Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In honor of Shrek's 20th anniversary, let's look back at VMAN's cursed, horny Shrek-themed spread

Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz—we mean, Fiona and Shrek
Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz—we mean, Fiona and Shrek
Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)

It’s been 20 years since William Steig’s cranky ogre came to life on the big screen. The Shrek franchise spans four movies, one Puss In Boots spin-off, and a 4-D attraction allowing DreamWorks to give the middle finger to Disney by having one of the most wildly successful animated franchises, rivaling Pixar’s biggest franchise, Toy Story. But perhaps one thing DreamWorks wasn’t expecting Shrek to accomplish was getting a bizarre, sexy magazine spread.

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In 2010, while promoting the fourth movie, Shrek Forever After, V Magazine offshoot VMAN published a photo spread where Shrek and the gang were photoshopped next to scantily clad models. Donkey—who gets it on with Dragon (a.k.a. Elizabeth) in the movies so he knows a thing or two in the bedroom—was pictured next to a model in lingerie. She cuddles up to him while a shirtless man sits in bed with a puzzled face. Then there’s the equally puzzling picture where two shirtless men are seemingly fighting over warrior Fiona, who clearly gives zero fucks about these men (she’s a married lady, lest you forget). But perhaps the weirdest one includes a shirtless man wearing a cardigan while sensually feeding grapes to Puss In Boots. Is he trying to seduce the cat? Sure looks like it!

It was “adult” enough that Paramount and DreamWorks Animation reps told The Hollywood Reporter that they regretted allowing the magazine to feature characters from a family-friendly franchise in such a compromising position. According to THR, the magazine had pitched it to DreamWorks as being similar to the very SFW Harper’s Bazaar spread featuring the Simpsons wearing designer digs. There was no mention of weird, animated almost-bestiality.

“While we do respect VMAN’s creative vision, the shoot did not turn out the way originally envisioned when the idea was first presented by the magazine,” a Paramount spokesperson told THR. “In hindsight, we would have declined to include the Shrek characters in such a magazine spread.”

But nearly 11 years later, people are still apparently horny for ogres. Artist Malek Lazri makes animated movie-themed sex toys, and one of his latest fleshlights is a penetrable sex ear. You do you, you freaks.