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Shrek And Reversal Of Fairytale Tradition

2363 words - 9 pages

Shrek and Reversal of Fairytale Tradition

Shrek directed Andrew Andamson and Vicky Jenson by contradicts the
traditional view of a fairytale characters and settings. Although your
first impressions may lead you to believe that that the story is
totally different to a traditional fairytale looking more closely you
find that there are a few similarities. This essay will be looking at
the characters and the different presentational devises used to show
how fairytale traditions are reversed. The presentational devices
which are looked at are camera angles, lighting and music. In a
traditional fairytale you would expect to find a prince and a princess
who fall in love and live happily ever after. For example in Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs the prince comes and rescues Snow White and
then they live happily ever after. In Shrek the prince is revealed to
be evil, like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, and the princess
turns out to be an ogre and not as beautiful on the outside as first
impressions may lead you to believe. Throughout the film the ugly ogre
is slowly revealed as good whereas in a traditional fairytale the ogre
would have been evil throughout the story. During the film there are a
lot more differences which help us to see that the ogre is good and
the Prince is evil.

At the beginning of the film it opens like a traditional fairytale
using the well-known opening 'Once upon a time.' This is suddenly
interrupted by a hand snapping the book shut. Shrek then appears and
modern rap music starts to play. This surprises the viewers and begins
to give the audience the impression that this is not going to be a
conventional fairytale.

When the storybook characters arrive at Shrek's house Shrek threatens
them saying he will 'grind your bones for my bread' and 'shave your
liver and make jelly from your eyes.' He tries to frighten them away
by his threats and telling them that 'Ogres are worse than giants.' He
achieves his aim and scares of the characters and they run away
screaming. This gives the audience the impression that he is a
traditional ogre who is terrifying and evil. This supports the view
about ogres being man eating beasts in traditional fairytales.

When Donkey and Shrek meet, Shrek attempts to intimidate the donkey
but Donkey is not frightened and he just ridicules Shrek about his bad
breath by saying that he 'needs some Tic- Tacs.' Donkey is not at all
frightened and continues irritating Shrek by persistently asking him
questions. Shrek tries to scare the Donkey away again by reminding him
that he is an ogre but Donkey is not remotely frightened. Later on the
film mice run around the table and up on Shrek's shoulders. As Shrek
tries to catch them he fails on numerous occasions turning this scene
into a bit of a comedy. The behaviour of the donkey and the mice

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