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media analysis of shrek the film

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Introduction

How do the makers of Shrek use presentational devices to subvert generic conventions and revise this tradition? Shrek is a comical animated fairytale based variously on literary archetypes and Disney-esque tropes. However, this fairy tale theme has been subverted using numerous presentational devices throughout the film, in many different ways. I am going to explain thoroughly how this is revised and shown in the film. At the opening of the film, the audience is led to believe that this is different than a traditional fairy tale. It starts off with an old distinguished story book, opening to reveal a traditional style fairy tale. The historic style of font, picturesque illustrations, and general gentle setting, lead to the preconception that it is another archetypal tale. With the traditional story book phrases, such as "Once upon a time" and conventional storylines such as "The princess was locked in the highest room of the tallest tower, awaiting true love and true loves first kiss". Near the end of the short fairy tale, a large green hand rips the last page out of the book. ...read more.

Middle

The two different sides of him revealed here show that he is a conflicted character. Torn between acting like a traditional ogre and a human character, these parallel images are reflected throughout most of the film. The presentational devices used in this chapter of the film help show this subversion as traditionally an ogre would not show any human characteristics at all and would not doubt the content of his own nature. During his travels, Shrek is introduced to Donkey. They meet when Donkey is pursued by a gang of soldiers and Shrek scares them away. Donkey is grateful and begins to chat to Shrek in a friendly manner. Shrek clearly struggles with the idea that someone does not judge him as a traditional ogre but as a human. Shrek's character is more aggressive towards Donkey as he evidently doesn't know how to deal with the situation. This again shows Shrek's conflicted character and how he finds it difficult to cope with not being judged on first impressions. Later on, Shrek and Donkey go on a quest issued by Lord Farquaad to rescue the Princess Fiona. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Shrek and Donkey are discussing with Lord Farquaad the nature of the quest, Lord Farquaad is on a balcony far above them. A low angle shot is used to make him more impressive and show his higher status from the other characters. This was also cut to another shot of a close up behind lord Farquaad, creating a mise - en- scene and making him seem bigger and therefore more important in comparison with Shrek. These presentational devices accurately help show the difference in status between characters, establishing their direct contrast to one another. In conclusion, the presentational devices used in Shrek help subvert the archetypal fairy tale through many aspects. Firstly, the use of low angle shots helps to establish status and contrast between characters and even with the characters themselves. For example, a close up of a characters face helps to display their emotions to more accurately. The themed background music used also helps to create a certain atmosphere or setting for a particular character, helping the audience perceive a character easily. Overall, the use of presentational devices in the film Shrek, assist in subverting the generic conventions of traditional fairy tales in a humorous and easy viewing way for the audience. ...read more.

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