A green ogre with a big heart, a hilarious talking donkey and a karate chopping princess creates the magnificent animation, ‘Shrek’. This remarkable film was directed by Andrew Adamson, released in 2001, has genres of fantasy, comedy and adventure. The tremendously talented voice actors include Mike Murphy (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), Cameron Diaz (Princess), and John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad). ‘Shrek’ is the tale of an ogre who lives in a swamp in complete serenity, but when fairy tale characters are banished from Lord Farquaad’s kingdom they are dumped into Shrek’s swamp. Shrek goes on an adventure with donkey to rescue princess Fiona whom which Lord Farquaad wishes to marry, but gradually Shrek’s true colors show as he develops feelings for Fiona. With conspicuous references of intertextuality, the creators of ‘Shrek’ did this to open the movie to a larger audience.
Many aspects of visual representation were showed to represent characters. At the beginning of the movie, Shrek is an unsuspecting hero. In one scene, Shrek is seen scaring off townspeople by convincing them he is a terrifying ogre. But later Shrek is seen as someone who is a prince charming to Fiona, who is caring and doesn’t mean to hurt others. This is evident in scenes when Shrek picks up sunflowers for Fiona, trying to show his feelings and that there’s more to him then what people see.
The message of ‘Shrek’ has a deep and expressive meaning that is clear in the film. The creators are trying to teach the wrongfulness of judging people based on their appearance, that there is always more to someone then what you see on the outside, referring to the conventional phrase ‘Don’t judge a book or an ogre by its cover’. Visual techniques that were used to convey this message include when Shrek was sitting on the edge of the cliff, telling donkey, that everyone judges him for just his looks running away in terror when there is more to him. People look at him giving him one look and thinking he is only just a big, ugly, ogre. Other techniques show the graphic colors and details of Shrek’s swamp, which shows how happy people can be with as little as they got compared to Lord Farquaad’s castle.
‘Shrek’ shows abundant and clear referencing of intertextuality which helps to enhance and make it more relatable to a large audience. When Shrek’s swamp is invaded, he finds the three blind mice, Snow White and the seven dwarves, the big bad wolf dressed as red riding hood, this shows intertextuality as we can relate to fairy tales that we already know, which helps to better understand the movie. But most significantly, the plot is that Shrek saves Princess Fiona from a tower surrounded by a fire breathing dragon, but in fairy tales we know it as Prince Charming going to save his princess from a tower, this shows that although they are referencing fairy-tales, they change it to make it much less stereotypical.
‘Shrek’ is a hilarious family comedy which was a huge success to audiences around the world. An absolute must have to watch for everyone, with hysterical comedic to heartfelt romance scenes. This crowd pleaser would most definitely be rated a 5 out of 5 ogres. The perfect movie for all ages.