Cosplay based on characters from some of DreamWorks’ most famous films isn’t all that easy to pull off; since a vast majority of their mascots are animals, cosplaying as them isn’t as simple as committing to a different style of dress. What’s more, most of their stories feature fantastical creatures which can’t easily be paralleled in the real world at all, so fans definitely have to put some effort in to sell a costume. Cosplayers won’t simply be able to paint themselves green and call themselves Shrek—it takes much more thought than that.
That said, there are definitely more than a handful of human characters to choose from should copious amounts of makeup and potential prosthetic appendages come across as a bit too much. Shrek’s wife Fiona, for instance, often seems to be a great choice for entry-level cosplayers as well as professionals, and there’s an entire Nordic tribe of humans to choose from in the How to Train Your Dragon films.
DreamWorks has also produced a bunch of films which people seem to have forgotten about, most of which coming from their earlier years. As much as everyone enjoys cosplays of Po from Kung Fu Panda or Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2, it would be nice to see more of Sinbad or the hapless duo of adventurers from Road to El Dorado. Regardless, it’s nice to see these animated classics receive some much-deserved attention, and here are 23 cosplay roles that are impossible to do (but fans nailed).
A time-honored coming-of-age tale woven around a unique man versus dragon narrative, How to Train Your Dragon explores how friends can be found in the most unlikely of creatures. The movie also featured a decidedly-DreamWorks 3D art style, and it certainly caught the eye of this cosplayer. Liui Aquino, the man behind this incredibly-detailed portrayal of Hiccup, payed so much attention to costuming that the character may as well have walked right out of the silver screen. A good amount of both time and money was clearly put into this outfit, and Aquino definitely deserves the respect of his fellow cosplayers and How to Train Your Dragon fans.
22 Tigress And Crane
The animated Jack Black comedy vehicle Kung Fu Panda may be over a decade old at this point, but that doesn’t mean that fans have given up on it. In fact, the world of Kung Fu Panda cosplay is a bright and lively one, and, given how difficult some of the movie’s characters are to pull off accurately, many are really dedicated to what they are doing. For instance, take a look at this excellent duo cosplay of Tigress and Crane by AuroraSaber. Neither of these characters are even vaguely human, and yet they totally convey who they are while remaining faithful to the source material. Brilliantly contrasting and expertly executed, this semi-obscure Cosplay would make Master Shifu proud.
The long lost mother of Hiccup and wife of Stoick the Vast, Valka is a mysterious and enigmatic figure from DreamWork’s How to Train Your Dragon that would be pretty difficult for an amateur cosplayer to pull off. Fortunately, cosplayer Kamikami is no mere amateur, and her portrayal of this character is nothing short of astounding. The blue body armor and creepy tendril mask definitely weren’t finished overnight, and the whole costume is startlingly accurate. What’s more, she’s even made a spot-on version of Valka’s iconic orange shield and hooked staff, which absolutely completes the whole ensemble. Those who haven’t seen the movie would definitely be pretty frightened by the sight of this cosplayer in a dark alley.
20 Shrek And Fiona
2001’s Mike Meyer’s led animated comedy Shrek is a hilarious twist on the time-honored fantasy tale, and it has managed to live on through a dedicated fan base and a mostly sarcastic communal affinity for Smash Mouth’s mega-hit All-Star. There are tons of lazy Shrek and Fiona cosplays out there, but this is absolutely not one of them. In fact, this is almost horrifically accurate. Honestly, it’s so good that one could be forgiven for thinking that this came straight from the set of some yet-to-be-revealed live-action Shrek adaptation. Nobody could have done a better job of bringing this fictitious couple to life, and they deserve some major props after everyone gets over just how unnervingly realistic they look.
19 Stoick The Vast
This broad-shouldered fellow is none other than Stoick the Vast, father of Hiccup and leader of the Hairy Hooligans tribe in the first two How to Train Your Dragon films. Though he never really saw eye-to-eye with his son, he was nevertheless an interesting character, mostly because his visual design is so compelling. He’s a perfect choice for cosplay, and cosplayer MattEleven donned the iconic horned helmet back in 2015. Though his proportions are impossibly large in the film, MattEleven definitely does a great job of conveying his size in this adaptation. When people think of the quintessential viking character, Stoick the Vast is essentially more or less what comes to mind, and this cosplay totally nails what would otherwise be a fairly difficult design to pull off.
18 Jack Frost
DreamWork’s 2012 film Rise of the Guardians generally isn’t all that well-remembered among casual moviegoers today. That said, dedicated studio fans still have a soft spot for this relative flop and its main character Jack Frost. When he’s not written into a relationship with Frozen’s Elsa in some questionable fan fiction, he’s seen in awesome cosplays like this one done a few years ago by cosplayer APHIN. He’s got Jack’s look and mannerisms down pat, and he would be a shoo-in if a live version of the film were ever to exist. Though Rise of the Guardians didn’t compare to hits like Shrek or Madagascar at the box office, cosplays like this help to remind fans that some good did come from the film.
Everyone remembers the masculine odd-one-out in the Shrek series. Forever on the fringes of true princess-dom, it’s hard not to feel for this often misunderstood character. That said, while Doris doesn’t often get much attention in the films and isn’t usually taken seriously, this cosplayer absolutely nailed the look. Doris is definitely easier to pull off than some of the franchise’s more fantastical creatures, but it still isn’t as easy as putting on too much makeup and calling it a day. This cosplayer really seems to have the character’s typical gruff, displeased and disinterested persona down, and that’s all conveyed by the apparently gruff, disgruntled facial expression. It’s hard to know if we’ll ever see a Shrek movie again, but, if we do, Doris had better be in it.
16 Astrid Hofferson
The yin to How to Train Your Dragon protagonist Hiccup’s yang, Astrid Hofferson balances her confidante out perfectly. While she is bold and self-assured, Hiccup is passive and thoughtful. The sort of balance that wouldn’t seem to work in real life but often does, Astrid and Hiccup are two beloved characters frequently seen in couple cosplays. Here, cosplayer MikioOo brings the character's signature attitude while maintaining her beauty and unique Nordic flare. Those psuedo-iron shoulder plates and spiked battle skirt look like they took a ton of time to get right, and this showcases the amount of dedication required to really knock this kind of cosplay out of the park.
With his devilish super villain style and bulbous blue head, the Will Ferrell-voiced Megamind isn’t the easiest character to get right. There have been tons of amateur cosplayers who simply paint their heads and faces blue and call it a day. Of course, cosplay Ciana Parker took things up a notch and went all out on this unique adaptation. There aren’t really all that many well done Megamind cosplays—partially owing to the fact that the movie isn’t all that memorable—but this is definitely one of the few. The film may not have garnered all that much respect, but this cosplay certainly should!
14 Fairy Godmother
Though she’s made out to be a loving, beneficent character in Cinderella, that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to her portrayal in Shrek 2. The devious and conniving mother of antagonist Prince Charming, she always seems to be up to no good and out to get both Shrek and Fiona. While we can’t come to like her in the film, Shrek fans can definitely get behind this amazing cosplay put together by Pugoffka-sama. She looks exactly like the character in the movie—almost to an unnerving degree. The real question here, however, is if she could also pull off an epic cover of Bonnie Tyler’s I Need A Hero.
13 Master Shifu
In a story not all that dissimilar from the amazing fifth entry into the Star Wars franchise, the first Kung Fu Panda movie is all about an unlikely character learning to harness his true potential and overcoming evil in the process. While Jack Black’s Po had what it took to become a great warrior all along, he likely wouldn’t have achieved his full potential without the Jade Palace instructor Master Shifu. Shifu, a small red panda, certainly isn’t the most obvious choice when it comes to cosplay. However, cosplayer JonnyKotlyar made it work to great effect. Though he didn’t go full animal for this portrayal, he did bring over many of the visual aspects which make the character unique, and it’s an all-around adorable adaptation.
12 Puss In Boots
Of all the characters available to cosplay in the Shrek series of films, Puss in Boots has to be one of the most difficult. Aside from Donkey or his dragon wife, there really isn’t any easy way to make a person look like a wellington-wearing feline. That said, cosplayer vlad-simatta made a great Shrek 2 scene reenactment with some green contacts, cat ears, and orange body paint. To be honest, the overall effect is kind of unsettling, but the point definitely still comes across. This is meant to represent that moment in the second film during which Puss tries to lure his enemies into a false sense of security using his adorable looks. Though the oversized eyes come across as just a little off-putting, this is still a cute cosplay.
11 Poppy And Branch
While it garnered generally favorable reviews when it debuted in theaters back in November of 2016, DreamWorks' Trolls was never really destined to be all that memorable of a movie. It didn’t feature anything groundbreaking story-wise, and the bright, oversaturated visuals could feel a bit nauseating at times. That said, cosplaying duo Captain Cody Cosplay and GingerNinjaCosplay did a great job of bringing these wholly-fantastical characters to life. Covering yourself in bright pink body paint may at least show some level of dedication, but it’s the acting on display here which really seals the deal. These two seem to have embraced their roles as Poppy and Branch, and you aren’t likely to find a better Trolls cosplay anywhere else online.
2004’s Shark Tale, though somewhat successful at the time, didn’t go down all that well with fans of the studio. An exploratory narrative of what can happen when fame goes to someone’s head, it would be a neat movie were it not so… well, ugly. It definitely lacks the typical DreamWorks charm present in most of their other films, and Will Smith couldn’t even help to heighten the appeal of this dud. While far from a great movie, it has given rise to some pretty good cosplay, an example of which is Deviantart user DeWail-15’s rendition of the main character Oscar. She’s totally got the fish’s attitudinous look down, and it could be good enough to make some of us give the movie a second shot… well, almost.
9 Prince Charming
Everyone remembers the hilariously caricaturized Lord Farquaad from the original Shrek film, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Prince Charming, the main antagonist of the second and third films. While he’s normally supposed to be the hero in most fantasy stories, DreamWorks flipped the script and cast the traditional heroes as villains in the quasi-Hollywood hills of Far Far Away. He can’t be trusted as far as he can be thrown, of course, but he sure does look good, and so does this cosplay by Mamoru. It’s an instantly recognizable costume, and fans of the Shrek movies can actually buy one of these on Etsy should they be so inclined.
This is just adorable! While pulling off human characters can be difficult, cosplaying as a dragon is a different beast entirely, and that pun was intended. Toothless, the famous all-black lizard from the How to Train Your Dragon films, was pretty cute to begin with, but that doesn’t mean his design will instantly translate all that well to cosplay form. Fortunately, Deviantart user KICKAcosplay pulled out all of the stops and put together what might be the best How to Train Your Dragon cosplay ever attempted. Capturing the triumphant nature of Hiccup’s proud steed, those even casually familiar with the movie will probably get what she’s trying to convey.
7 Eep And Guy
The Croods was a weird little stone-aged side note in DreamWorks' history which isn’t remembered all that favorably by fans of the studio. Helmed by Emma Stone in the role of Eep Crood, it was a quaint story about overcoming our fears of the unknown. Though it didn’t go over all that well in North America, the Vietnamese pop stars who voiced the film’s two leading characters in their home country seemed pretty invested—so much so that they actually cosplayed as Eep and Guy as part of a small marketing stunt for the movie. In some ways, their real-world portrayals of this pair of cavemen was better than the actual film, and it would be awesome to see Emma Stone follow in their footsteps.
6 Moses And Tzipporah
Released to coincide with the holiday season of 1998, DreamWorks’ animated film The Prince of Egypt was one of their first and arguably one of their most forgotten productions. While the team would soon move on to a fully 3D style of animation following the success of Pixar, they actually came out with quite a few hand drawn early works like this, The Road to El Dorado and Stallion: Spirit of the Cimarron. While few claim an affinity for these movies, these cosplayers certainly love to flaunt their admiration for The Prince of Egypt. There’s a ton of detail and passion on display here, and it’s the sort of cosplay that everyone can appreciate even if they aren’t all that familiar with the source material on which it is based.
This may look an awful lot like a still from the first Shrek movie, but it’s actually a cosplay by the ever-tremendous Evgenia Galkina. Fiona may not seem like the most complicated character to pull off; a green dress, a red wig, and a little attitude is all anyone really needs to make the character work. This cosplay is way above the average, though, because it’s so totally spot on. It really does require a double take to make sure that this image wasn’t just taken straight from the movie. A replication of the scene in which Fiona essentially hits such a high note that she causes a bird to explode, this cosplay is equal parts adorable and hilarious.
4 Tulio And Miguel
Released all the way back in 2000, The Road to El Dorado was a comedy focusing on two hapless adventurers on a quest to strike it rich and return to Europe with the treasures of a lost city in hand. Of course, things don’t quite go as planned, and the two end up masquerading as gods to keep the native population at bay. It deserves a remake in more modern times, but this cosplay photographed by Deviantart user Maspaz is definitely the second best option. Reenacting many of the scenes from the movie, these two expertly capture the false bravado of Tulio and Miguel, and it’s amazing to see so much passion for a movie which is often forgotten in favor of some of DreamWorks’ more popular releases.
3 Lord Shen
The primary antagonist of the Kung Fu Panda sequel, Lord Shen was ostracized from his home city after leading a crusade against a group of pandas when learning of a prophecy which foretold of his demise at the hands of a warrior of black and white. Despite being a villain with relatively little to do with the series overall, that doesn’t mean Shen should be excluded from the world of cosplay. While the name of this cosplayer wasn’t given, she does a wonderful job of anthropomorphising a character that doesn’t fit the typical cosplay mold. Draped in a dress that perfectly resembles Shen’s black-and-red plumage, this is a beautiful homage to the oft-overlooked Kung Fu Panda 2.
2 Sinbad And Eris
Another of DreamWork’s earlier films, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is often considered to be the worst movie the studio ever put out. An ambitious tale about a pirate crew setting sail for the edge of the world, it’s a shame that this one was so poorly received. Critical reception didn’t stop anyone from cosplaying the film’s characters, however, and cosplayers Hitsuwa Cosplay and Mona Hyyrylainen do an amazing job of portraying these almost otherworldly characters. This isn’t an avenue most DreamWorks fans would choose to pursue, so it’s great to see these two breathing life into a film which most people didn’t seem to like all that much back in the day.
1 Po And Lord Shen
Another cosplay based on Kung Fu Panda 2, this pair of adversaries come across as a little more fuzzy than ferocious. Yes, the Po cosplay does appear to be nothing more than face paint and a panda hoodie, but, short of a full-on mascot costume, those are the only really pertinent things for this look. The Lord Shen cosplay is also great; it fits in that crazy plumage and translates the characters avian form into that of a human quite well. In a way, it’s sort of funny to see these two apparently taking themselves so seriously while dresses up as a peacock and panda respectively, but half the fun of cosplay is in going a little too far with it!