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DreamWorks’ ‘Shrek 5’ announcement leads to resurgence of ogre memes

It isn’t ogre yet. “Shrek 5” is coming to theaters in just under two years, DreamWorks Animation announced on Tuesday, kicking off a fresh wave of memes about the franchise.

“I’ve dreamed about this moment since I was a wee young lad,” social media prankster Baylen Levine posted on TikTok in response to the news. “Now that it’s here, I’m ogrewhelmed.” He finished off the video with a Shrek-style roar.

Since the film’s 2001 debut, the swamp-dwelling animated icon has become a pillar of ironic meme culture, particularly in the 2010s.

Memes about Shrek have often veered into sexually explicit and even political territory as the original film’s audience grew up. Shrek-themed raves have even proliferated nightlife culture.

The “Shrek 5” announcement, 14 years after the last sequel “Shrek Forever After,” reinvigorated the thriving Shrek subculture.

One popular post on X said that another Shrek sequel is “just something that everyones wanted,” while another tongue-in-cheek post juxtaposed the release dates of Shrek movies to the party politics of U.K. prime ministers.

Several fans who grew up with the franchise said they are willing to compete with the new generation of Shrek lovers when the film debuts on July 1, 2026.

The Shrek fandom has been catered to in more ways than one this year — a recent Universal Orlando Resort amusement park expansion themed to DreamWorks included a Shrek meet-and-greet and snack stand, which sells a Shrek-shaped pretzel called the “Shrekzel,” to the delight of social media.

(NBC News is part of NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, which owns DreamWorks.)

“Shrek 5” has also been compared to another summer meme trend — the neon green color of Charli XCX’s latest album “Brat.” If summer 2023 was all about Barbie pink, then summer 2024 is decidedly green.

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