When the first Shrek movie hit cinema screens all over the world in 2001, we had no idea that it would kick-start one of the most successful animation franchises ever. Four installments later and our favorite green ogre and his entourage of fairytale characters is very much a part of contemporary pop culture.
Yet, with six years of silence on the DreamWorks front, it appears that with news that NBC Universal is looking to “resurrect” the wildly successful series.
So, as we mull that crucial bit of information over and even , let’s take a look at some fascinating snippets of insane trivia lurking in the first, original movie:
1. The story is loosely based on a 1990 picture book
At the time of the publication of the Shrek! picture book, cartoonist William Steig was 83 years old. He died two years after the first movie was released.
2. ‘Shrek’ means ‘monster’ in Yiddish
In the German language, it also means “fright” or “terror.”
3. Donkey was based on a real donkey in California
Yep, Eddie Murphy’s character was inspired by a real miniature donkey living not far from the DreamWorks studios. Pericles, or “Perry,” was born in 1994 and went on to inspire one of the sassiest sidekicks in animation history.
4. Chris Farley was originally cast in the title role
In fact, had already completed approximately 90 percent of the dialogue before he passed away in 1997. Mike Myers was brought in to replace him — something that he didn’t actually become aware of until 2012.
Here’s some of Farley’s original voice over before his tragic death:
5. Fiona’s burp is totally legit
In the scene where Princess Fiona impresses Shrek with her loud belching technique — well, let’s just say that this was all inspired by Cameron Diaz’s excessive cola drinking ahead of the voicing. In essence, these two aren’t so different in reality.
6. The iconic Smash Mouth tune ‘All Star’ at the beginning wasn’t meant to make the final cut
Indeed, the song was only meant to be temporary but it got such a great response from the preview audiences they decided to keep it.
7. Nicholas Cage turned down the role of Shrek
All because he didn’t want to be an ugly ogre. In retrospect though, he’s said:
“Maybe I should have done it looking back.”
Well played, Nick.
8. The movie was initially to be made in claymation
Yet, after realizing how difficult it would be to make a full-feature length using this technique, DreamWorks opted for trusty ol’ CGI.
Still, the computer animation took four and a half years to complete.
9. John Lithgow broke a personal rule in playing Lord Farquaad
The actor is actually a colossal 6’4″ and has always said that he would never ever play anyone short. However, when the Shrek role came along, he couldn’t pass up on the chance.
Plus, he found the whopping difference between his height and his character absolutely hilarious.