairytale. Prince Charming and the Fairy Godmother are usually good in fairytales (which precisely explains why all the fairytale villains deemed Charming unacceptable to their Poison Apple Club before he managed to rally them) and Lord Farquaad is an original character to Shrek.
Rumpelstiltskin's original design was a man with a rat face and tail.
It is possible that Rumpelstiltskin's name is actually two words; Rumpel Stiltskin. This is supported by many characters abbreviating his name "Rumpel" or "Stiltskin". Paul McCartney, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Renner, Danny DeVito, and David Harbor were all considered for the role of Rumpelstiltskin before Walt Dohrn was cast.
Rumpelstiltskin has the distinction of being one of the three main antagonists of the Shrek film series (the others are the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming) who referred to Shrek by his name, while Lord Farquaad is the only main antagonist who derogatorily referred to Shrek as "ogre".
Another Rumpelstiltskin appeared in Shrek the Third and was voiced by Conrad Vernon, and he was one of the many fairy tale villains recruited by Prince Charming to help him to have his revenge on Shrek for his mother's death. However, he's a different person from the one that appeared from the fourth film as he had a different physical aspect and different personality, he also redeemed himself at the end. Thus, it's possible that DreamWorks simply forgot about Rumpelstiltskin's appearance in the third film when they decided to include him in the fourth film.