If you were wondering why depression rates dropped so rapidly on November 29 at approximately 8:00 Mountain Time, you’ve come to the right place. The reason the world was stuck in a happiness bubble for an hour and a half was the premiere of Shrek Retold.
Shrek Retold is a scene-by-scene remake of the 2001 Best Animated Feature winner. The thing is, the original Shrek movie didn’t have a ridiculously buff ogre lighting his cigar on dragon’s breath, or two grown men painted green and grey walking through a backyard, or an 8-bit tribute to the original Mario Brothers, or a sexy Lord Farquad swiping through Tinder. Shrek Retold does. Over 200 unique creators have contributed to this masterpiece, (with various levels of budget and time put into them) so watching the movie is a hilarious and exhausting experience that will never bore you. There is also original music that is way more rocking than it has any right to be. Watching this movie with my group of friends is one of the best movie experiences I’ve had this year. In or out of the theater.
The people behind this piece of art are just as weird and confusing as the product they put out. Grant Duffrin is the man behind the madness. Not just Shrek Retold, but also the annual ShrekFests. ShrekFests are pretty similar to most conventions. They have beer, play games, cosplay, and celebrate the thing they love. Unlike other conventions however, ShrekFest doesn’t take itself seriously. At all. Grant Duffrin is a film student, (he went to film school and everything) and makes various short films under the 3GI name. Shrek constantly made an appearance in his films, and it eventually evolved into the bizarre sub-culture that spawned ShrekFest and Retold. Grant Duffrin says that he doesn’t enjoy Shrek ironically. He doesn’t think that it’s possible to enjoy something ironically. “Can somebody enjoy ice cream ironically?”, Duffrin says in an interview with Quartz. Hey also says that he doesn’t associate himself with the countless Shrek memes that populate the internet. While I don’t think his ice cream argument is very valid, it’s interesting to think that he is doing this genuinely.
I think that what Duffrin has created is some twisted form of beautiful. He has brought over 200 people together to make one absurd product that millions of people can enjoy. That’s pretty cool. I know that it made me happy, and it will make countless people happy in the years to come. Now I’m just hoping for Shrek 2 Retold.
Shrek Retold is available on 3GI.com and their YouTube channel for free.