“Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me,” belts Smash Mouth in the intro moments of 2001’s Shrek. And just like the great band prophesied, the movie smashed all the established rules of animation. The film was crude, it was pointed, it catered to adults, and it set the stage for American animation for the next decade to come. Shrek premiered at Cannes. Shrek won the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Shrek was inducted into the Library of Congress as a notable historic work. Then there are the Shrek memes.
Like it or not, there is no denying Shrek’s gargantuan impact on the state of entertainment. On the 20th anniversary of the movie’s theatrical release, Polygon is taking a look back at our favorite ogre and his legacy. Why did Fiona hit so hard in 2001? What the hell is up with Justin Timberlake’s weird appearances in the movies? Why can’t we stop thinking about Gingerbread Man drowning in milk? And just how old is Shrek? Also, we have to talk about the memes.
So settle back in your mud jacuzzi and light some ear wax candles, because we’re about to get Shhhhrrrreeeekkkked.