Having worked on The Road to El Dorado for DreamWorks, the studio initially hired Jenson to work on Shrek as a story artist, with the directors to be Andrew Adamson (also a first-time director) and Kelly Asbury, who had joined in 1997 to co-direct the film. However, Asbury left a year later for work on the 2002 film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Jenson was selected by producer Jeffrey Katzenberg to be a director of the film. Jenson recalled her experience being brought into Shrek, and eventually tapped to direct, as follows:
For a long time, the movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. One problem was unavoidable: Chris Farley had died, and the story had been geared around him, so when he went, the story kind of went with him. It went through an upheaval while they tried to find the right tone for it. I think they were really close to shelving the project when a few of us came into story to try and find a tone that we could work with. When Kelly Asbury moved on to Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron I became head of story, along with Randy Cartwright. Along with Andrew Adamson, who stayed on as director, we started pulling little pieces together out of what remained, and part of the way through, Jeffrey decided that I should be directing. A few months later, we started production.
Jenson described the directing process as one in which "we didn't try to figure out how to make adolescents laugh. You have to use yourself as the best judge and use your own instincts. We figured if we laughed at it, chances are good someone else would too". According to Adamson, both Adamson and Jenson decided to work on the film in half, so the crew could at least know who to go to with specific detail questions about the film's sequences; "We both ended up doing a lot of everything", Adamson said. "We're both kinda control freaks, and we both wanted to do everything." Following the success of Shrek, Jenson directed Shark Tale (with Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman), In 2003, while working on Shark Tale, Jenson received the first annual Kiera Chaplin Limelight award given at the Women's Image Network Awards.
She directed a live-action short, Family Tree, which "premiered at Sundance, screened at countless festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, Aspen and Malibu and went on to win multiple festival awards". In 2009, she finished her first live-action feature directorial work for the Alexis Bledel-starring comedy, Post Grad. The film received mixed reviews, but Roger Ebert awarded it three out of four stars, stating, "[i]f you're cynical or jaded, it might not get past you. But here is the first movie in a long time that had me actually admitting I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel". Also in 2009, Jenson directed the "Supermodelquins Christmas" ad campaign for Old Navy, represented by the Anonymous Content agency.
In 2015, Jenson directed a stage production of the play, Time Stands Still, by Donald Margulies. The Los Angeles Times wrote of Jenson's directorial role in the production that "the staging by Vicky Jenson successfully captures the script's broad contours", and Broadway World praised the production, stating that "Vicky Jenson smoothly directs her uniformly skilled four-member cast".
^Andrew Osmond, 100 Animated Feature Films (2010), p. 71.
^Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
^Tom Sito, Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson (2006), p. 27.
^Ball, Ryan (November 3, 2003). "Kim Possible Wins WIN Awards". Animation. Retrieved June 1, 2013. The first annual Kiera Chaplin Limelight award was presented to Vicky Jenson, co-director of DreamWorks' animated blockbuster Shrek and the upcoming Shark Tale (formerly Sharkslayer).