Shrek's signature Scottish brogue went through a couple of major changes before audiences fell in love with the big green ogre. Saturday Night Live vet Chris Farley was originally supposed to voice the character, but died before he could finish recording his lines; after his passing, Farley's fellow SNL alum Mike Myers stepped in. It wasn't until after roughly a third of the movie had been animated, however, that Myers decided Shrek should be Scottish.
Myers' reasoning was that since the movie's villain, Lord Farquaad, spoke with an upper-class English accent, Shrek should sound more blue-collar, to highlight the difference between them. He also felt that the Scottish accent lent itself better to dramatic, abrupt shifts in tone and would allow him to emote in a more exaggerated fashion.
DreamWorks exec Jeffrey Katzenberg pegged the cost of reworking the already animated scenes at $4 to $5 million—roughly 10 percent of the movie's overall budget. Understandably reluctant to part with that kind of money but willing to trust his star's process, he agreed—and the rest is blockbuster franchise history.