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Shrek is the titular character from the animated film series by the same name created by DreamWorks Studios based on a book by American cartoonist William Steig. Although fans for the character already existed as early as 2001 with the release of the first film, the character didn’t got substantial cult-like following online until 2010 to 2012, after Shrek became a popular character in pun jokes and greentext stories. These fans commonly refer to themselves as “Brogres”, in similar vein to the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic enthusiasts known as “Bronies”.
The computer animated film Shrek was released on May 18th, 2001. There were 3 official sequels to the franchise, including Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010). The films feature the titular green ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) as the main protagonist, his companion Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) and his love interest Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz). The movies are a parody of the standard children’s fantasies films, specifically those produced by Disney.
A number of websites have been created dedicated to the franchise and its characters. The official DreamWorks website Shrek.com features character bios, downloadable media, video games and a store to purchase DVDs. The official Shrek Facebook page was launched in December of 2009, and gained over 36 million likes in the next four years. Shrekchan is an image board dedicated to Shrek launched on May 29th, 2012.
On January 17th, 2010, DeviantArt User Cmara uploaded a comic(shown below left) featuring Shrek and Shadow the Hedgehog, from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, as they reunite after a fight. The bizarre combination of the two characters due to multiple reasons, such as the difference in species and the universes they originate from, quickly made the duo a popular crack pairing on DeviantArt and outside, resulting in various fanworks based on the couple throughout 2010 and the years following. This eventually lead to Shrek being used in other crack pairings as well.
On November 4th, 2012, Tumblr user fuckyeahmeelz made a Hey Girls post using Shrek (shown below, left). On November 13th, Tumblr user mossball made a post featuring a life-size Shrek doll sitting in a car with the note “PUT THAT SHIT INTO OGREDRIVE” (shown below, middle). As of June 2013, both posts managed to respectively gain more than 38,000 and 46,000 notes. The LittleShrekThings Tumblr blog was relaunched on January 10th, 2013, after the previous incarnation turned into an adult media blog, and contains more than 1400 posts as of June 2013.
Fans of Shrek are often referred to as “Brogres.” On November 16th, 2012, a Facebook page for “Brogres” was created, which accumulated over 1,200 likes within the next four months. The same day, MLP Forums member DJ Enty submitted a “Brogre thread” to the discussion board, including a photoshopped image of Shrek with the caption “check urself before u shrek urself [sic]” in the style of Are You Frustrated images (shown below, left). On November 18th, 2012, Urban Dictionary user sesky submitted an entry for the term “Brogre,” defining the label as a person who is “obsessed with Shrek.” On January 29th, a Facebook page for the phrase “Shrek is Love, Shrek is Life” was created, which has accumulated more than 135,000 likes as of April 2014. On February 1st, 2013, a page for the term “Brogre” was created on the Shrekchan wiki. On February 6th, 2013, The Huffington Post reported two Shrek fans cosplayed as Shrek and Fiona at their wedding (shown below, right).
Brogres commonly make use of a large variety of pun jokes and slang phrases which are a play on popular terms and phrases associated with Shrek and the series, in similar vein to the bronyspeak vocabulary used by bronies. This vocabulary can often be found back in greentext stories and image macros featuring Shrek. These greentext stories are commonly found on Shrekchan and through the Tumblr tag “#shrekchan.”
Fanart, photoshops and image macros featuring Shrek commonly make use of the vocabulary of pun jokes and slang phrases used by brogres. Additional examples for this can be found through both the DeviantArt tag for “#shrek” and the Tumblr tags for “#shrek” and “#shrek-jokes.”
Huffington Post – Shrek Wedding Couple Dresses as Princess Fiona and Shrek