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Although Shrek 2 purports to be a cartoon aimed at younger children, it is actually predominantly aimed at adults. To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

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For this essay I will evaluate the potential arrows that direct us to believe that this film was actually intended for adults with the perception of a children's film. Here I will display the possible arguments for and against the above criticism that will back up both of the children and adult audiences, showing similarities and differences within them and the comparison to other films. The film also demonstrates abilities that combine the audiences together to ensure that all appreciate the content, perhaps less often than expected. Shrek 2, a computer animated film directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon, is frequently entertaining but is also, just as frequently, uninteresting or even confusing to some fraction of the audience. Shrek (Mike Myers), a large, fat, green ogre with ears like tiny mushrooms and his new wife, the podgy, green ogress Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who had once been human by day and a monster only at night, are invited by her parents, the King and Queen of the Land Far Far Away (John Cleese and Julie Andrews) to visit them in their castle. Unfortunately, Fiona's father dislikes the idea of his daughter marrying an ogre and remaining one herself. Hoping to solve both these problems, he conspires with the crafty Fairy Godmother, sends Shrek into the forest, hires Puss in Boots to murder him, and arranges for the Fairy Godmother's vain son, Prince Charming, to impersonate the absent ogre. For Shrek 2, relying on tried-and-true pop-culture riffs, fart jokes and cute animals; catered to an audience that is probably more important to an animated film than critics are (young kids) is not why the film has enjoyed more commercial success as a result but because of its capability to deceive two different audiences. Shrek 2 possesses some hysterical moments that starts slowly and build to a crescendo as it reaches its thoroughly predictable climax. ...read more.


This is a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture Show where the characters go through each others' names in a chaotic roundabout. Because the directors aim to lower violence for the children they emphasise anger through other alternatives i.e. food. When Shrek and King are arguing they begin to rip apart the food unconsciously. Adults here will understand this sort of aggression but not young children. The language used with Shrek 2 is sometimes quite discourteous but hidden in the fast pace humour. The sarcastic quick comments is more easier for the mature audience to understand as the have a faster hearing pace and generally know more as most of the jokes came from modern time news (this is one of the reasons why children often miss out on the joke). For example, when Donkey took the magic potion he says to Puss-in-Boots 'I don't *feel* any different. Do I look any different?' and Puss-in-Boots replies 'You still look like an ass to me!' The language used here suggest adult material whether Puss-in-Boots meant 'ass' as in donkey or as a rude comment. Children would only associate the word 'ass' as a rude way to say 'bottom' unaware that there are two meanings. This happens also in Shrek 1. Shrek 2 also uses informal language that generally applies to both children and adults although children tend to know more informal slang language. The Fairy Godmothers own character is sadistic and impatient in contrast to the 'fairy' she is supposed to be. The Fairy Godmothers anguish to release stress can only be understood by adults 'I don't care whose fault this was, just get it sorted! And could someone please bring me something deep fat fried and smothered in chocolate...' Gender bureaucrat enemy of the people "Fairy Godmother" lives a life of dogmatism following the scripts in "Cinderella," "Snow White" and such books that she keeps in her library. ...read more.


With the obsession with modern day society of anti-ageing creams and plastic surgery, the directors display the concern through humour that is comfortably expressed. This makes children aware and especially adults aware of the message even though the humour. I think that this part plays an important significance to the film, as it is the only scene that is humourless and mildly intense, therefore well enough to engage both adults and children. The jokes are more emphasised in Shrek 2 than in Shrek 1. Tribulations of Shrek as a whole with his fight with society's obsession with figure and beauty depicts a state of realism and can de understood and applied to both children and adults. The reason for this is that through the strong humour children notice the pale plot hidden through the animation and is blatant to the adult audience. The creators of Shrek actually use the known fairytales to craft together their own 'fairytale'. This idea actually lures in the child audience. For example in every fairytale there is a problem particularly to do with the villain. In this case it was the Fairy Godmother who was the villain with her 'evil sidekick' Prince Charming. And of course the supposedly ugly ogre is seen as the hero. Using design and graphics they actually turn what would have been realistically horrendous into good and what is usually the good saviour in stories, the rogue. Many other animation films do not possess the qualities that Shrek 2 has. Although most animation films have a moral message (family, love, friends etc) they only seem to apply themselves to children only. For example, Pixar's animation movie 'ToyStory' displays their message about love and friends purely unadulterated by using low language and through the symbolism of 'talking toys'. The humour is not as frequent and is clearly lame to the adult viewers. There are no modern day references but simply jokes making it a defined 'kid's film'. To conclude Shrek 2 most obviously shows strong signs of maturity from the language to the actions. ...read more.

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