When people think of Fairytales, they think of a knight in shining armour, the helpless damsel in distress, the evil witch who is intent on destroying the romance and a happy ending. Fairytales are stories with a moral which have been passed down from generation to generation. The opening scene of Shrek is a parody of the popular Disney film ‘Snow White’. You can tell this is not going to be an ordinary fairy tale as Shrek rips the first page and proceeds to use it as toilet roll. There is also irony in the opening. People associate bathing with cleaning ourselves, however Shrek uses mud.
Comedy is another device. The scene when Shrek is painting could be considered to be similar to a famous artist painting, however instead of using paintbrushes Shrek uses bug juice. Irony is also re-introduced when the subject of the painting is Shrek, an ugly ogre rather than a subject of interest. The humour is used to make sure the story appeals to everyone, including adults and children. In the scene where Shrek and Donkey approach the castle, Shrek notes the size and says “Don’t you think he’s over compensating for something?
The younger audience wouldn’t get this joke but the adults would, but both of them will enjoy the film since it also has jokes that appeal to both. For example, when Donkey pushes the information button, a jingle starts playing “Please don’t walk on the grass, clean our shoes, wipe our….. face! ” This is the kind of humour that would appeal to both audiences. Shrek is shown as the complete opposite of what he is supposed to be. He decides to live his life alone, is ugly and lives in a swamp. Generally everybody wants the hero to save them, but in this case they all want to kill him.
Lord Farquhar takes on the role of the “hero” by claiming to get rid of Shrek when in actual reality he is the villain. The scene where Farquhar is torturing the Gingerbread man shows his evil side. There also various uses of spoofs of other fairy tales. When Shrek asks the fairytales creatures to leave, one of the creatures replies “”He hoofed and he poofed and he…. Signed an eviction notice. ” Another example of this is when the magic mirror is bought in. Instead of saying the typical line, it runs a dating show for the prince. Donkey is a very important part in this film. He is voiced by Eddie Murphy.
The older members of the audience will recognise him from many other comedy films and realise that he is going to be playing a comical role. Donkey uses different voices and humour to save him from these awkward situations. When Donkey and Shrek adventure to the castle, Donkey is cornered by the Dragon and Donkey immediately changes the subject by saying “”You must get this from all your prey but what white teeth you have! And may I hint the minty freshness? ” The city of Duloc is also not what it is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be filling with people, yet it is completely empty.
The fight scene is a parody of a modern day wrestling, the camera angles change from the birds eye view to a panning shot when Shrek wins the fight. The scene where Princess Fiona is fighting the men, spoofs the “Matrix” when the time slows down and the camera pans around. The film also uses Clichi??s. When Shrek finds the princess, he wakes her up by shaking her rather then kissing her. Also when Donkey and Shrek escape the castle, they are faced with a bridge above a volcano. A view is shown from the point of Shrek looking down and this creates an atmospheric effect. It is also a clichi?? of an “Indiana Jones” movie.
The love story of this film is very complicated. Shrek is an ogre whilst Fiona is a human. This gets more complicated when we learn of the curse that has been placed upon Fiona. The only thing that is typical of this story is the ending. The bad guy is dead, the good guy gets the girl and they all lived happily ever after. The intention of this film is to entertain and provide humour to a large audience. This has been achieved through the use of film and media devices, including; spoofs, exaggeration and clichi??s. Furthermore camera techniques are used to give the feel of an animated fairytale that still seems real.