Every year, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selects 25 films to be marked for preservation. In order to be included, the film must have historical, cultural, or aesthetic significance. But did you know that an animated movie was selected to be preserved for these very reasons?
The National Library of Congress selected the animation Shrek to preserve the National Film Registry in 2020. It was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
What is The National Film Registry?
The National Film Registry was established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988. It was created to ensure America’s film heritage’s survival, conservation, and public availability. The registry is a list of films deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The films are not selected as the best American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture, representing the nation and the people.
The Librarian of Congress makes an annual selection of films. The librarian reviews titles nominated by the public with the help of members of the National Film Preservation Board and Library film curators. Each year, the librarian chooses 25 films and enters them in the registry every December.
The National Film Registry only includes films produced or co-produced by an American film company or individual. Though the registry does not prohibit TV shows, commercials, music videos, or foreign productions, its first consideration for review is American motion pictures.
As of December 14, 2021, there are about 825 films on the National Film Registry, with the oldest being a film fragment titled The Newark Athlete, which was made in 1981. The clip only ran for a few seconds. The registry also works together with motion picture studios, individual filmmakers, archives, museums, and historical societies to make sure that the selected title has already been preserved or has the intention to preserve it in the future.
The public is encouraged to submit nominations to be reviewed in the registry. An individual can nominate up to 50 films annually, and the deadline for nominations is usually in August. Nominations are submitted using an online form. (Source: Library of Congress)
How Did “Shrek” Get Chosen by the National Film Registry
The 2001 animated film Shrek created by Dreamworks Animation has been added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 2020. The film’s charm and magic are considered extraordinary upon its release almost two decades ago. Shrek was a mega-hit upon its release and was followed up with three equally powerful sequels, proving it entertaining and emotionally impactful for both children and adults. (Source: Cartoon Brew)
Shrek, the lovable green ogre, joins only a handful of animations in the Registry like Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Fantasia, The Lion King, Pinocchio, Snow White, Steamboat Willie, Toy Story, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Source: List Challenges)
Here are some other films that were inducted into the registry in 2020, along with Shrek.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- Grease (1978)
- The Joy Luck Club (1993)
- The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
- Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
- Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
- The Hurt Locker (2008)
- The Dark Knight (2008)
- Freedom Riders (2010)