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Marking the 20th Anniversary of ‘Shrek’ on the World Wide Web

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Marking the 20th Anniversary of ‘Shrek’ on the World Wide Web

Credit: Unsplash

My memory fails me as to whether my first encounter with Shrek was on the big screen or a DVD, but regardless, it swiftly established itself as one of my cherished childhood movies. The foundational elements of DreamWorks’ distinctive animation style and the constant stream of amusing moments, both original and influenced by pop culture, made it a film I happily indulged in repeatedly. Regular internet users spanning the last two decades can attest that my experience was not an anomaly; Shrek, as both a character and a franchise, has evolved into a long-standing muse of meme culture, hence the exuberant celebrations surrounding its anniversary.

Today, May 18, marks the 20th anniversary since the initial theatrical debut of Shrek, prompting fans of all ages across varied social platforms to join in the revelry. Some individuals have taken the opportunity to speculate on the enduring fascination with Shrek, suggesting that its widespread presence may be a key factor.

According to Elamin Abdelmahmoud of BuzzFeed, “Shrek has given rise to numerous sequels, ensuring a steady flow of Shrek content for over 15 years. This includes not just the main quadrilogy of Shrek films and the Puss in Boots spinoff, but also a collection of eight short films (featuring the 2010 festive special Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular) and a three-season Puss in Boots TV series. In essence, if you’re below 20, Shrek has likely been an omnipresent entity that you couldn’t elude.”

Transitioning from the silver screen to the domain of memes, Shrek’s evolution transcends the realm of movies into the realm of the nonsensical. The longstanding mantra of “Shrek is love, Shrek is life” has a way of resurfacing in the public consciousness, even as new meme trends emerge and fade. While a more thorough exploration may require ample time and research funding, for now, let us acknowledge a film franchise that, for reasons shrouded in mystery, has left an indelible mark on popular culture. Should the limited edition Shrek snacks resurface, count me in for a purchase. That green popcorn was truly exceptional.

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