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In what ways does the film Shrek reverse the tradition of the fairy tale genre?

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In what ways does the film Shrek reverse the tradition of the fairy tale genre? 'Shrek' a Dreamworks-produced animated film has a cast of characters that could show Disney's heroes a thing or two. The opening of Shrek is reminiscent of Disney's Snow White. One thing about Shrek that comes as a surprise is how it incorporates the traditional fairytale. Forget the handsome prince, damsel in distress and living happily ever after, Shrek stars as a hideous beast with an unattractive princess, whose best friend is a donkey with issues, yet they all live happily ever after. 'Shrek' tells the tale of a green ogre, a talking ass, a disillusioned princess and a lord who 'comes in short supply.' While most of the plot is predictable, the dialogue is funny and unpredictable. The opening to the movie Shrek differs when compared to a conventional story as it takes its inspiration from several fairy tales. Most fairy tales are elegantly illustrated books with a stereotypical plot. Shrek begins by seemingly adhering to this, however, a slimy green hand covering the edge of the book, rips out a page. It is used to wipe Shrek's bottom. Shrek utters the words, ' Like that's ever going to happen,' and slams the book shut. Modern music cuts in and there are different camera angles on Shrek while he jumps into the murky swamp. The opening lines follow a conventional story but the opening also suggests that the movie will be comical and unusual as well as making traditional fairy stories more interesting. ...read more.


Farquaad finds a magic mirror like the one in Snow White and plays Blind Date on it: it is most unlikely that anyone would pick him. He picks the woman of his dreams and wants a knight to go on a quest and rescue her from a fire-breathing dragon. This does not follow a fairy tale format as the brave prince always goes to save his princess. So far any ordinary person can tell Farquaad is the villain due to his cruel and unjustly nature. He seems to be selfish, just thinking and caring for himself and has no deep feelings for others, "its an ugly hideous ogre," "no need to be polite, its not like it has any feelings." This is what makes his character distinctive. None other than Shrek gets muddled in all this confusion when he wants his swamp cleared out of fairy creatures. All creatures from all tales are put onto the swamp with some famous lines but slightly changed like, 'He huffed and he puffed and...he served us with an eviction notice,' said by one of the three little pigs who in this story sounds and looks very effeminate. Bringing quotes into the film from random fairy tales makes the character himself more original. They adapted the quote slightly to make it more humorous and unusual so it fits in with the script. Donkey annoys Shrek on their journey but when they are near the castle the lighting changes quickly as one minute there is a ...read more.


Princess Fiona becomes upset about the rather abnormal way Shrek and his 'noble steed' rescue her, as it is not fairytale-like. On their way to Duloc much is noticed about the princess. She might dream of the fairytale life but she is no princess. Princess Fiona is worse than Shrek as she belches, kick boxes, blows up frogs with straws, steals birds' eggs for breakfast and sacrifices her beauty to be with the beast she loves. Shrek does not come up to the princess's standards of beauty and elegance she is upset by his looks. It is very unusual the way they used World Wrestling Federation moves on Robin Hood, which is great and successful. The movie makes fun of every meaningless element in Disney fairytales and includes some colossal fighting scenes, like famous action sequences from the Matrix - intertextuality of modern/traditional books and films. The ending is like a traditional fairytale as Shrek stops the wedding between Princess Fiona and Farquaad. Farquaad himself is a 'freak' - a four-foot small midget. Farquaad can't face up to his 'difference' and so he pays the ultimate price - the "fearsome" dragon eats him. They marry and go off in a horse-drawn carriage like in Cinderella. 'They live happily ever after.' There is then a song where the whole cast participates including the fairytale creatures. This is well structured and is inspiring. Shrek reversed the tradition of fairy tales right to the end as he took the full advantage and made a fun out of them, so viewers would find it humorous and strange. ...read more.

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