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Believe It Or Not, 'Shrek' Turns 20 Today


The Shrek films are some of the best animated films around, and today is a special day for the first installment in the series.

Today's not only Earth Day: it's also Shrek's Day. Exactly 20 years ago, Shrek premiered at the Mann Village Theatre in LA.

Shrek has been a real phenomenon from the moment it came out. The first movie grossed over 484 million of dollars and won the prestigious Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 74th Oscars.

There are four installments of the movie series:

1. Shrek (2001): the one that made us fall in love with the characters in the first place. A hero rescues a princess. Nothing different from classic fairytales, right? What if the hero is actually a cynical ogre that desires to be in peace in his swamp? The first movie shows us that differences don't really matter when it comes to love. And right when we think that we're better off alone in the world, life brings us people that love us exactly for who we are.

2. Shrek 2 (2004): and Shrek gets even better with the second movie, where Shrek has another terrifying adventure: meeting Fiona's parents. But a charming prince, a Fairy Godmother and the worries of a father can complicate things in the most unexpected way. Shrek 2 makes us laugh, cry and dance with its powerful soundtrack. The power of the movie resides in subverting all expectations with the use of brilliant comedy.

3. Shrek The Third (2007): Shrek is going to become King of Far Far Away... Unless he finds someone suitable to the throne. The most promising candidate seems to be Artie, Fiona's cousin, but the challenge to bring him back gets way more complicated than expected. The third movie is full of moments that remind us why we fell in love with the previous ones in the first place.

4. Shrek Forever After (2010): the last movie shows what's really at stake for Shrek, where past, present and future play a very cruel game. Shrek has to reconnect with Fiona, before it's too late. The end of a wonderful saga that has accompanied us for many years.

And now, 20 years later, Shrek is still going strong with fans tweeting their love for the animated movies.

Dreamworks's Animated movie includes voice stars like Mike Meyers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), Cameron Diaz (Fiona) to name a few. But the strongest element of Shrek is the ability to make us feel seen, understood and respected.

There's only one thing to do at this point: rewatch the entire saga, from the first one to the last one to celebrate Shrek's iconic birthday.

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Andrea Laurenti