DreamWorks punished their animators by making them work on ‘Shrek’

Photo Credit: DreamWorks

“Shrek” won the very first Oscar for best animated feature, but making the movie was far from a fairy tale experience, according to the New York Post.

“Shrek” was stuck in development hell for years. Back in 1996, it was a low priority for DreamWorks, with a limited budget of $20 million. It was using motion capture technology that was unproven at the time and had a rotating cast of directors, writers, and actors attached to the project.

Animators who failed on other projects were sent to work on “Shrek.” It was known as the Gulag, and employees called the experience being “Shreked,” according to the Post.

Photo Credit: DreamWorks

Chris Farley was originally cast as Shrek, and animators originally based the character on him. Jeffery Katzenberg, one of the founders, was reportedly horrified by the initial animation and fired the entire crew.

When Farley died, Mike Myers was tapped to take on the lead. Eddie Murphy took on the role of Donkey, and things slowly started to take shape.

The DreamWorks team was terrified before the Cannes premiere, but after 10 minutes of silence, moviegoers fell in love with the flick and gave it a standing ovation.

The film ended up making almost $500 million worldwide and spawned several sequels. Despite the struggles, it ended up with a fairy-tale ending.