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Analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad.

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Introduction

Lorna Edwards English media coursework 2002 Shrek In this essay I am going to analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad. I will also explore the different presentational devices used by the film creators of Shrek to craft an unusual fairytale. This film cost $6 million to produce. It is based on a traditional fairytale type story but subverted. The film was produced by Dreamworks - Steven Spielberg's production company. Dreamworks make animated films. It has a rival animation company in the form of Disney. It was Disney who first brought out a long animated film which was Snow White in the 1950's. The first computer generated animation was also brought out by Disney called Toy Story in the 1990's. In traditional fairy tales princes are tall, strapping, handsome and charming. They are the good natured characters in the story who would ordinarily rescue the princess. Ogres or giants or any general evil being would be big, ugly, horrible, nasty creatures and would be the wicked characters in the story. For example the story of Jack and the beanstalk' where the nasty giant is chasing Jack shouting "Fe Fi Fo Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!" and obviously trying to eat Jack. He is evidently an evil character. The prince in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' is a fine example of a typical classic fairytale prince. He comes to rescue Snow White and kisses her when she was in a deep, everlasting sleep to awaken her. Language is an important device and I am going to write about how language can create the impression of good and evil in both characters, and in films. ...read more.

Middle

Low angle shots are effectively used because they show Lord Farquaad looking down on Shrek and Donkey. Mid - angle shots are used when Shrek and Donkey are relaxing together, and when Shrek has cooked Princess Fiona a meal. These shots show both of the characters at the same time and have the effect of unity, sometimes intimacy and it shows both the characters are on the same level. It shows they have something in common and are friends at this moment in time Sometimes a characters back is shown rather than their face. This is used to suggest isolation from other characters. For example when Shrek overhears Donkey and Princess Fiona's conversation he thinks she is talking about him. We see his back and there is also a shot of the moon, this is to symbolise isolation and loneliness from Donkey and Princess Fiona and also indicates a depressed mood from Shrek. When we first meet Shrek, it is obvious that he us supposed to look like an ogre because he is large, green, dirty with dirty teeth and alien like ears. He lives in a swamp and bathes in mud and swamp live sewage. He does lot's of disgusting things like using the wax from his ear as a candle and eats bugs and rats etc... Lord Farquaad seems like a typical Lord. He is dresses in typical, traditional Lord or Prince like attire. His home is trying to achieve perfection. We learn this is his goal as we see the introduction scene of Duloc with the model children are singing 'Duloc is a perfect place...'.His castle is very neat, tidy and symmetrical. ...read more.

Conclusion

He shows this by refusing to follow Shrek's advice to leave him alone and also when Shrek is trying to be imposing he makes in more of a comical moment and continues to persist with annoying Shrek. The story of Shrek uses presentational devices to reverse our expectations, so that by the end of the film instead of the viewers disliking Shrek thinking he was an evil ogre they want Shrek to marry Princess Fiona. Instead of the viewers thinking Lord Farquaad was a charming, good character the know he is really an evil, manipulative character who will go to any lengths to get what he wants and the viewers do not want him to marry Princess Fiona. Perhaps the message of the story is that you can't judge a book by its cover. Different camera angles are used for a variety of reasons but mainly to shown emotion felt by a character or between characters or to show importance of something by making the viewers focus their attention on it or to make something look imposing compared to something made to look vulnerable. The settings in the film are not traditional die to a variety of presentational devices which is a contrast to the conventional fairytale. The main settings are Shrek's swamp and Lord Farquaad's castle. Shrek's swamp seems at first a traditional fairytale swamp and home of an ogre. However Donkey and other creatures follow Shrek into it and Donkey even attempts to set up home there. This tells us that the characters do not fear the place so it's not as unwelcoming as it would be in a conventional fairytale. Lord Farquaad's castle and Duloc are not the traditional old castles and old village but modern places. ...read more.

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