A look at how an ogre with a Scottish accent changed the face of animation, featuring interviews with the creators and the voices behind it, including Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers.
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Once upon a time, in a land far far away,
there was a princess who was locked away in a tower,
awaiting her good knight.
To save her, he must travel through treacherous lands
to give her true love's first kiss.
This good knight was...an ogre?!
I'm not going to apologise for acting like one.
Meet Hollywood's most unlikely hero.
-I said, "What's it called?" And he said...
"That's a really bad title!"
-Star of the blockbuster hit that has graced us with...
-Do you love this woman?
# Then you got to, got to got to try a little tenderness. #
-Chicks love that romantic crap.
-All right, cut it out!
-..and iconic animated characters.
I do a voice for him that is very breathy.
Ogre Fiona has always spoke to me.
At the core of it, I'm always thinking, "Jackass."
Waiter, how about a bowl for the steed?
But, it wasn't always a fairytale.
I think it was constantly in jeopardy.
Chris Farley began as Shrek
and, of course, passed away so tragically.
Brace yourselves for a journey into the weird and wonderful world
of the one and only Shrek.
The audience for the first 10 minutes of that film
were genuinely shocked.
-Does that sound good to you?
No, not really, no.
Hollywood -home of handsome film stars like Tom Cruise, Matt Damon
Yes, this is the incredible tale of how one of the world's
highest grossing movie franchises was inspired by a fat, ugly,
grumpy Scottish monster. I don't like the way we've got "grumpy" and "Scottish" together there.
Anyway, tonight, we are going to discover what ingredients
make this vermin-filled fairytale the success it is today.
Oh, you had me at vermin-filled.
Now, we all know the story of Shrek.
But, if you don't, here's a quick reminder.
Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess...
I said a quick reminder!
So, there's this ogre called Shrek who met a talking donkey called...
-That's right, fool!
..who, by the way, had a beautiful singing voice.
# Ain't no stopping us now. # Woo!
Together, they rescued a princess called Fiona...
-Put me down!
-..who it turns out was an ogre too.
Shrek and Fiona fell in love and got married.
Oh, and a Donkey mated with a dragon. O-K...
Soon after, we met a fancy feline.
Fear me, if you dear.
Then Shrek got a makeover.
Shrek and I took some magic potion and, well, now we're sexy!
And Donkey and Puss decided to engage in a little body-swapping.
-The time has come to rectify some wrongs.
-Indeed. Then Shrek did something silly.
-I signed this.
-You should never sign a contract with...
And everything started to get a little weird.
SHREK: Donkey? Fiona? Puss?
Right, cut it there. OK, and breathe.
Before this is over, I'll need a lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitching.
Well, now we're all up to speed, let's find out
the first thing you need to make a modern-day fairytale -
a daring animation studio.
Welcome to the house that Shrek built.
DreamWorks Animation, California.
This is where the imaginations of producers, writers and animators
conjured up great hits like Antz, Kung Fu Panda,
Bee Movie, Monsters vs Aliens,
Over the Hedge, Shark Tale,
How to Train Your Dragon and Puss In Boots.
Ho! They've been working around the clock.
But none of this would have been possible
if not for this big, green, lovable ogre -
DreamWorks' biggest star.
It's one of the great Hollywood successes of the last 10 years.
They created this world but now one had ever seen before.
I thought it was fantastic.
The Shrek franchise is the shining green jewel in the DreamWorks crown.
How many films have there been, Mike?
There's been four!
Next, we need a good story.
So take some classic fairytales and turn them upside down.
But who's brave enough to do that? Meet the big boss.
I had spent 10 years at Disney, telling conventional fairytales
and telling them in a very heartfelt
and conventional way.
This seemed, to me, to be able to take that world
and do something that was completely fresh, very unique,
not done before.
It's got this wonderful ironic approach to fairytales.
It's constantly up-ending the romance.
The ogre has fallen in love with the Princess!
-Oh, good Lord...
We were raised with all of those traditional fairytales
told in a very traditional way.
And taking them upside down and just looking at them
from a totally different angle, it was almost like
revisiting your own youth.
It kind of expressed all of our frustration, that sort of growing up
with that nest of lies.
I suggest you freaks cooperate with the new king of Far Far Away.
The only thing you're ever going to be king of is king of the stupids!
But the key to success lay in the biggest twist of all.
One simple conversion of having
the ogre, who is usually the bad guy, be the hero of the story.
I think that's a huge move.
I'm an ogre! You know, "Grab your torch and pitchforks!"
-Doesn't that bother you?
The traditionally good characters end up being bad
and bad characters end up being good.
No, no, no, no, no!
You see, ogres don't live happily ever after.
The tyrant should be physically imposing and terrifying,
but they make him small and ineffectual.
Fiona, my love, we're but a kiss away from our happily ever after.
Now, kiss me! Mmm...
The princess should be demure
Instead, you have Fiona.
We were looking at their stories and saying,
"How can we change these stories so that they feel new?"
Geppetto was selling his boy to Farquaad at the very beginning
for a little bit of money.
-Next! What have you got?
-This little wooden puppet.
I'm not a puppet. I'm a real boy!
Five shillings for the possessed toy. Take it away!
Father, please! Don't let them...
They're all being thrown out basically of their own stories.
And they all ended up in Shrek's swamp,
where he welcomed them with open arms.
What are you doing in my house?
Oh, no, no, no! Dead broad off the table!
-Where are we supposed to put her? The bed's taken.
It almost makes fun of us and our attachment
to these characters from when we were children.
What are you doing in my swamp!? HIS VOICE ECHOES
So, time to meet the hero - Shrok.
I'm Shrek, you twit.
Can't we just settle this over a pint?
-Some hero, eh?
Oh, you were expecting Prince Charming.
Originally, Shrek was, I think, a less likeable character.
And he had a very clear goal of wanting to be a knight
and wasn't going to be happy until he was one.
And that was not a Shrek any of us wanted to hang out with.
Shrek is an ogre
and can have a lot of traits that might be not so likeable.
So, the first thing was to figure out how to make him an ogre
but make him a guy you could root for.
And how could you possibly do that?
-You dense, irritating miniature beast of burden!
Em, I think it's the kind of thing kids love, you see.
You can't beat a good fart gag.
Any kind of food that you don't like, he likes.
He makes candles out of his ear wax.
He lives in a swamp.
Bad smells good smells to him.
Ha, morning breath.
I know. Isn't it wonderful?
We loved making him fart and burp and do all that fun stuff,
but, in the end, you know,
he becomes someone who opens his heart to the world.
Ogres are like onions.
-They make you cry?
Leave them out in the sun, they go brown, start sprouting white hairs?
No! Layers! Onions have layers.
Ogres have layers, onions have layers - you get it?
We both have layers! HE SIGHS
Oh, you both have layers. Oh...
You know, not everybody likes onions.
I could relate to that identity problem.
I know I'm supposed to be a villain and a bad guy,
but I don't feel like one.
Weirdly, as a Canadian, we're sort of
there next to the United States going, "Hey, guys, wait up!"
We're not quite England, we're not quite France,
we're not quite America.
What's your problem, Shrek?
What you got against the whole world anyway, huh?
Look! I'm not the one with the problem, OK?
It's the world that seems to have a problem with me.
People take one look at me and go, "Argh! Help, run!
"A big, stupid ugly ogre."
They judge me before they even know me.
He's fearful of change. And I think that that's most of us.
You know, I think we all kind of come up against the fear of
making changes in our lives because we get so comfortable as things are.
He doesn't want to get hurt. And so he tells himself
at the beginning of the movie that he would prefer to be alone.
And when he meets people and they're nice, like Donkey and Fiona,
he doesn't know what to do with it.
-I guess you don't entertain much, do you?
-I like my privacy.
I do too. That's another thing we have in common.
I hate it when somebody's in your face,
you try to give them a hint to leave
and then there's that big, awkward silence.
Can I stay with you?
-Can I stay with you...please?
-It's going to take a very special lady to melt the heart of this ogre.
I love the scene where Fiona and Shrek are falling in love.
And they're blowing up toads together
and they're kind of like... It's just so endearing.
You see how these two people show their love for one another
and I always thought that that was really sweet.
In seeing Fiona, he learns to love himself.
And I think that that is a great lesson.
And I think that if you're a little kid and whatever odd situation
you're in, and everybody as a human is in an odd situation,
You can relate to that.
I... I love you.
Wow, Shrek, that's quite the bride you have there.
But fairytale law states quite clearly
that every princess must come with a curse.
In this case, by night, she's an ogre.
And, by day, a beautiful, elegant princess - kind of.
Well, Fiona her whole life has been told that she's been locked
in this tower and she's meant to be saved by her Prince Charming.
True love's kiss is what's going to release her from this prison
that she's been in her whole life.
They have this moment where she prepares herself
and she's waiting there and she's pretending to be asleep,
and here's Shrek with his caged face.
And nothing goes right.
Are you Princess Fiona?
Awaiting a night so bold as to rescue me.
Oh, that's nice. Now, let's go!
And he just kind of want to throw her over his shoulder
and, you know, get her out the window.
And she has all the ways that she needs it to be done.
What kind of knight are you?
One of a kind.
He has no intention of being her knight in shining armour.
He just wants his swamp back.
All the ways that it didn't go right,
at least the kiss is going to go right.
You know, at least... Nothing went the right way,
he threw her over his shoulder, he got her out of there and here it is.
"Let's just do this right."
Oh, you must know how it goes.
A princess locked in a tower and beset by a dragon
is rescued by a brave knight.
And then they share true love's first kiss.
Hmm? With Shrek? You think...
Wait a second. You think that Shrek is your true love?
THEY BOTH LAUGH
You think Shrek is your true love!
What is so funny?
'She realised that life isn't the way that the
fairytale books told her.
Which is lucky because Fiona isn't exactly a fairytale princess.
THE BIRD SINGS
THEY BOTH SING HIGHER
SHE SINGS AS HIGH AS SHE CAN
She's definitely feisty. She doesn't take anything from anybody.
Man, that was annoying.
There's some karate scenes, I don't know if you guys caught those -
a little kung fu in the trees.
Which was really fun because I was making Charlie's Angels
for the first film.
I several times came in after having
done my training for Charlie's Angels to do some of the work
and I would be in my workout clothes
and just sweaty and gross.
And they would be like, could you give us a "hi-yah"?
I was like, "Oh, I got a hi-yah for ya!"
There is so much insecurity in her as well.
She has so much going on that she doesn't know about quite yet
that she has to figure out.
-No, it's OK.
-What did you do with the Princess?
-Donkey, ssh. I'm the Princess.
-God, you ate the Princess!
-Can you hear me?
I'll get you out of there. Shrek, Shrek!
Fiona's journey really is it's not what you look like,
it's about what you have inside you.
So that's kind of how Fiona came to be.
When I was a little girl, a witch cast a spell on me.
Every night, I become this.
This horrible, ugly beast.
I associate myself closer to the Ogre Fiona
than I did the Princess Fiona.
Princess Fiona never really made sense to me,
you know, the human Fiona.
Ogre Fiona has always spoke to me more.
And I was so happy that that was her true form.
'Definitely a family trait, for sure.
-We're quality people!
So, we have a hero and a beautiful princess.
Next on the list is a noble steed.
# Little donkey Little donkey... #
Just take my wallet, just take my wallet! I'm being ass-napped!
Animal cruelty. Help!
You need to calm down. I'm your friend.
Donkey likes people...
This is going to be fun.
We can stay up late, swapping manly stories and, in the morning,
-I'm making waffles!
-Say no more, say no more.
Don't worry about a thing. I will always be here to make sure nobody bothers you.
Donkey's not afraid to say he needs people.
-Shrek's hurt? Shrek's hurt!
-Oh, no, Shrek's going to die.
-Donkey, I'm OK.
Oh, you can't do this to me, Shrek. I'm too young for you to die.
-Keep your legs elevated. Does anyone know the Heimlich?
-Donkey! Calm down.
You know, he's lovable.
Man, I'd really love to stay, but I'm an asthmatic
and I don't know it it'll work out you blowing smoke rings and stuff.
Shrek loves that about him
and learns to love himself through seeing Donkey as well -
just how free he is.
-Look, you love this woman, don't you?
-You want to hold her?
# Then you got to got to got to
# Try a little tenderness. # The chicks love that romantic crap.
All right, cut it out!
He's the one poking at him to change, to embrace this other.
"Come to the light side."
Come on, lazybones! It's time to get moving.
Argh! You know, you really need to get yourself a pair of jammies!
What's really cool about the donkey's character,
he is the jackass, but he is always the voice of reason in the movie.
He always helps them get it together.
I'm just so darn bored!
Well, find a way to entertain yourself.
The annoying "pop!"
I just, I don't know. It won Donkey over for me.
-Oh! For five minutes,
could you not be yourself?
The Eddie Murphy casting was interesting
because he basically just plays himself.
I love Donkey. I love him because you can hear Eddie Murphy.
Oh, man. I can't feel my toes! I don't have any toes!
I think I need a hug.
I'm playing a donkey, so I said I have to be a jackass.
So always at the core of it, I'm always thinking, "Jackass."
Any line, I'm thinking, "You are a jackass while you are doing this.
"You have to do this like a jackass."
You're a mean, green fighting machine.
We'll scare anybody that crosses us.
What? Ha ha! I know you're not talking about our swamp.
I'm already starting to feel nauseous from memories of wedgies.
I'm focused four movies through.
Never once do you sit and watch and go, "He's not like a jackass."
Each time I say something, you turn and say, "He's a jackass."
But acting like a jackass isn't the only talent Eddie Murphy possesses.
Listen to this.
# My girl wants to party all the time...
Yes! Eddie's illustrious pop career included songs like this 1985 hit.
-What was it called?
-# Party all the time...
Party All The Time, thanks Eddie.
He's not the most willing singer in the world.
It would take him a while to kind of warm-up to it.
We'd have to have a couple of really good sessions
and then he'd say, "OK, I'll do it. I'll sing."
# On the road again # Sing it with me, Shrek!
# I can't wait to get on the road again...
-What did I say about singing?
-Well, can I whistle?
-Well, can I hum it?
On The Road Again was kind of the beginning of it for him.
He might have just ad-libbed that.
So I think he kind of did himself in on the singing thing.
So, if he had to sing a lot over the course of four movies,
it's sort of his fault because he started it.
# Come what may
-# Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you #
-Where am I? What's happening?
Quiet down there! Oh, I hate this song.
# But I made up my mind
# I'm keeping my baby... #
When he's pulling that cart, here's the cart radio.
So we change channels on Donkey.
We tried to get as many songs out of Eddie as we could.
# No matter what they take from me,
# They can't take away my dignity... #
They're making him drag it, and pull the...
Like any donkey would have to, he's got to pull the wagon.
But, as he can talk, they're whipping him and making him sing.
Argh! # Hit me with you're best shot... #
I think he thought we were messing with him. He's like, "Another song?"
So, let's have a quick rundown of Donkey's top tunes.
# All by myself
# Any more... #
# She'll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain
# She'll make you live her crazy life, but she'll take away your pain
# Like a bullet to your brain
# Upside inside out
# Livin' la vida loca... #
And it's over to Mike for our number one.
I will say that my favourite Donkey song is I'm A Believer.
# Not a trace
# Of doubt in my mind
# I'm in love, ooh
# I'm a believer I couldn't leave her if I tried... #
And Donkey wasn't only one belting out the ballads.
Ladies and gentlemen... APPLAUSE
I had Holding Out for a Hero,
which just terrified me, the idea of singing that.
# Where the mountains meet the heavens above
# And where the lightning splits the sea... #
A lot of editing went into that song.
They'd literally go, "Yes, we think that word was in tune.
"Let's try the next word."
-And then we've got...
-# But you got a have friends #
All right, chill out.
Now, you don't find product placement and movie references
in your average fairytale,
but, as we all know, Shrek is no average fairytale.
The whole thing is basically America in fairytale form
in the Middle Ages.
It has so many different levels of in-jokes.
Yes, there's the in-jokes of Hans Christian Andersen stories,
but there's also in-jokes
if you work within the Hollywood film industry.
# Check it out. #
Look! They even have their own sign.
It was fun, you know, coming up with the signage for Far Far Away.
It presents a really interesting picture
of Hollywood, among other things.
It's going to be champagne wishes and caviar dreams from now on!
Hey, good looking! We'll be back to pick you up later.
It makes Hollywood look so ridiculous.
The whole thing is, you know,
a parallel to this hedonistic beauty-obsessed world.
Hey, ladies. Nice day for a parade, huh?
You're working that hat.
You half expect to see Paris Hilton
walking up and down, around Beverly Hills.
It really does feel like contemporary Los Angeles
full of it-girls and bimbos.
Then I was like, "I'd rather get the black plague and lock myself in an iron maiden
-"than go out with you."
If you just took the time to look in the background of almost any shot,
there would some reference
to something that would strike as familiar.
The mediaeval version of that, you know.
The mediaeval version of a Starbucks.
No, no. You great stupid pastry!
Now, in case you haven't noticed,
this is not the only use of mediaeval product placement.
But, due to BBC regulations, you'll have to work them out yourselves.
There's that famous burger chain.
If you look closely, somewhere you can buy your ice cream from.
A high street fashion retailer.
And a place to get your trainers.
And the place where... um, well, you get the idea.
Everything that is in Rodeo Drive is in our Rodeo Drive too.
Versace shop, everything.
BBC, it was Rupert who said that, not me.
And, if you look really carefully,
you may even spot one - or hundreds - of movie tributes.
There are probably way more
film references in the movies than people know.
I love the satire in it. And the film parodies, really.
You obviously remember the Matrix one really well.
Did you also notice The Little Mermaid,
The Lord of the Rings,
Over to you, Antonio.
He just carves a P on a tree, so from the beginning, there was
that kind of wink of an eye to a character that I already did,
which actually gave me great possibility to laughing.
They're more like homage.
We're showing our love of other films.
Like Rumpelstiltskin, as he goes round the table yelling at witches,
it's really obscure, but it was Robert De Niro moment where he played
the gangster in The Untouchables, where he walks around the table
and everyone's very nervous and then he beats a guy with a baseball bat.
In ours, Rumpelstiltskin splashes water in the witch's face and she melts.
Does anyone care to tell me what it's going to take
to get this ogre? You!
-Maybe we could hire a professional bounty hunter?
Argh! What a world, what a world!
Hmm. You know, actually not a bad idea.
The fairy godmother gets this moment.
I only saw it... You see it when you see the film.
You record the song, but then you see the film
and think, "That's so clever."
It's the kind of Fabulous Baker Boys moment when she's on the piano.
# Late at night, I toss and I turn
# And I dream of what I need #
Michelle Pfeiffer, keep your heart out.
It was a movie made by movie nerds.
Yeah, I guess there is a film geekish approach to that.
Obviously we love movies - we work on them.
There were just really appropriate times to do it.
And here's one Tom Cruise would be proud of.
No, it's not Top Gun.
So, we've got a slob for a hero, a tomboy for a princess
and a donkey that won't shut up.
And we haven't even met the bad guys yet.
Looks like you got exactly what you wanted!
Oh, I'm scared.
Excuse me. SHE SHRIEKS
I wonder who Mike rates as his favourite?
Do I have a favourite villain? Um...
I think... I think...
I don't know, then somebody's not my favourite, right?
See what I just did? I just did the math of that.
They're all my favourite. All of the villains are my favourite.
If you're going to be like that, Mike, let's see them all.
I am Lord Farquaad.
Like all fascist dictators, he has this thing about perfection.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
is this not the most perfect kingdom of them all?
Well, technically you're not a king.
You were saying?
He has this furious Napoleon complex.
I'm not sure whether, to them,
it was an important joke that
a famously tall man was playing a tiny little tyrant,
but it was a big joke to me.
From tiny tyrants, we go to Mafioso matriarchs.
She's her own Mafia, in a way,
because she works for herself.
We need to talk.
Oh, hello. Ha-ha!
Somebody, bring me something deep-fried
and smothered in chocolate.
She's so emotionally unfulfilled that food fills that space.
You force me to do something I really don't want to do.
Where are we?
Hi, there. Welcome to Friar's Fat Boy. May I take your order?
My diet is ruined! I hope you're happy.
That's a twist on Godfather, and godmother, and so, yeah, she's the
scary Don Corleone of the fairytale world.
She's just a pushy mum, you know.
She just wants that useless son of hers
to do better, to marry better, to be more like her.
He will rue the very day he stole my kingdom from me!
Oh, put it away, junior. You're still going to be king.
She wants him to be everything,
but she's, I suppose, emasculated him
by over-mothering as well.
We have to go. I need to do Charming's hair before the ball.
He's hopeless. You know, he's all high in the front. He can never get to the back.
-You always need someone to do the back.
-Oh, thank you, Mother.
Yes, that mummy's boy is our next villain.
Meet Prince charming. No, not that one.
Prince charming is vain.
Not my fault. Whiny.
Do you mind?
He represents one facet, if you like, of the Hollywood celebrity.
He thinks he deserves much more out of his career than he is actually getting.
I am the rightful king of Far Far Away.
And I promise you this, Mother. I will restore dignity to my throne.
It's very easy for an actor working in Hollywood, me, for example, to relate to.
-Is that glitter on your lips?
-Cherry flavoured. Want a taste?
-What is with you?
-But, Muffin Cake...
Playing a baddie is always fun because they do funny things or they have a good bit of action.
What you look for as an actor is a piece of action that is memorable.
It's great fun playing a baddie. There's just one catch.
I've done lots of villains in my career, and they all end badly.
I will have order, I will have perfection, I will have...
Well, in Shrek I was eaten by a dragon.
It doesn't get better than that.
When you're out, no, it's very depressing, really.
But that's life.
I was so disappointed when I read the script that she was going to die.
"Come on, surely she's magic. Surely she'll come back."
So I made them record me saying the line, "I'll be back."
Well, she wasn't. Sorry, Jennifer.
So, there's only one dastardly deed doer left.
Hello, people, it is I, Rumpelstiltskin.
We wanted someone to contrast with previous villains.
They were so great. We said, "How do we compete with those villains?"
And they were all kind of proper and sophisticated.
So how do we compete with that? Well, we did the opposite with the last guy,
and made him kind of ratty and trashy and a little lowbrow.
Rumpelstiltskin is more of the, he's like a used car salesman.
He's like a scummy lawyer.
As you can see, everything's in order.
So you'll put an end to our daughter's curse?
And in return you sign the Kingdom of Far Far Away over to me.
And the big deal for DreamWorks was to get the right voice for the most scheming villain ever.
We were supposed to have this really big movie star. We won't say their name.
I said, "So he's Rumpelstiltskin."
You're going to have to pay for that.
-Maybe we could make a deal for it, little boy.
-Oh, I'm not a real boy.
Do you wanna be?
When I saw the movie I was like, "Who the hell was that?"
"Who the hell is that?"
That was the big joke.
You've seen the posters. "Myers, Murphy, Diaz, Banderas, Dohrn?"
Yes, Walt was the storyboard artist who amazed everyone with his hidden vocal talents.
-And the rest is history.
I started working closely with the director
and developing this character, how he may sound, how he may look.
I started writing jokes for him.
It just developed from there.
Wolfie, my angry wig.
Walt struck gold. Walt got the good one, yeah, he did.
But it's only because he did such a fantastic job.
He shouldn't have done it so well.
It's pretty mind-boggling that I got to do a role of that weight.
He's my favourite character in the picture. He really did a good job.
How's that for a metaphysical paradox?
And to keep Walt's superstar feet on the ground, the producers had other ideas in mind.
-Walt had done scratch track.
For those of you that don't know,
a scratch track is a temporary voice recording used to aid animation in the early stages.
Glad that's cleared up.
Walt had done scratch track for almost every character in the film,
including the little tour guide.
So we took those from him because we thought it was too much.
This lovable lug taught us you don't have to change your undies to change the world.
I replaced his tour. I tried to sound like him cos he's such a funny guy.
It wasn't as funny as how he did it.
But we kept his little sign that says walk.
Walt Dohrn wasn't the only member of DreamWorks to lend their voice to the films.
Magic Mirror, it's over to you.
It's time for you to match that voice. Our first voice is Gingy.
Fire up the ovens, Muffin Man.
Is it number one, number two, or number three?
-Our second voice is Butter Pants.
-Yeah, there are.
Is it number one, or number three?
Our third voice is the Big Bad Wolf.
Is it number...?
That's far too easy, but take it away, Aaron.
I did the wolf.
-You could sound a bit more excited!
And now to the most important ingredient of all. Make 'em laugh!
I think the main appeal of Shrek
and all the Shrek films is the humour, actually, is the cheekiness.
It's a thong.
I think that the writers and the film makers and the animators
have done a really good job of having it be he who pleases everyone pleases everyone.
Listen, if we need an expert on licking ourselves, we'll give you a call.
I always thought it was...
It was the closest America ever came to creating that amazing phenomenon of the British pantomime.
-I hate dinner theatre.
They write real people, real comedy.
Blue flower, red thorns. This would be easier if I wasn't colour blind!
It's quite sophisticated comedy, I think.
Which I think means he has a really... Ow!
Parents don't get numbed, their brains don't go numb
from watching just a child's film.
You have to take me to dinner first.
Our rule was, if it's really funny, put it in there.
If it's mildly funny, forget it, it's not worth it.
Hey, that is unwanted physical contact.
And so suddenly we weren't doing Disney comedy,
we were kind of free to be what we wanted to be.
How many fart jokes, how many ass jokes?
No-one likes a kiss ass.
We didn't count, but we were really conscious of overdoing that kind of thing.
You got to warn somebody before you crack one off. My mouth was open.
We had to just go really far in pitching the humour back and forth.
For instance, when Shrek sees the size of Duloc
and makes a comment on the size.
So, that must be Lord Farquaad's castle.
That's the place.
Do you think maybe he's compensating for something?
Right, that one's borderline, walking right on the edge.
"Is he compensating for something?" But it seemed pretty harmless.
Another one was when Robin Hood meets Fiona.
Conrad was storyboarding that sequence
and he came up with all of these awful pick-up lines.
"What is your dress made of, is it felt?" And she said, "No."
"Would you like it to be?"
I'm sure not only were we on the edge. We crossed it with great pride on many, many occasions.
I had started to work on a scene that a storyboard artist took over
where one of the fairytale characters is interrogated.
And I look at the boards when they're done
and I see that the Gingerbread Man says, "Eat me."
And I was like, "We can't really say that, can we?"
-Now tell me, where are the others?
I really thought that at the end, Jeffrey Katzenberg would say,
"Guys, I love what you did but this, this and this has to go.
"But everything else is going to be great." But no, they kept everything.
And of course, that was the start of one of the great Shrek comedy moments,
the Muffin Man scene.
-Do you know the Muffin Man?
-The Muffin Man?
-The Muffin Man.
-Yes, I know the Muffin Man, who lives on Drury Lane?
Well, she's married to the Muffin Man.
-The Muffin Man?
-The Muffin Man!
I definitely drew on my childhood for that.
I remember having, when I was six years old, a little TV.
And you put a film strip in with a little record.
And on one side it had the Gingerbread Man, the story of the Gingerbread Man.
On the other side and on another film strip it had the Muffin Man.
So all I remember when I was sitting here saying,
"What do I know about the Gingerbread Man?
"Well, I know that I used to have a toy with a record.
"They sang the Muffin Man on the other side." I remembered the lyrics.
Yes, I know the Muffin Man. Who lives on Drury Lane?
You know, it was just great.
But it wasn't always a barrel of laughs.
Every fairytale quest has its obstacles
and the making of Shrek was no different.
I remember, Shrek at the time was the ugly step-sister of the studio.
It was the film that nobody wanted to work on.
As if somehow we were all being punished for working on that movie.
It was a very...historically, famously troubled production.
-I think it was constantly in jeopardy.
We put the movie up and went down one path on it, didn't really work.
We actually tried motion capture on this movie.
Literally a decade before anybody else
was talking about motion capture.
So this went through many fits and starts before it got on its feet.
When I came onto the film,
I don't know how many millions of dollars had been spent already.
We had a couple of screenings that were fairly disastrous,
and I think we all looked around, when's the axe going to fall?
But the true low point happened in the early stages of production.
The film was originally voiced
by the American comedy legend Chris Farley.
Very interesting history, because Chris Farley began as Shrek.
And of course passed away so tragically.
Chris Farley was the quintessential Shrek character.
That outlandishness and lovability was exactly right
for what was the tone and voice of the character.
In between recordings, Chris Farley died on 18th December, 1997.
I don't think it set the movie itself back
as much as I think it set all of us back.
He was a wonderful man, and we missed him.
The replacement was found in his former Saturday Night Live co-star,
the Shrek we know today, Mike Myers.
I was at the premiere of Saving Private Ryan.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, he said, you know,
would you ever be interested in being the lead of an animated movie?
I said, "What's it called?" And he said, "Shrek."
-I said, "Oh, wow.
"That's a really bad title!" I said it sounds like somebody throwing up.
Not exactly the reaction you want.
But luckily, Mike became the voice of Shrek.
They found the perfect voice in Mike Myers.
In all the first recordings,
which was for a good part of the filmmaking,
we actually used Mike's natural voice.
We'd actually animated just about a third of the movie.
And I showed him the film, which he completely loved
and was just so complimentary to the filmmakers
and enthusiastic about the film.
He said, "Honestly, the least good thing in this movie is me."
My mum used to read books to me, children's books.
And she would do different accents from around the British Isles.
'I thought, I love Scottish people.'
Poke out your eyeballs and then they'll put Jell-O inside of it!
Then they'll get a stick and stretch out your nose and snap it back
and it'll go fu-du-du-du-duh, just like in the cartoons!
Scottish people are hilarious in that they'll go from,
"I love you, thank you so much for coming but now GET OUT!"
They have a great dynamic quality.
It's a fairytale, it's a fairytale accent, I feel.
Are you trying to say Scottish people are like ogres? I know where you live!
It's not like I wouldn't change if I could.
He said, would you please, you know, allow me
to present to you a slightly different take on this.
And so I re-recorded everything.
Free of charge, I'd like to point out!
Free? That's a laugh!
Yes, Mike, you were free. But the reanimating costs, they weren't.
I thought the initial recordings were an exploration.
Well, not quite.
I showed it to Spielberg. I didn't tell him any of the circumstances about it,
I just said, I want to play you two scenes.
His reaction was like, what, are you kidding?
This is 100 times better.
Stephen Spielberg wrote me a beautiful letter saying...
which I framed, which is, "Thank you so much for caring.
"You're absolutely right, it is better Scottish,
"it does sort of just fit."
And with that good Scottish influence, aye,
things started to look up.
Suddenly it just started to turn.
And you could feel it, you could feel it,
sequence by sequence as the storyboard artists pitched.
I talked with the director pretty soon before the screening
when they were almost done with it.
He said, "It's starting to look like this might be good.
"Keep your shirt on, you might like it."
When I saw it for the first time, you know,
with all the bells and whistles on it,
I went, wow, this is really, really good.
I still just didn't know.
We had no idea what it would become.
There was no preconceived notion,
there had never been a film like Shrek before Shrek.
I saw on their video screens what they were up to,
and it was so jaw-dropping.
That was the moment when I realised, oh my God,
this Shrek thing is going to be huge.
With that optimism, Jeffrey Katzenberg took a risk
and headed to the Cannes film Festival.
This was the first animated movie in the Cannes film Festival in 50 years.
Traditionally at the Cannes film Festival,
it is very much the arthouse movies.
You know, it's stuff that critics
like to scratch their chins whilst they're watching.
Sitting in our tuxedos, as you can imagine,
not the most comfortable thing to wear.
And the lights go down,
and you're just watching this guy fart and Shrek is being Shrek.
I was dying.
Honestly, I just felt myself sinking in my seat as around me...
it was like, oh my God, I'm dying a slow death.
Because nobody was laughing at anything.
I was like, oh God, this is not going to end well.
This was such a bad decision.
And I could feel beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead.
Until the laughs started.
I saw it in the Cannes film Festival. And it blew my mind away.
They gave the movie a standing ovation for literally,
10, 12 minutes, it just went on and on and on.
So, with a good story in place, all you need now is a happy audience.
DreamWorks's wishes came true.
Shrek became one of the biggest films of 2001.
I think it made, like, 480 million worldwide.
When Shrek came out,
it really took a lot of people by surprise.
I think that they have in total made 3 billion at the box office.
And then came the gold rush.
The first Shrek movie went on to win the very first ever
Academy award for animation which was very, very exciting for our company.
I couldn't have dreamt something as big as this, you know.
It's a massive accomplishment for DreamWorks.
People didn't want to work or have anything to do with us, then there we were.
My name's on the Oscar, but it's there representing 350 people.
-And a lot of incredible talent.
-Yeah, it feels cool.
To have been in the very first one,
the one that created the template,
that's a source of great pride for me.
Everything about this movie was a miracle movie.
Who'd have thought all this success
would have come from an unassuming 32 page book?
The original Shrek story was written in 1990 by William Steig,
at the ripe old age of 82,
proving that when it comes to fairy tales, there is no age limit.
Boom, that's what I like to hear!
So Shrek had fought off a dragon, rescued a princess
and thwarted a tyrant.
But nothing could prepare him for what he would face next.
Yep, it's time to meet the in-laws.
Who on earth are they?
I think that's our little girl.
We got to take a journey with these characters from the beginning,
when they fall in love, to the building of their family,
this sort of, "What have I done",
which I think most people who build a family do after a few years.
And it looked like Shrek was wondering what he'd done
during this civilised family dinner.
So, I suppose any grandchildren I could expect from you would be...
-Not that that anything wrong with that. Right, Harold?
Oh, no! No, of course not!
-That is assuming you don't eat your own young.
It's a kind of typical sitcom mum and dad, but they happen to be
king and queen, meeting, you know, boyfriend for first time.
Happens to be an ogre.
It's so nice to have the family together for dinner.
The stories, the messages, the lessons that are...
that Shrek and Fiona and Donkey are learning,
those are relative to everyone's life.
At some point, you know, whether it's just the falling in love,
or learning about yourself,
and accepting yourself for who you are, or create a family with someone.
-You're going to be a father!
-Ha ha ha! That's great!
-I'm going to be an uncle!
-And you, my friend, are royally...
Shrek had been on a journey of love, friendship, marriage and babies.
So in his final adventure, what could they throw at him next?
It was hard to teach Shrek another lesson.
Like I said, he had gone through loving himself,
accepting himself as a husband and as a father.
And in this one, it was really about accepting life.
-BABIES WAIL It's going to be OK.
-What's going on?
Come on, Shrek, your fans are waiting!
Shrek and Fiona had marital problems.
So we brought in some marriage counsellors.
We tuned in and listened to what men go through
during their midlife crisis,
we heard how the females respond to it.
And it was really enlightening.
And at the same time, we also used them for marriage counselling for us.
Me and the producer got along a little better after some of this!
Unable to deal with his midlife crisis,
Shrek signed a deal with the devious Rumpelstiltskin.
You signed it!
He would have one day to relive his old bachelor ways
in exchange for one day of his life.
Little did he know the day he gave away was the day he was born.
Erasing his existence altogether.
-You don't know who I am, do you?
My life was perfect, and I'm never going to get it back.
Why did you sign it away to Rumpelstiltskin in the first place?
Because I didn't know what I had until it was gone, all right?
But, with the help of his friends and family, Shrek got his life back.
It felt like a really good closing chapter for him.
And it was 10 years of movies, it was a great way for us to kind of
put the exclamation point on his story, and on his life.
So is this Shrek's final chapter?
In the words of James Bond, never say never.
Right now, I think he is deserving of a great, long, super-duper vacation.
We don't have any current plans,
not to say that some years down the road from now,
we might not find the right story to bring him back.
Aw, it's all happy families.
But hang on! There's someone we forgotten.
I hope I'm not interrupting,
but I'm told you're the one to talk to about an ogre problem?
Yes, the deadly assassin sent out to kill Shrek.
Now, ye ogre, pray for mercy from...
Puss! In Boots.
The first time you see Puss in Boots, I think, is just genius.
You know, when he rolls up his hat and has big eyes,
and then he coughs out the hairball.
HE CHOKES AND COUGHS
What kind of assassin is this?!
Oh my God, I literally fell on the floor laughing.
Literally, fell on the floor laughing. That I literally did.
Oh, that is nasty!
I do a voice for him that is very breathy,
and he goes like this, "Puss in Boots!" and all this.
And there I think is where we found the source of comedy.
For you, baby, I could be.
He's a fantastic comedy character, Puss in Boots.
Anything with Puss in I find hilarious.
He finds friendship in the group.
It would be an honour to lay my life on the line for you.
And he forgets what is his purpose in the movie.
And he says, well, I may belong here. So he finds a family.
I don't feel any different. I look any different?
You still look like an ass to me.
And Puss, like any red-blooded male, has an eye for the ladies. Meow!
You're the love of my life. As are you.
And you, and, er... Ooh! Hi. I don't know you.
But I'd like to. CATS SCREECH
Oh, what a womaniser!
Yeah... Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't say a womaniser.
I wouldn't say that about him.
But he always has... I would say that he loves, you know, female cats.
A little bit more than normal.
And Puss proved such a hit with fans
he went from sidekick to star in his very own movie.
The persona of Antonio informed the way we could make a movie.
Pluck him from the Shrek universe,
but create a very distinct...
world for just him.
If he was cute already in the way he is,
imagine when he was a little kitty cat,
with a big head and those eyes!
When you scratch beyond the fur, you find that he's mischievous,
and he's got this kind of dark side that actually makes us laugh.
You made the cat angry. You do not want to make the cat angry.
So, what's the final ingredient for an everlasting fairytale?
Leave a giant footprint.
I travel all over the world all the time,
and it's amazing how far it reaches.
And that people constantly say to me how much they love the film
and what it means to them.
I got a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame.
Mickey Mouse had also gotten a star. And I think The Simpsons.
It's bigger than my little head can hold sometimes.
Wherever you travel around the world,
it is one of the most highly admired
and recognised characters of all time.
And where exactly do you go from Hollywood?
-Why, Drury Lane, of course.
-Sorry, John, we've done that gag.
We mean the real Drury Lane in London, home of Shrek The Musical.
Shrek The Musical came about via a conversation with Sam Mendes.
He said, you have the ingredients for a great musical.
It has a journey, it has a love story, it has a friendship.
It has a big heroic quest to it.
And so you should definitely think about making this into a musical.
We said, OK, if you do it with us.
It is a character that everybody loves and so much talent
and creativity has gone into making this character and the story right.
Eddie Murphy is very big shoes to step into.
I don't think you can get any bigger as a comedian.
To be a part of the Shrek legacy is without a doubt
one of the biggest privileges you could ever have.
# I got rain
# I got rain... #
It is part of this huge franchise
that has been for 10 years,
so to kind of even be a little bit involved in that
is quite an honour, really.
The journey into the land of musicals is a fitting legacy
for the world's most famous ogre.
So there we have it.
Four magical movies, a swamp full of lovable characters,
and a whole decade since a smelly, green ogre came crashing into our world.
For the last 10 years, it has been such a blessing.
I feel so blessed to be a part of Shrek.
And it's just, it has changed my life.
I feel privileged that I had the opportunity
of being part of something that I loved before I was part of it.
-I'm very proud.
-It's such a smart film.
You look at something like that - it'll last for ever.
It's a glorious 10 years of working with the smartest, funniest people in the world.
And it was all just kind of amazing.
It's innocent and sweet. They're very touching, I think.
It was great to be involved.
They're four brilliant films.
It really set a standard of what people can do in animation.
I've been making movies 28 years,
I've done all different types of pictures.
The Shrek series is just some of the proudest work
that I've been involved with.
I'm very proud of Shrek.
It's been a pleasure to be associated with something
where everybody just wanted it to be great.
That's the greatest gift of the movie,
how much laughter it has brought to so many people.
And that's the reward.
I was hoping this would be a happy ending!
Well, Donkey, you're in luck.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
David Tennant narrates a celebratory look at how an ogre with a Scottish accent single-handedly changed the face of animation. It features exclusive interviews with the creative geniuses behind the award-winning animation and the voices that brought the story to life, including Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Saunders and Shrek himself, Mike Myers.