Top 10 Unscripted Moments That Were Kept in DreamWorks Movies
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
THese unscripted DreamWorks moments were better out than in. For this list, we'll be looking at our favorite ad-libbed lines, quips, and moments that were too good to leave out of the final film. Our countdown includes "Megamind," "Flushed Away," "Shrek," and more!
Top 10 Unscripted Moments in DreamWorks Movies
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unscripted Moments in DreamWorks Movies
For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite ad-libbed lines, quips, and moments that were too good to leave out of the final film.
Which unscripted moment can’t you imagine your favorite DreamWorks film without? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Shrek’s “Down with the Kids”
“Shrek the Third” (2007)
In the franchise's third installment, Shrek tries to persuade Fiona’s cousin Artie to take over royal duties. But convincing the potential heir proves to be a tougher challenge than expected. So, like any out-of-touch adult trying to get through to the youth, Shrek tries to use young person lingo. But Artie’s not particularly impressed. However, we are since apparently Mike Meyers improvised all that dialogue. It takes real talent to make outdated slang as hilarious as he does. We raise our roofs to Meyers’ commitment here. Plus, it does lead to a hilarious retort from Artie that is all too relatable and takes us back to our teen days.
#9: Much of the “Kung Fu Panda” Franchise
“Kung Fu Panda” Franchise (2008-)
With a cast led by the hilarious Jack Black, it seems like some improvisation would be inevitable. Several cast members have confirmed they were allowed to go off-script to their heart’s content. According to executive producer Shaunt Nigoghossian, (Shawn NiGO-GO-shn) James Hong, who voices Mr. Ping, would do “things that just no one would ever think to come up with.” Meanwhile, Master Viper actress Lucy Liu did speak about how complicated working without a script can be. However, she admitted that she also found it exciting. And, as you’d expect, Jack Black ran wild with this free rein at the encouragement of the creative team. The Po actor is also the reason that in 2008 we were all yelling.
#8: The Fake Phone Number
“Monsters vs Aliens” (2009)
As is common practice in the animation world, the “Monsters vs. Aliens” cast was mostly brought in separately to record their lines. Co-director Conrad Vernon explained that finding a talented comedic cast who could mine comedy gold on a dime was vital. As one example, the hilarious line from Seth Rogen’ B.O.B about being snubbed by Jell-o was apparently improvised. The cast also included comedy giants like Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson and more. Thanks to clever casting, when President Hathaway discovers the alien’s taste for lead, Colbert was able to think up this witty retort. These lines never get old!
#7: Improv across Metro City
With improv experts like Will Ferrell and Tina Fey at the forefront of this villain-turned-hero animation, who even needs a script? Ok, okay, so we’ll admit that “Megamind” absolutely had a script. But they were encouraged to play with it and make changes wherever they wanted. Breaking from typical animation tradition, the SNL alums attended recording sessions together so they could bounce off one another. Apparently, even Brad Pitt, who voiced Metro Man, offered some off-the-cuff quips that made their way into the movie. According to Tom McGrath, the director, about 40% of the film was improvised. And didn’t they do a super job?!
#6: Seinfeld Buzzes Around the Recording Studio
“Bee Movie” (2007)
A master comedian like Jerry Seinfeld could easily throw out new jokes while buzzing about behind the scenes of this meme worthy movie. For instance, remember that scene where Renée Zellweger’s Vanessa Bloome pushes Seinfeld’s Barry B. Benson to try some coffee? The comedian said that he told the actress to keep insisting the bee take a sip while he'd continue to refuse. In the end, the scene audiences ultimately saw was primarily made up of this impromptu back and forth. Seinfeld was correct in saying that moments like these breathe life into the story. Also, thanks to Chris Rock, the bee's knees of improv, Mooseblood the Mosquito went from being just a small cameo role to one of the film's standout characters.
#5: Ice-Cold Rita
“Flushed Away” (2006)
You can’t cast a Broadway legend and not expect him to sing at some point — even if he has to adlib the song himself. This was certainly true for this song and dance man who voiced protagonist Roddy in this 2006 animated flick. As the story goes, Hugh Jackman was meant to sing during the film. However, the rights to the still unnamed track were unavailable for some unexplained reason. So instead, the actor just came up with “Ice-Cold Rita” on the spot. We knew he was a triple threat. But we didn’t know he was as quick on his feet when it came to making up lyrics as he is when dancing across a stage.
#4: Hail King Julien
“Madagascar” Franchise (2005-)
As we’ve already mentioned, Chris Rock’s no stranger to improv. So you won’t be surprised to learn he adlibbed a lot as Marty the Zebra. Apparently, the takes that didn't make the final cut were used to voice the dazzle of zebras we meet in the sequel. But we can’t talk about improv without bowing down to Sacha Baron Cohen’s kooky King Julien. The character was initially only meant to have a couple of lines. However, after the actor auditioned with an eight-minute long piece with a distinctive accent, they had no choice but to “move him, move him” into a more prominent role. King Julien doesn't deserve any less.
#3: Fiona’s Burp
“Shrek” became one of DreamWorks’ most famous franchises by wittily subverting the traditional fairytale genre. After its stars were given plenty of space to improvise, we got some of the franchise’ most unforgettable lines. For instance, Mike Meyers’ humorous reprimand for a director who got on his nerves made its way into the movie. Meyers also improvised the bit where Shrek warms up the crowd after crashing Fiona and Lord Farquaad’s wedding. Eddie Murphy’s funny parfait quip was also improv. However, arguably the most impressive adlib happened by complete chance. While recording her lines, Diaz drank a soda and …. Murphy reacted in character, creating one of the film’s most memorable moments. Who knew pop could lead to something soda-lightful?
#2: “Thank You for Nothing”
“How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)
Much like learning to train a dragon, the directors let their witty ensemble feel their way around their dialogue. This means we have tons of ad libbed lines to point towards. We love the very quotable. But the most prominent improvised line made such a major impact that it was even used for promotional purposes. Thanks to some quick thinking from Hiccup actor Jay Baruchel, we all have the perfect comedic line to whip out when things don’t go our way. The on-the-spot hilarity continued into the film’s sequel. Craig Ferguson’s Gobber provided one of our favorite moments when he said... His improvised quip brings some well-timed levity to Stoick and Valka’s tense reunion.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Afro Circus, “Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” (2012)
While The Script Instructed to Hum the Tune, Chris Rock Added Lyrics
Kristen Wiig, The Improv Queen, “How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)
We Wouldn’t Expect Anything Less from This Comedy Icon
“Thunder Sisters,” “The Croods: A New Age” (2020)
While This Line Wasn’t Scripted, the Delivery Was Spot On
Where’s Your Optimism?, “Over the Hedge” (2006)
We Guess Someone Didn’t Read the Entire Script?
#1: The Road to a Hilarious Movie
“The Road to El Dorado” (2000)
This film also snubbed traditional animation protocol and had its actors share a recording booth Since Tulio and Miguel’s friendship is at the heart of the film, it was important that audiences completely bought that they were close. So, the actors were given free rein to experiment and bounce off one another while recording their lines. We think we can all agree that this method paid off. The chemistry between Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh really helps bring their characters to life and makes every moment we share with them invigorating. It’s also thanks to their on-the-spot comedy that many of us can casually drop the word “loquacious” into conversations. This movie is the El Dorado of unscripted moments.