When DreamWorks Punished Animators By Making Them Work On “Shrek”

Given that the first three Shrek movies have made more than $2 billion, it would appear that any self-respecting animator would be thrilled to be assigned to the movie series. However, if back in 1996 if you asked DreamWorks what the studio thought of the grouchy green giant, the answer would have been bleak. That’s because Shrek was considered the “ugly stepchild” of the studio’s animation wing at the time. Before its 2001 release, DreamWorks considered Shrek a low-budget waste of time that animators were banished to if they failed on other projects. In fact, animators, who referred to working on Shrek as being sent to the Gulag, even dubbed the demotion as “being Shreked.” Ultimately, the joke was on DreamWorks. Shrek wound up generating $484 million in sales and received the first-ever Oscar for Best Animated Feature. A $919 million worldwide take also surpassed Finding Nemo as the highest-grossing animated film of all time.