This essay will expand on the differences between Shrek and normal more traditional fairytales.
In traditional fairy tales, ogres are man-eating beasts. The prince usually rescues the princess; they marry and live happily ever after.
How do the makers of shreak use presentational devises to reverse this tradition, to reveal the ogre as good and the prince as bad?
This essay will expand on the differences between Shrek and normal more traditional fairytales. In things like Jack and the beanstalk, it has a giant who chases and tries to kill the good guy (Jack). In other fairytales such as Cinderella and snow white the princesses marries the prince. In this essay, I will analyse the characters of shreak and lord farquad and how they are different to the stereotypes of there kind of characters in other films.
The Character of Shrek
The film opens as if it is a traditional fairy tale story which nice soft music and the well-known beginning “once upon a time.” Then a hand ripping a page out of the book interrupts this and a voice saying “yeah right like that would ever happen.” Then Shrek appears, stepping out of the toilet. Modern rap music begins and this suggests that the film doses not go along the lines of the typical fairytale stereotype. When the villagers come to try to kill Shrek, he threatens and scares them by saying, “shave your liver,” and “squeeze the jelly from your eyes.” He frightens them by sneaking up on them and telling them that ogres are “much worse” than giants. This causes all the men to become very scared and run away in fear. Shrek seems like a traditional ogre because he scares the villagers and the traditional stereotype of ogres is big and scary.
When donkey and Shrek meet, Shrek tries to get rid of donkey by roaring at him but he is not intimidated and he makes fun of Shrek by saying “your breath stinks.” Donkey does not seem to get the hint that Shrek does not want him around and he keeps asking him questions. Shrek tries to show donkey that he is an ogre by shouting, “look at me, what am I?” However, donkey does not see to be impressed. He keeps irritating Shrek by bursting into his house and jumping on his sofa. This suggests that Shrek is not as scary as he first thought. When the three blind mice turn up, Shrek is ridiculed as he fails to catch them and is bitten on the ear. He shouts, “I’m a terrifying ogre” but they still are not scared. The behaviour of the donkey and the mice tell the viewers that Shrek is not as scary as the start of the movie suggests.
This is a preview of the whole essay
When Shrek and donkey visit duloc, they are attacked by lord farquad’s knights, instead of fighting them Shrek offers to “settle this over a pint” which is something a normal ogre probably would not do. After they leave duloc to rescue Princess Fiona, donkey continues to annoy Shrek and says that he should not have to put up with lord farquad and he should “pull some ogre stuff” to sort him out. However, Shrek is too soft. He jokes saying that he should “decapitate an entire village” and “cut open their spleens.” Viewers feel like Shrek is not capable of doing this even if he wanted to. As the film progresses, we learn that Shrek is not just a big, fat, ugly ogre but is achaly the complete opposite of what the stereotype of an ogre.
When Shrek rescues Princess Fiona, he shakes her violently saying “wake up now, lets go.” She is disappointed that there is no “romantic moment.” Initially Shrek tries to behave in a threatening manner to make sure everyone knows that he is a nasty ogre. Other characters see Shrek as a horrible ogre. He has to continually remind them that they should be scared because otherwise they will not give him any respect at all.
Lord Farquad is supposed to be a tall dashing prince who rescues the princess and lives happily ever after. However, he is achaly the bad guy in this film and does a lot of bad stuff such as watching the gingerbread man be tortured. He laughs and taunts him saying, “Run, run, run as fast as you can…” he tries to pull off one of the gingerbread man’s buttons. He also throws the gingerbread man in the bin making him scream. Lord Farquad then has three beautiful princesses to choose from and of course, he chooses Princess Fiona. When Shrek brings Princess Fiona to duloc, lord farquad meets her very formally saying “Beautiful, fair, flawless Fiona, will you be the perfect bride for the perfect groom?” At the end, Lord Farquad orders the knights to “get them out of my sight.” He tells the guards to arrest Fiona when he sees her after sunset. He still proclaims himself king, even though the marriage has been abandoned. In this film, we quickly learn that the prince is not like a traditional fairy tale character because he is short ugly and evil, totally against the stereotype of a fairytale prince.
Camera shots are very important in Shrek because it sometimes shows how important a certain part of the movie is. At one point of the movie, Shrek scares the storybook characters and there is a close up on his mouth to show that he might be about to eat them. There is also darkness to create further unease. When more storybook characters tern up at Shrek’s swamp the low angle shot makes Shrek appear scarier and more threatening, as he looks down, towering over these characters then they ran away. Tension is built up as lord farquad is introduced. The first shot we see is of his hands, and he is pulling on some gloves as if he means real business. When Shrek and donkey first meet farquad his elevated position makes him seem threatening, whereas, the high angle shot that is used on Shrek and donkey make them seem more venerable. Low angle shots are used effectively to show lord farquad looking down on his subjects, Shrek, and donkey. Mid angle shots are used when Shrek and donkey are relaxing together and Shrek cooked Princess Fiona a meal. This is helpful to show that the characters are on equal footing. Close up shots are also useful for focussing the viewers attention on to a certain characters emotions. Shrek and Fiona can both be shown happy with close ups of them smiling. The camera moves from one person to the other. At some points of the movie the characters are shown with there backs towards the audience to show there isolation from the other characters. An example of this is where Shrek turns his back on donkey to signal the end of there relationship.
In this film, the way camera shots are used shows us the status of the main characters in the movie.
The movie is partly set in Shrek’s swamp, which is traditional for an ogre’s home. However, donkey follows Shrek into the swamp and even tries to make a home there, which shows that it is not as unwelcoming a site as it should be. In lord farquad’s castle there are many-hooded figure there and there is a torture chamber were they torture the gingerbread man. There is also a fight in the courtyard of the castle. This shows that the castle is achaly a place of violence and secrecy instead of a place of splendour.
The settings in the film are not traditional because a swamp as a place were no one would want to go and a castle is a place of splendour. Instead, it is the opposite.
When the princess leaves Shrek at dusk he feels alone, is isolation is emphasised by him turning his back, as we have already talked about, and sitting in the dark. After Shrek has met the princess, he is often pictured by the sunset. Whenever Shrek and the princess are together, it is sunny and the birds are chipping. At the end of the movie, there is a lot of light to show goodness.
Lighting in the film is used to show characters emotions and what is going on in the movie. For example, when it is a sad scene it starts to rain.
When we first see lord farquad and the hooded figure, there is dramatic marching music, which suggests battle. When Shrek enters, the arena there is organ music playing which suggests that the tournament is very important. When Shrek misinterprets the conversation between Fiona and donkey there is slow music, which reflects Shrek’s unhappiness. When Shrek goes home there is a song about “broken dreams.” All the heroes in the movie are sad.
The film makers use music and sound effects well to show how the characters are feeling and if it is a sad or happy part of the movie.
When donkey first meets Shrek, he follows him back to his swamp and ignores the “beware of ogre” signs. Donkey refuses to listen to Shrek’s advice to leave him alone. He lightens the atmosphere. At the tournament, he makes parts funny like when he rolls the barrels onto the knights. When donkey returns after he has found some flowers he looks at Shrek and Fiona smiling at each other and he says “why, isn’t this romantic.” All the way through the film he acts as Shrek’s adviser and he listens to him when Shrek is having difficulties. Donkey is an important character because he shows us that Shrek is not a very scary ogre, he is totally the opposite.
The question that I have been trying to answer is “In traditional fairy tales, ogres are man-eating beasts. The prince usually rescues the princess; they marry and live happily ever after.
How do the makers of shreak use presentational devises to reverse this tradition, to reveal the ogre as good and the prince as bad?” This film was not only successful for the characters, but the presentational devises as well. The film makers have reversed the traditional fairy tale to make Shrek by making the ogre the good person and the prince the bad person.