SHREK: Never-Before-Seen Test Footage Reveals An Early Take On The Ogre That's Pure Nightmare Fuel

SHREK: Never-Before-Seen Test Footage Reveals An Early Take On The Ogre That's Pure Nightmare Fuel SHREK: Never-Before-Seen Test Footage Reveals An Early Take On The Ogre That's Pure Nightmare Fuel

Some early test footage from 2001's Shrek has found its way online, and if you already thought Mike Myers' ogre was ugly, trust us when we say the final design has nothing on whatever this is meant to be!

By JoshWilding - Nov 28, 2023 12:11 PM EST
Filed Under: Animated Features
Source: Toonado.com

Shrek very quickly became a hit when it was released in 2001, grossing a whopping $491.8 million at the worldwide box office from a $60 million budget. The quirky fairytale boasted an impressive cast and went on to spawn multiple sequels, spin-offs, and merchandising opportunities for DreamWorks Animation. 

Shrek is an undeniably unique character and one it's easy to imagine falling flat without the right balance of character design, performance, and tone. However, in some test footage which is pure nightmare fuel, we see just how strange the movie - and lead protagonist - could have been. 

Set to "James Brown’s I Got You (I Feel Good)," the brief video shows a hideous Shrek enjoying a stroll before brutally dispatching a would-be mugger. 

The whole thing feels oddly dark, while the visuals are more creepy than endearing. We're guessing this was from a very early stage in the development process, anyway, and it's not at all surprising that DreamWorks later chose to make the title character a little more friendly. 

Original plans called for Shrek to be a motion-capture project, though the technology wasn't really there yet and the end result didn't work. The lead character also underwent significant changes as Chris Farley recorded nearly all of Shrek's dialogue before he passed away. Mike Myers was then enlisted to replace him, though he ended up re-recording all of Shrek's lines after realising he'd sound better with a Scottish accent. 

Following four Shrek movies, two Puss in Boots spin-offs, various specials and TV shows, and even a stage musical adaptation, a fifth Shrek movie is believed to finally be on the way. 

Illumination's Chris Meledandri is helping DreamWorks develop the next instalment and recently revealed his intentions to recruit the original voice cast (including Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy).

"It’s not that dissimilar to the process that we went through with 'Mario,' where you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honor those core elements," he said. "And then you’re hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that."

"We anticipate the cast coming back. Talks are starting now, and every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return."

While we wait for news on Shrek 5, you can check out this weird test footage (via Toonado.com) below.

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Bucnastydathird - 11/28/2023, 12:19 PM
Wtf
garu - 11/28/2023, 12:24 PM
hahahhahaha
MahN166A - 11/28/2023, 12:28 PM
I remember seeing this surface without any of the music or in its entirety……
[frick] man, I wish I hadn’t then and I wish I hadn’t now.

At least we can acknowledge that made significant improvements with the final film.
EarlChai - 11/28/2023, 12:45 PM
Sigh...

It was a book *first*.
Evansly - 11/28/2023, 7:41 PM
@EarlChai - Exactly, it's accurate to the original.
UncleHarm1 - 11/29/2023, 2:31 PM
@Evansly - Is he Scottish in the book? If not then that's a race swap, boycott Shrek...
MosquitoFarmer - 11/28/2023, 12:51 PM
And it's instances like these where media staying lost can be appreciated.
bkmeijer1 - 11/28/2023, 12:57 PM
At first I thought the thumbnail was a screengrab taken from the test footage and thought "how bad can it be?" And then I saw the footage. Really bad it seems
WhatIfRickJames - 11/28/2023, 1:05 PM
This is the exact representation of the book. Not nightmare fuel at all. The Polar Express however….
CoHost - 11/28/2023, 2:29 PM
The point of Shrek is that he's ugly so this footage makes sense.
Origame - 11/28/2023, 4:54 PM
@CoHost - thats part of why I support accuracy. Sometimes you just don't know why something is the way it is.
LSHF - 11/28/2023, 3:12 PM
There is nothing I've seen in the last several decades that has inspired nightmares.
KurtLazner - 11/29/2023, 2:59 AM
Hate to break it to you but this footage has been on the internet for over a decade now lol
theFUZZ008 - 11/29/2023, 1:51 PM
Old. And, it was only a test.

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