Presentational Devices of Shrek and Reversal of Traditional Roles
In this essay, I am going to analyse the characters in 'Shrek'. I will
mainly focus on Shrek and Lord Farquuad. I will also write about how
the film makers use different presentational devices to create an
unusual film. Stereotypically the prince is good and the ogre is evil.
In traditional fairy tales ogres are pictured as man-eating beasts,
while the Princes are tall, handsome and save the Princess. One
example of a fairy tale where an ogre is mentioned is 'Jack and the
Beanstalk'. In the fairy tale the ogre is a man-eating giant. The
giant ogre chases Jack down the beanstalk. An example of a fairy tale
where a prince is mentioned is 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves'. In
this fairy tale the Prince frees Snow White from a spell by kissing
her and they live happily ever after.
The film stars the famous voices of, Mike Myers supplying the rough
Scottish twang for 'Shrek', Eddie Murphy's motor mouth 'Donkey',
Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, and John Lithgow as 'Lord Farquaad'.
The directors of this film were Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jensen and
DreamWorks (the distributor) has tried to poke fun at Disney wherever
possible. 'Shrek' has won many awards such as Best Musical, Best
Comedy, Best Animated Film etc. 'Shrek' shocked the world when it sold
$110 million in DVD and Video sales in just it's first three days of
release. The 'Shrek 2-Disc' DVD is now the #1 selling DVD of all time.
'Shrek' still remains the #1 grossing movie in 2001 at the U.S. box
office. 'Shrek' cost approximately $70 million to make, but this does
not include DreamWorks marketing budget for 'Shrek', which was huge.
It is said that 275 people including computer animators and engineers
spent three years to create 'Shrek'. Shrek is not an original movie,
because it is based on a children's book by William Steig called
''Shrek''. Of course DreamWorks took a lot of leeway with its version,
which often pokes fun at Disney.
The film 'Shrek' opens like a conventional fairy story, using the well
known beginning "once upon a timeâ€¦" A light is shining on the
storybook giving us the idea that the book is full of goodness. The
voice over telling the story is Shrek. In this case, Shrek reads in a
strong Scottish accent. While Shrek is reading the book, the audience
can hear old fashioned traditional music. The music is used to suit
the mood of the scene. Shrek tells the story about how a princess is
locked up in a tall tower, guarded by a terrifying dragon. One day she
will be saved by a tall handsome prince who will slay the dragon and
break the spell. Therefore the princess will take her true love's
form. Hand drawn pictures are used to illustrate the book. This shows
that the book is traditional.
While the old fashion music id...