In Shrek there is a character called Monsieur Hood, also referred to as Robin Hood later on. He is a clear parody of Robin Hood, a legendary figure from England.

What I don't understand though is why he is French in the film when he is an English figure. So, why did they decide to make him French?


3 Answers 3


According to Shrek director Andrew Adamson, out-of-universe, the makers did it because they thought it would be funny. In-universe, Hood comes from the "French side" of Sherwood Forest, hence his strong accent.

But that doesn't explain why the Three Blind Mice have British accents (Mike Myers, also the voice of Shrek, makes one rodent sound like John Lennon), the Three Little Pigs speak with a German inflection, and Robin Hood apparently is from the French side of Sherwood Forest. "Our thinking was not so much why do something, but why not do that," Adamson says.

USA Today: Pigs, dwarfs and Pinocchio, but no Goldilocks

  • 34
    Oh, sure, come up with a real answer... ;)
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 19:24
  • 6
    @ZeissIkon - Votre answer est plus bon aussi
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 19:28
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    If you're going to do a comedy, making the most English of legendary figures (along with King Arthur) French is hilarious. It would be like making El Cid Swedish Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 3:50
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    @KeithMorrison King Arthur English? Hm... there's some work to do there... British would do. But Arthur supposedly fought to defend Britain against the invading Germanic tribes (Saxons and Angles). Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 11:42
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    @Valorum, Your Français is more good too. Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:39

The original Robin of Locksley (the Robin Hood of Pyle's stories) was a minor noble, and all nobles in England at the time (of the setting, not necessarily of the "historical Robin Hood" whose very existence is questionable but was seemingly centuries later) had at least some French Norman blood.

French was spoken at court. Much of what became "high etiquette" was based on French court customs, and the well-known English disdain for the French and anything pertaining to them stems from this period of what some see as "foreign rule".

In short, Robin Hood most likely was French in the stories, though Pyle never seems to have mentioned it (nobility being French was simply expected and needed no explanation).

  • 1
    "Lochslea" - do you mean Loxley or Locksley or is it actually Lochslea in this book?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 11:12
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    @TheLethalCarrot Pick a spelling you like. In the days of the story setting, before the printing press had invaded England, spelling was highly variable; further, there has been at least one major pronunciation shift since Caxton set English spelling in movable type.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 11:16
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    This is a very interesting and detailed answer, but as it pertains to the question of the portrayal in Shrek, it seems to be missing a key link. Is there any indication that the above is why the makers of Shrek went with a French accent, despite a long history of Robin Hood being depicted in movie and television sans French accent? (After all, the other nobles depicted in the Shrek movies do not have French accents)
    – delinear
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 11:29
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    Plus, a franch accent is funny, no? La la la. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 12:02
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    Robin Hood is often portrayed as a Saxon minor noble, standing for the common man against his Norman oppressors (apart from Richard I, who gets a pass). Apparently, that is a relatively recent invention though.
    – richardb
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 15:52

There is historical significance to Robin hood speaking with a French accent.

As the folk tale is set 100 years after the invasion of England by Willian the conqueror English Lords and Ladies would have all spoken French. If Robin Hood did exist he was most likely Robin of Loxley who would probably have spoken French due to his connection to the King's family.

  • 1
    And while that's not untrue (maybe), it's not why he's French in Shrek
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 16 at 15:27
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    Welcome to SciFi.SE! This is basically the same as Zeiss Ikon's answer from 2019; please try and ensure you're not duplicating answers that have already been given.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Mar 16 at 18:52

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