'Shrek' turns 20: The first animated film to win Oscar

·3-min read


18 May 2021: 'Shrek' turns 20: The first animated film to win Oscar

It has been 20 years since the iconic animated film Shrek first released.

The cute, green ogre found its way into the hearts of people all around the world.

Shrek and many other characters in the film became the subject of numerous viral memes over the years.

Here are some more fun facts about our favorite green guy on its 20th release anniversary.

William Steig: Meet the cartoonist who conceptualized 'Shrek'

The film's idea and characters were based on a 1990 picture book called Shrek! by author William Steig.

He was one of the most creative cartoonists of his time.

Steig was over the age of 80 when he first published the book and lived just long enough to see Shrek come to life.

He died in 2003, two years after its release.

Development: Spielberg bought the rights to turn 'Shrek' into a film

The early development around the film began with filmmaker Steven Spielberg purchasing the rights to the Shrek! photo book in 1991.

The legendary director-producer originally had planned to make it into an old-school, traditionally-animated film, where each frame would be drawn by hand.

In 1994, producer John H. Williams persuaded him to let their newly-founded animation production company DreamWorks make the movie.

Voice: The different voices of 'Shrek'

The filmmakers originally cast SNL star Chris Farley as the voice for the role of Shrek.

Unfortunately, he passed away in 1997 after finishing about 90% of the voice work.

His friend Mike Myers then joined the production and re-recorded the voice for Shrek, twice.

He first did it in a Canadian accent, and later switched to a Scottish accent.

Actors: Tom Cruise, Leonard DiCaprio, Nicolas Cage were considered for 'Shrek'

In the early days, there were talks of considering actors like Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of Shrek.

However, the role was finally offered to actor Nicolas Cage, but he refused it right away.

"I just didn't want to look like an ogre," he told Daily Mail.

Cage later said that he should've done it and regrets passing on the role.

Academy Award: Academy Awards created a Best Animated Feature category in 2002

Academy Awards created a Best Animated Feature category in the year 2002.

Before that, animated films were mostly treated as second-rate and ignored by the awards panel.

Shrek became the first film to be awarded the Academy Award for the Best Animated Feature.

Other animated films that were nominated in the category that year were Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Monsters Inc.

Original design: The unused 'Shrek' design show him a lot more ogre-like

The original drafts for the character of Shrek show him a lot more ogre-like.

He has long tiny ears, a red nose, weird clothes, and missing teeth in those very early drawings.

He also had a much more funny vibe to him.

Just be glad that the animators made extensive changes to it, and made the character cuter and more friendly-looking.

Money matters: The film was a box-office success, financially saved DreamWorks

Co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a 2007 interview that Shrek financially saved the whole company.

Produced on a $60 million budget, it went on to make over $484.4 million worldwide.

The animation house eventually made many other great animated films such as Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon, and many other franchises.

Also see: Tom Holland douses rumors about Andrew, Tobey in 'Spider-Man 3'
Redditor compresses 'Shrek' film onto a 1.44 MB floppy disk
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