Ever since Antz debuted in 1998, Dreamworks Animation has been at the forefront of our childhood moviegoing experiences. With features such as Chicken Run, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and, of course, Shrek, Dreamworks has produced 35 movies over 20 years and cemented itself as a leading animated powerhouse.
Over the last few years, however, as fans of the movies have grown up (Shrek came out in 2001, just in case you want to feel really old), the online reactions have veered from the funny to the absurd, to the downright terrifying. Memes that push the boundaries of surrealism always tend to be just that little bit funnier, but when you throw that into a pot with some of the most beloved children’s movies of the last 20 years, it touches on something that your brain knows just shouldn’t be and feels just plain wrong. Then there’s Bee Movie, a film so bad that it’s gone back around the spectrum to being good again. Whether fans love it ironically or not, it’s acquired something of a cult following online that is enough to give the average person nightmares on its own. Here CBR brings you the funniest Dreamworks memes that are guaranteed to fuel your nightmares!
15 TIME WELL SPENT
So maybe this meme takes the joke to an extreme length, but it’s based on a very real phenomenon over on YouTube. Devoting 57 days of your life to watching Antz, Bee Movie, Marmaduke and the Nutshack theme over and over again sounds like a nightmarish existence to us, but maybe that will float your boat. If so, there are similar real videos out there for you to “enjoy.”
The most popular one of these condenses the entire Bee Movie into about seven minutes, doubling the speed every time the word “bee” is spoken. It gets unwatchable by the sixth minute, but it’s out there. There are also ones that duplicate the trailer every time they say “bee,” and even one that speeds up The Fellowship of the Ring every time they say “ring,” which reduces the three and a half hour runtime to about eight minutes.
14 THE BIRDS AND THE BEES AND THE DONKEYS
We strongly advise you don’t actually spend any time wondering how this happened, as it will lead you down a dark path usually only reserved for the more twisted corners of the fan-fiction universe. If you insist on having an answer to just how an averagely sized donkey and a 50-foot dragon could produce such adorable offspring, let’s just say “magic” and leave it at that.
It’s one of the funnier moments from the original Shrek movie, when the titular hero and his donkey compatriot come face to face with a fire-breathing dragon, only for it to fall in love with Donkey rather than want to kill them. It’s a perfect example of the subversion of standard fairy tale tropes that made Shrek such a hit in the first place.
It may seem hard to believe at first, but there’s actually an entire industry devoted to these sort of knock-off brand movies, ones that skirt blatant copyright theft by being just different enough from what they’re based on, but still instantly recognizable. Take a look at Asylum, the independent movie studio that has produced such low budget, straight-to-video pictures as Snakes on a Train, Transmorphers and Sunday School Musical.
“The Sting is in the Tail” is the tagline for Plan Bee, the 2007 movie based on The Bee Movie, and there certainly is a sting if you go into this movie hoping for something that’s even half as good as the already-pretty-bad Bee Movie. Plus, the animation looks pretty scary, nowhere near the quality of a Dreamworks picture.
12 NEVER SKIPPING LEG DAY
Believe us when we say that this is not the most horrifying creation out there in the world of fan art (seriously, don’t go looking). Heck, this isn’t even the worst in the niche Shrek fan art market, and that world can get wild. Even so, this is a crazy sketch to turn up online.
Look, we all doodle when we’re a little bored. At work, at school, in your dentist’s waiting room, wherever, we’ve all let our mind wander with a pen and a blank piece of paper. Have you ever drawn a Shrek with a large head and his body replaced by long legs in fishnet stockings, looking at you in a romantic way? If you said yes to that, then maybe you should just keep it to yourself.
11 UNHOLY UNION
Maybe you were thinking to yourself “The Bee Movie was great, but I wish it had more emojis in it.” Or just maybe you wished there was more human/bee relationships in the Emoji Movie. If either of those is true, then have we got a meme for you! Also maybe seek some help? Because both of those movies are terrible.
Quite why someone has done this, we may never know. Some people just want to watch the world burn, but this meme combines perhaps the two worst movies to have a bright yellow lead character ever made, and honestly, we can’t even imagine how this crossover from hell would work. Also? Quite frankly? We don’t particularly want to know. Let’s just leave this fantasy in the head of whomever created it, shall we? Well, after you gaze into its horrific depths here, of course. Then put it back.
10 FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN
“Shrek is Love. Shrek is Life.” At this point, this feels like a mantra etched in the stone archways above the hallowed halls of the Shrek Meme Community, but don’t let this weird attempt at a motivational life lesson distract you from the meme above it. The ungodly mash-up of Shrek and the Fifty Shades of Grey book series is something that you cannot think about too hard or you’ll never sleep again.
We know that relationships are a major part of Shrek. We’ve already looked at Donkey and the dragon, and it’s true that Shrek, Fiona and their journey towards a life together are a major focal point of all the movies. What we don’t need to see or even think about is what happens once that swamp door closes at night, or what a freaky “Red Room” would look like for two fairytale ogres.
9 HIDDEN GEM
Road to El Dorado is a great movie, and if you’ve not seen the early Dreamworks feature then it’s worth tracking down. It tells the story of two con artists named Tulio and Miguel who obtain a map to the fabled legendary city of El Dorado, and head out to reap its fabled treasures.
The two leads -- played by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh -- are what make this 2000 movie special. With their odd-couple bickering, Tulio and Miguel make for a fun “buddy road trip” vibe that sells the majority of the humor of the movie. We have to admit that we missed this moment, however, and while it was probably convenient to the plot to have that book squirrel away behind such a flimsy piece of cloth, the idea that he has some form of a compartment inside his chest is enough to give us the creeps.
8 SHOWER BUDDY
This is where we start to dive a little deeper down the Shrek fanbase rabbit hole, as for most of us, when we walk past this novelty bottle of shampoo, we wouldn’t instantly think about how it would feel to have Shrek (and his hazel eyes) stare at us while we stand there in the shower. And yet, this is the door this meme opens in our brains. Can we ever close it again?
Well, we certainly can’t ever look at these shampoo bottles in the same way again. If we ever bought this then we’d probably have to turn it around so that we’re not being stared at, but if that’s what it takes to make sure we stay fresh and clean with the Green Apple goodness of a bottle of 2-in-1 Shrek shampoo.
7 FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY
Don’t let the image fool you: this isn’t a sad moment between two humans of equal size, this is a touching scene between a woman and a bee. Yes, we’re back to The Bee Movie, and the complicated relationship between Barry B. Benson (again, this guy’s a bee) and Vanessa Bloome.
The plot of the movie revolves around Barry suing the human race for their exploitation of bees. It’s not the smartest movie in the world, but seeing as it was based off a joke made by lead star Jerry Seinfeld, we can forgive it for what it is. What feels a little off is the idea that this is the kind of joke that sits in the middle of a kids movie. It feels pretty strong, but what would be more of a nightmare is having to explain to the little children in the audience exactly what that kind of pact is.
6 SON, YOU ARE DISAPPOINT
There’s almost no chance that this is real, but even if it’s fake, it’s pretty funny. You could almost replace the image that sits behind that text with anything -- and it probably has been, many times -- but this one is almost perfect.
It fits with the crazy image of the Shrek fanbase that’s being built up over these memes that someone would not only choose to make a video remix of Shrek shouting “what are you doing in my swamp?” but that someone else would play said video over a Bluetooth speaker and annoy their parents. Maybe “annoy” isn’t the right word, maybe “extremely concerned and calling a therapist at the same time as texting their child about their choices in YouTube searches” is more appropriate.
5 JIVIN' IN THE HIVE
We’ve all been there: you text that person you like with a suggestive message, maybe a winking emoji; next thing you know they’re in your room, maybe on your bed, watching Bee Movie on Netflix. And we all know where that leads, right? Yeah, they’re probably walking straight out, but who cares? You get to watch Bee Movie again! It’s win-win really.
It’s bad enough mixing these sort of thoughts with a film like The Bee Movie, but in all honesty, the movie doesn’t help itself, adding romantic subtext between a bee and a human that just feels a little weird. Is this perhaps the worst movie to put on when someone comes over for Netflix and Chill? That’s another list for another time, but surely this is a competitor.
What could this possibly be from?! Is it a glitch in a Shrek based video game, or is it a clip from one of the movies that got left on the cutting room floor. Or is this exactly the face you pull when, indeed, Shrek intensifies? If that’s the case, how exactly do you intensify the Shrek in your life? Do you have to watch every movie one after another until your face contorts into the Eldritch horror that we see in this meme?
It’s certainly possible, at this point, there have been more to the Shrek franchise than you may think. Aside from the four feature films, there have been two television specials, a Puss-in-Boots spin-off movie and TV series, a second Puss-in-Boots movie on the way and no less than seven short films. If you watched all of those in a row, your face might do the same thing.
3 FOWL PLAY
Chicken Run was the first feature film produced by Aardman Animation, the famous stop-motion studio behind Wallace and Gromit, and released through Dreamworks. It featured a strong cast that includes Jane Horrocks and Mel Gibson, and focused on a group of chickens trying to escape from a farm that will soon be turning them into pies.
Despite the dark premise, it’s a light-hearted family film, so seeing a meme like this takes the movie to an even darker place is enough to make even the strongest fans shed a tear. Poor Edwina. We know that the movie ended happily, as all kids movies tend to do, but still, seeing these two images next to each other can give you nightmares, thinking about those unfortunate claymation chickens meeting an untimely end.
2 BRINGING SHREKSY BACK
First of all, that’s a pretty great pun. If this person’s telling the truth and they dreamed that, then their subconscious has a pretty good sense of humor (even if being trans and bisexual are two different things). Anyway, we’d love to see a movie that embraces more gender diversity, especially in a fun children’s feature that is as educational as it is entertaining. Hey, the Shrek movies already promote positive body image and donkey/dragon relations, so it wouldn’t be too big of a leap.
There’s something about the accompanying picture, however, that just does not feel right. We’ve already seen in Fiona that Ogre’s can be pretty, but Shrek seems to miss the mark with his excessive purple eyeshadow and bows around his ears. While Shrek and Fiona seem like a perfect match usually, Fiona is definitely out of this Shrek’s league.
The Bee Movie is one of the strangest kids movies of all time, not just in the Dreamworks catalog. For one thing, there aren’t many other films that openly explore the idea of a romantic relationship developing between an adult human woman and an average bee, but that’s what this movie does.
It’s far more subtle than the memes would lead you to believe, but there’s still a lot of subtext in the movie, like in the scene above. She’s wearing a sexy yellow and black dress, and if that’s not for his benefit then we don’t know what it’s for. In this meme, though, it’s the pun that really makes it. It’s not normally something to joke about, but that Tumblr user saw an opening and they went for it. Still enough to keep you awake at night, though.