For years Shrek was considered the ugly stepchild of the DreamWorks empire.

The way director Andrew Adamson saw it, co-founder of the company Jeffrey Katzenberg “I’ve been going through his ‘I want to do serious adult animation,'” Adamson recently told Inverse. And the flatulent, antisocial, combative AF ogre didn’t exactly fit the bill. “That was kind of a bastard kid,” Adamson continued. “It was in large part the island of the outsiders. Anyone who wasn’t working on another project was sent to Shrek.”

Agreed publisher Sim Evan-Jones: “The Shrek gang always had a bit of a rebel spirit. There was a shared empathy that everyone wanted to do things in unconventional ways.”

So they stuck further afield, writing their crude jokes and perfecting their computer-generated animation. And when Katzenberg saw the finished project – in which a repulsive ogre joins a clever donkey to save a princess in a send-up of every animated film that came before it – he was a believer.

“We had a demonstration where we got something really great,” Adamson recalled. “And I remember Jeffrey later saying to me, ‘Get ready for this. It can only happen once in your life.'”