Shrek Day: A look back at the legendary ogre DreamWorks


Today marks the 20th anniversary of DreamWorks‘ “Shrek” which hit theaters in the United States on May 18, 2001. Since its release, the animated ogre has become a critically acclaimed film and pop culture icon. , leaving a legacy in film, music and memes.

Starring the powerful cast of Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, the film’s fantasy comedy has all the usual fairy tale characteristics that are completely turned upside down, according to the New York Times. The film broke the mold, according to Ringer, and set a precedent for future DreamWorks films.

  • But the film’s journey from idea to icon began with challenges in casting, music, and technology.

The beginnings of Shrek: a project without promise

Based on a children’s book by William Steig, “Shrek” took years to develop for the screen, according to USA Today. The project underwent numerous script revisions, director and cast changes, and a general lack of support from DreamWorks employees, according to Ringer.

  • “Shrek” was considered Siberia at DreamWorks, “co-director Vicky Jenson said, according to The Ringer.” If you were done on a project and they couldn’t quite fit you in, or if someone one thought you weren’t working on another project, they said, ‘Well, Shrek needs people.’ ”

Few people had high hopes for the project, reports The New York Times. At the time, no other movie had reached the level of complex animation that “Shrek” needed; the fantasy comedy genre had barely been turned into movies, says the New York Times, and no other animated film included pop culture references in its music or dialogue.

At the opening of “Shrek,” the film grossed over $ 484.4 million at the box office worldwide. The film’s production budget was around $ 60 million, the New York Times and USA Today report. Following the success of “Shrek”, DreamWorks went on to produce three sequels and a spinoff, “The Puss in Boots”.

‘Shrek’ through the years: the film has become a cultural phenomenon

Themes of seeking love, self-acceptance and the joy of unlikely friendships have resonated with generations of viewers, reports The New York Times. Over the years, “Shrek” has built a solid – and surprising – summary of accomplishments:

The film also drew theme park attractions, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, of course, inspired millions of memes.

‘Shrek’ today: new reboots and sequels

The “Shrek” cinematic universe has been dormant for years, but it’s about to change. According to The Ringer, “Shrek” is being rebooted and “Puss in Boots” is getting a sequel.

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