A Realistic Shrek As Imagined By AI Is Haunting

The AI-generated images almost give the aesthetic of “Shrek” as a horror movie. It kind of works; after all, there are things only adults would pick up on in “Shrek” from slightly dirty jokes to some pretty dark imagery. But the final product could’ve been a lot darker had the team behind the scenes gone with some original ideas. 

Some “Shrek” test footage has surfaced featuring Chris Farley voicing the ogre. The character design is definitely a bit rougher around the edges instead of the “cute in an ugly way” look that wound up in the movie. That’s not all; in the early days of production, “Shrek” was planned to have a much darker color palette. Ruben Hickman worked as a concept artist for the animated film, and he told Vice Media about how some of the earlier drawings of “Shrek” were “much more underground comic, edgy, a lot darker. The color scheme was much more experimental.”

The film the world ultimately saw may be a bit edgier compared to what one might find with Disney animated films, but it’s still a fairly colorful and whimsical movie. Hickman admitted this was for the best: “A dark color scheme was not going to go over in a mass audience the way that ‘Shrek’ did.” Thanks to AI, audiences don’t have to wonder what an edgier Shrek would look like. He’s there in all of his disgusting glory. Something tells us his layers are malevolent all the way through. 

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