Shrek was based on Norfolk people, DreamWorks admits

Shrek and chums based on Norfolk characters (Image: DreamWorks)

Flatulent ogre Shrek was based on people a DreamWorks executive observed in Norfolk, it has emerged.

As film fans celebrate 20 years since Shrek was released, the new background to how Shrek was devised is fascinating.

Film production suit at DreamWorks, Lorraine Fisher, 34, had strayed into Norfolk while visiting relatives in Suffolk in the UK in 1999.

It was during a brief drive around Norfolk that she observed weird-looking locals living in hovels in the woods.

One gang, thought to be a family group, was large and disfigured, with misshapen ears and faces and strange yellowy-green colour.

They had donkeys for pulling water from wells and also as a form of transport to a Kingdom of Far Away called Norwich.

The Norfolk locals wore rudimentary clothing make from animal leather and fur. But it barely covered their tiny, crooked privates.

Ms Fisher’s extraordinary revelations were in a typed memo to fellow executives at DreamWorks, the huge animated film production company.

And her memo was released by DreamWorks today to mark the 20th anniversary of Shrek.

She recounted how the people of Norfolk were like nothing she had ever seen before. “It’s like stepping back 500 years,” she wrote. “The people have terrible disfigurements, presumably after generations of inbreeding.

“I feel there is a character we could develop based on how these Norfolk simpletons look and act.”

And the rest, as they say, is cinematic history.

Suffolk man Steve Walshe said today: “Norfolk people will probably take all this as a compliment.”

Norfolk mugs

The Suffolk Gazette celebrates the fact it is not in Norfolk by producing some special mugs that you really should buy. See the whole collection at Dirty Old Goat mugs, or buy direct from the items below…

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