Shrek (2001) Poster



Eddie Murphy's BAFTA nomination for his voiceover performance was the first of its kind.
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The line "You're on your way to a smacked bottom." was improvised by Mike Myers after he got annoyed at one of the directors. He had also used this line a few years earlier, while playing his Austin Powers character in the popular music video of Madonna's song 'Beautiful Stranger'.
Mike Myers recorded Shrek's voice in a natural accentless voice before the film was test-screened. After watching it, he decided that the voice didn't sound right and had all of his lines re-recorded with a Scottish accent, based on the voice his mother used when reading him bedtime stories as a child.
The song "All Star" by Smash Mouth, heard in the opening credits, was only placed in the film for test audiences until a new song could be found. But test audiences loved it, and the producers kept it in. When the producers decided to keep "All Star" they decided to let the band sing the last song in the movie, "I'm a Believer."
Shrek received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Eddie Murphy says the Shrek series is among his best works.
Mike Myers was in New York when they realized that the line "What are you doing in my swamp!" had never been read. So producer Jeffrey Katzenberg flew to New York, and had Myers read the line in the back of a limo.
Chris Farley was originally cast as Shrek and even recorded almost all of the dialogue. However, after his death, the role was given to fellow Saturday Night Live (1975) performer, Mike Myers. Shrek's "air quotes" in the film is an homage to Farley, whose character Bennett Brauer also used air quotes.
The film's art director Douglas Rogers visited a magnolia plantation in Charleston, South Carolina to do research for look of Shrek's swamp. He ended up getting chased by an alligator.
The scene where Princess Fiona burps was written after a recording session where Cameron Diaz burped after drinking Coca-Cola.
The principal actors never met each other. All read their parts separately, with a reader feeding them the lines. John Lithgow later admitted that, while he enjoyed playing Lord Farquaad, he was a little disappointed that he never actually worked directly with Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, or Eddie Murphy.
The song "I'm a Believer", which has become one of the series' theme songs, was chosen specifically because of the line "I thought love was only true in fairy tales."
When the fairytale creatures arrive at Shrek's swamp, you can see Papa Bear comforting Baby Bear at a fire... later in Lord Farquaad's castle, as he watches Fiona on the mirror you see Mama Bear as a rug, skinned and laying on the floor. Her ultimate fate, however, seems to be OK: she re-appears in the Video/DVD Karaoke scene, dancing with Papa and Baby Bears.
Mike Myers improvised numerous lines in the film, including when he addresses the guests at Fiona and Farquaard's wedding.
Cameron Diaz, having undergone Kung Fu training during the making of Charlie's Angels (2000), became very physical when recording her kung fu moves for Fiona's fight with Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and at times even broke out into Cantonese.
Steven Spielberg was originally going to produce the film in 1991, when he was in charge of the studio Amblin Entertainment. Then, the film would have been in hand-drawn animation, and was going to star Bill Murray as Shrek and Steve Martin as Donkey.
A fairy godmother was originally included in the movie, but was cut out in the beginning of the movie's production. She eventually appeared in Shrek 2 (2004) and would form a lasting impact across the film series (this is the only film that doesn't feature her at all).
The song "Welcome to Duloc", which is sung by the wooden dolls in the cabinet at the entrance to Duloc, is not only a parody of Disney's "It's a Small World", but is in the same key and has the same beats per minute (tempo) as the Disney song.
"Shrek" means "monster" in Yiddish, and is derived from the German word "Schreck", which means "terror" or "fright".
[June 2008] Ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation", the only non-Disney or Pixar film on the list.
Donkey and Fiona are the only characters to refer to Shrek by name.
Mike Myers actually read opposite his (then) wife Robin Ruzan when recording his lines for the climactic love scene at the end of the movie.
Because the film took so long to make, DreamWorks were able to reference other films that weren't even made when the film was conceived. The Matrix (1999), for example.
The effects department actually took mud showers to study how to realistically portray mud in the film.
Prior to release, the movie was viewed by DreamWork's lawyers, since there were concerns that Disney would sue over the movie's not-so-subtle satirical references to the company's films and theme parks.
There are 36 unique locations in Shrek - more than any other computer-animated film at the time.
Gingy, the Gingerbread Man, later became a mascot for Wal-Mart.
William Steig, the writer of Shrek, also wrote a short story called Mr. Sylvester. In which, a donkey has a magic pebble and, scared of a lion, wishes himself to be a boulder for protection. This is referenced in Shrek in Donkey's famous quote "I like that boulder, that is a nice boulder."
This film was the first winner for the inaugural Best Animated Film category of the Academy Awards 2001.
Shrek showering in mud and bathing in water were two of the hardest things to animate in the movie. Any scene involving fire also proved difficult.
Rumors abound that Lord Farquaad was based on former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
During a voiceover session, Cody Cameron suggested that Cameron Diaz marry him "... so you can become Cameron Cameron".
Eddie Murphy and Jeffrey Katzenberg have known each another since the beginning of their film careers. They promised that one day, they would do an animated film together, which culminated with this film. Katzenberg even recommended Murphy for the part of Donkey, and no-one else. He thinks its Murphy's best work.
While Donkey is a hooved animal, his movements are based on dogs and rabbits.
Computer animation production started on the project on 31 October 1996 and took more than four and a half years to complete.
Some viewers have complained that Robin Hood was English and should not speak with a French accent. It should be noted that in the film he is always referred to as "Monsieur Hood" and never as Robin.
The whole animation team from Antz (1998), DreamWorks' first animated movie, were recruited to work on Shrek.
Robin Williams was going to have a role in the film, but he suffered a bitter falling-out with Jeffrey Katzenberg when Katzenberg was still working at Disney, and refused to work with him.
Just after release, Dreamworks started work on Shrek 2 (2004).
Shrek's outhouse has a crescent moon carved into the door, just like the DreamWorks logo.
Shrek became DreamWorks' mascot for the company's animated productions.
Over 1,000 fantasy characters invade Shrek's swamp at the beginning of the movie.
In an interview once Eddie Murphy joked that the movie Shrek, and his character Donkey, became so popular that had he died the year the movie was released newspapers would have probably used a picture of Donkey instead of Eddie Murphy.
Cameron Diaz has said that Princess Fiona's romantic/practical nature was more like her sister rather than herself.
In the original pitch, Shrek was to be a knight and rescue Donkey from a wicked witch. Shrek also varied from Scottish to Canadian and than back to Scottish again.
Shrek was adapted into a stage musical in 2008, and is still being performed around the world as of May 2013.
Mike Myers' decision to revoice Shrek in a Scottish accent ended up costing an additional $4 million as it took him 20 sessions to complete the re-voiceover.
Storyboard artist Cody Cameron provided the voices for Pinocchio and the 3 Little Pigs. In fact, several of the artists voiced the smaller characters they drew the scenes for.
Although Antz (1998) was the first computer animated film produced by DreamWorks, it was Shrek (2001) that established the studio as a major name in the field, alongside its main competitor, Pixar.
Everything in Farquaad's castle is designed to be angular (no curves or bends) to heighten his evil nature.
Donkey was the easiest character to sketch since no-one knew what a talking donkey would look like. He looked very different in the early drafts, more akin to Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.
When Mike Myers came on board, he insisted on a complete script rewrite to remove any vestiges of Chris Farley's involvement. Myers didn't want to be influenced in any way by Farley's interpretation.
The film's music editor provided the sound of the dragon 'burping' up Farquaad's crown.
Shrek compares ogres to onions, saying they both have layers. This refers to the Henrik Ibsen play 'Peer Gynt', where the title character declares himself an onion for similar reasons.
Voted number 2 in channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films"
An armor expert was brought in to show the animators a variety of armors that they could use as inspiration in the film. The animators tried on the armor, studied how they moved with the armor on, and also took turns flailing different swords.
The intent with Fiona was to create the most photorealistic CGI depiction of a human. Prior to this, people animated through CGI had a certain stiffness and the facial features remained a little blank. To this end, the animation team brought in a leading Hollywood beautician to tell them how she applied make-up to A-lister stars.
The film marks Mike Myers' fifth performance with a Scottish accent, following Saturday Night Live (1975), Wayne's World 2 (1993), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), and as Fat Bastard in the last two Austin Powers movies.
Donkey annoying Shrek with his singing was one of the first scenes to be filmed. The scene at Fiona's fortress was the second.
Donkey's appearance was based on Pericles ("Perry"), a miniature Donkey who lives in Barron Par, Palo Alto (California) - right in the neighborhood of the Pacific Data Images/DreamWorks animators.
Gaming hosts Jim Lange and Jimmy Fallon recorded the voice of the Magic Mirror (Lange in particular hosted The Dating Game (1965), which the Mirror parodies). Eventually, however, the Mirror was voiced by storyboard artist Christopher Miller.
Loosely based on William Steig's fairytale picture book of the same name.
1,250 props and environments were created in the computer for the first film.
According to director, Andrew Adamson, Shrek's height varies between seven and eight feet depending on who you ask. He was 7 feet and since then he's grown in people's minds, and now he's usually referred to as 8 feet.
An additional scene was storyboarded but never filmed that revealed Lord Farquaad's plan for Duloc. He wanted to turn the entire kingdom into something like a gigantic shopping complex. Another scene planned and scrapped was Fiona getting Shrek and Donkey lost on the way back to Duloc.
The list of fairytale characters in the movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; the Wicked Witch of the West (or the East); The Three Bears; Pinocchio and Geppetto; the 3 Little Pigs; Tinkerbell and Peter Pan; The Big Bad Wolf; The Pied Piper of Hamelin; The Gingerbread Man; Cinderella; Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Shrek was almost made in stop-motion animation, but early tests proved too costly and executives weren't pleased with the overall look and lack of facial expression in the main character. After live-action miniatures and motion-capture graphics also proved unsatisfactory, the studio went with computer-generated animation.
Early concept sketches of Shrek in the 1990s saw him living in a garbage dump near a human village called Wart Creek. Another version saw him living with his parents and keeping rotting fish in his bedroom.
Janeane Garofalo was originally set to voice Princess Fiona but was summarily fired without explanation after the death of Chris Farley. To this day, Garofolo has no idea why she was let go.
Co-director Andrew Adamson frequently found himself at loggerheads with producer Jeffrey Katzenberg over the film's adult jokes. Katzenberg thought that some of the more adult material was inappropriate for a cartoon film, Adamson disagreed. Adamson could be perceived as winning the argument as many critics liked the film for the fact that it didn't just pander to under-age audiences.
Kathleen Freeman's final feature movie.
Producer John H. Williams first encountered the Shrek book when he found his children reading it.
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First film to win the "Best Animated Feature" Oscar in a 2001, beating out Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Monsters, Inc.
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When the masked executioner, Thelonious, is singing, it is a direct reference to a "Stacker 2" commercial that the "WWF (World Wrestling Federation)" character Kane (Glenn Jacobs), who also wears a mask, appears singing karaoke.
Monsieur Hood's Merry Men perform to Riverdance: The Show (1995).
Mike Myers' first voice performance for an animated film.
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Shrek's look was based on the 1940's French wrestler Maurice Tillet "The French Angel".
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Farquaad's logo is very similar to Facebook's logo, however this cannot be a deliberate choice by the creators of Shrek as Facebook and its logo was not established until 2004. It is more likely that Mark Zuckerberg copied Lord Farquaad's logo.
When Donkey and Shrek are looking up at the stars, Shrek points out the constellation "Bloodnok the Flatulent", a reference to the character Major Bloodnok, created by Spike Milligan and voiced by Peter Sellers in the 1950s BBC Radio program "The Goon Show".
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After working on the film for five years, co-director Kelly Asbury left the production to go work on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002). She was replaced by Vicky Jenson.
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Shrek became the antagonist of a popular Internet meme called "Shrek is Love, Shrek is Life". Shrek is also featured in memes and videos created by Source Film Maker.
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In 2001 it became the first American animated film screened at Cannes film festival since Peter Pan in 1953.
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Merchandise for the movie includes baby mobiles, Shrek, Donkey and Fiona figures.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The original script had Princess Fiona born an ogre to the late King and Queen of Duloc. They had her locked in the tower under the lie that she was "of such rare beauty" she was kidnapped. They died, and the kingdom was left under the rule of an ambitious regent (implied to be Farquaad). When she 'became of age' to ascend the throne she escaped the tower and encounters a witch named Dama Fortuna - who has narrated the entire sequence through her tarot cards. She gave Fiona a potion which would make her beautiful; but warned her the potion had a side effect - she would change between her human and ogress form until she found her true love. Later she was whisked away by her dragon guardian and returned to the tower. This storyline was not adapted to keep the story simple, but is mentioned through the "witch" Fiona tells Donkey about.
Although Fiona's appearance was based off of Cameron Diaz, her ogre form and more specifically her facial features were based on a Dreamworks employee at the time by the name of Fiona who also had long red hair.
Fiona's capture was storyboarded but never filmed. It was instead revealed over the course of the series.

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