Yes, The Movie Shrek Is Culturally Significant

Yes, The Movie Shrek Is Culturally Significant

Frankie Minich, Staff Writer

When the average person hears “The Library of Congress,” they probably think of marble pillars, enormous bookshelves, and deafening silence. While this image may be true inside the actual library, in truth, there’s much more to the Library of Congress (LOC) than just the library.

Recently the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board entered the spotlight on social media from the announcement of the 25 films being chosen to preserve in the National Film Registry. Although this is a yearly event, it became a hot topic on Twitter because of some of the films selected–one of the most notable and surprising among them being Shrek.

Many people expressed strong feelings about Shrek being chosen to be preserved for centuries to come, some positive and some negative. Some were happy that their favorite childhood film was receiving such a high honor, while others were skeptical about the choice of a goofy children’s film in the matter. However, most were entertained by this iconic film being in the spotlight again.

The purpose of the National Film Registry is to preserve films that are culturally important to America’s film heritage. That may seem like a stretch when applied to Shrek, but personally, I think it rings true. Shrek came out in 2001 and soon became a household name. Its tongue-in-cheek commentary on fairy tales and the culture they’ve spawned inspired many other movies of the same type, but none of them truly accomplish what Shrek did.

Scrolling through the list of films in the National Film Registry gives one a sense of what American film heritage really is. There are titles you’d expect like King Kong from 1933, Gone With The Wind, and The Godfather, but there’s also The Big Lebowski, Groundhog Day, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, referring to the music video. All of these films have had a tangible influence on American culture. And although it came out two years before I was born, I don’t know a kid my age that hasn’t seen Shrek. So why shouldn’t it be added to those ranks?

Shrek is the first animated film of this century to be selected for the Film Registry. It was also co-directed by a woman, helping the 25 2020 film nominations to have a record-breaking ten films directed by women. To see the full list of films preserved in the National Film Registry and learn more about the program, you can visit