Before ]Mike Myers ever voiced the titular Shrek for four very successful films and a few TV specials, the late Chris Farley was tapped to play the lovable green ogre. In fact, reports say that the comedian had actually recorded up to 95% of the voice work before his passing. With that in mind, one has to wonder what would have the film sounded like had DreamWorks animation just released it.
Now a newly released video is showing how widely different the one Farley voiced would have been had the animated studio just stuck with it as opposed to the one Myers voiced. Check it out below.
The video comes from Bedhead Berine, and it reveals a somewhat darker version of Shrek, more so than the one that Myers voiced in the four films. The story reel cut also confirms that these were just early designs, the Shrek in the video is more lanky and isn’t nearly as bulky as the one we know. Also the accents couldn’t be any more different, it seemed like an early version of the story wanted to channel Farley’s angry but sweet tone. But after his passing, DreamWorks decided to revamp the story, and go with something different by having Myers do something a bit more cynical and selfish. But based on the story, it’s not hard to see why Dreamworks wanted Farley to voice Shrek.
As we all know, voice recording for an animated film isn’t anything like live-action. It is recorded over a period of a few months, sometimes even a year, with the actors coming in for hours of recording sessions on different days. Sometimes these actors don’t even get to record together with their fellow cast mates given their scheduling. So we don’t know if Farley was actually in studio with Eddie Murphy (who voiced Donkey) at the time, but the reel is cut so well, we might as well believe the two were together recording the dialogue. Even if Dreamworks had stuck with the 95% of voice work that Farley had completed, there may have been a few things that the studio needed to add, and with his passing, they would have been unable to do that. Still, it would have been interesting to see what it would have been like to hear Farley do some voice work.
The song at the end is “Innocent When You Dream” by Tom Waits.