Celebrating ‘Shrek’s 21st Birthday: How a 2001 Movie Started a Cultural Phenomenon

Shrek turns twenty-one this year. That means anyone that grew up watching the green giant, no not the vegetable kind, can now enjoy an eyeball martini or pint just like their favorite ogre.

Years later, that same generation brought to life the Shrek in the Sky filter that quickly dominated TikTok For Your Pages worldwide. The filter features a massive but slimmed-down version of the ogre in a latex catsuit and heels dancing in the sky.

The generation that grew up on Shrek basks in the nostalgia and hilarity the filter brings to one of their favorite childhood movies. What makes this early 2000s movie a cultural icon two decades later?

Theatrical Success

On May 18, 2001, Shrek hit theaters with an “All-Star” cast of Mike Meyers (originally cast by Chris Farley before his death in 1997), Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy.

The film made over $488 million at the box office worldwide and was the fourth highest-grossing film in 2001 behind the first Harry Potter, The Fellowship of the Ring, and Monsters, Inc. With a $60 million budget, the film was a smash hit.

Children’s Movies Redefined: Flipping the Script

Snarky one-liners, raunchy jokes, heavy sarcasm, and filthy imagery kept both children and adult audience members entertained.

The creators successfully made a film that children and angsty preteens can enjoy well into adulthood.

Ogres Are Like Onions: People Are Different Than They Appear

Shrek grows as a social and fun character with friends and a family he thought he’d never have. Proving it's not about what you are, it's about who you are and being comfortable in yourself that makes you happy.

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