The movie ‘Shrek’ is based on a book titled ‘Shrek’, which was authored by William Steig. The book is designed for use by children and which is about the giant green ogre. This tale is aimed mainly to the children and their parents. From the beginning, the movie is barely a fairy tale, with a lot of twists. The film also uses stereotypical features, characters and structures. However, throughout the film, these features are challenged by intertextuality, twists in the stereotypical, twists of plots and the comedy (Leong, 15). Therefore, in providing a thorough review of the movie, it is essential to critically analyze all the features from the characters, structure, setting, humor, stereotyping and the plot.
There are a lot of details behind the history of the film ‘Shrek’ and at the center of it is Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg picked a few lessons on how to make animated features from the premiere of ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Black Cauldron’. The killing of the Disney CEO in 1994 from the helicopter crash and the taking of rein by Michael as the killing of magic split influenced the development of the movie. Katzenberg thought that Michael would promote him but as soon as he made his ambitions known, he was fired. This caused Katzenberg to partner with David Geffen and started, and they brought Steven on board to form SKG the first studio of its kind to compete with Disney (Asri Nur, 24). Although they tried to offer what was not there in the market, the early films which they produced went unnoticed. They decided to make movies for the children of all ages, and in the process, Katzenberg got a book written by Steig, which was about an ogre and they decided to make a movie from it. That is how ‘Shrek’ came into being.
The ruler of the land, Lord Farquaad, wanted princess Fiona, but she has to be rescued from the castle by the ogre and be taken to him. The rescue mission for princess Fiona is led by Shrek in company of Donkey, his friend. The rescuer’s mission is successful and they managed to come along with the princess. While they were taking her to Lord Farquaad, Shrek and Princess Fiona fell in love. This does not convince princess Fiona otherwise hence she proceeded to agree to a marriage proposal from Lord Farquaad. As a result of her decision to marry Lord Farquaad, a spell is put on her and she turns into an ogre at night (Asri Nur, 28). The condition for the spell was that unless she agrees to have first love kiss. Princess Fiona was to remain an ogre forever at night. When the spell is released, then she will also become beautiful again. Apart from Donkey, who became aware of this accidentally, there is no other person who knows the issue. It is in these circumstances that Shrek saved the day by interrupting the wedding between Lord Farquaad and princess Fiona. In this interruption, he confessed his love to Princess Fiona. After expressing his true feelings to princess Fiona, the two kissed and this released the spell from Fiona. She immediately turns into a gorgeous woman from the ogre she had become. Fiona proceeds to admit to being an ogre to Shrek and explains the whole story. The two married and lived happily ever after.
The rescue scene in the movie is relatively conventional. For instance, the setting is in the castle where princess is waiting to be rescued. Fiona in the scene is like Snow White, who is waiting for her prince, and the dragon is the protector. The setting cannot be said to be stereotypical (Burgos and Edilma, 41). This scene is a bit dramatic especially when the princess confesses that that is not how it was supposed to be. Shrek found the princess by accident and she seems reluctant to accept to be rescued. This is why when she was found, she scuffed back to the bed and pretended to be sleeping. These features cannot be said to be stereotypical. In the movie, there is the setting of the castle that belongs to Lord Farquaad and the village. This setting is stereotypical in different ways, first is the castle with the four corners, Lord Farquaad looking at the large crowd gathered at the center stage and the courtyard. The soldiers who are protecting the castle are stereotypical, including in their clothing.
From the expert reviews, the movie is not supposed to be for children; this is because it has a lot of sensation scenes which have adult content. It is argued that in its current state, the movie promotes greed, immorality and greed (Niemiec, 3). For instance, the scene where Princess Fiona and Shrek are kissing has been condemned because it is likely to corrupt the morals of children.
From my review of the movie and considering the comments of the experts, the film has a lot of adult content, and it is incredibly offensive to refer to it as a children's movie. The director should consider editing it or withdrawing it as a child movie. Using it is likely to corrupt 4 the morals of the entire generation. I feel like this movie could have easily gotten a PG-13 at least due to all of the crude and sexual humor in the film.
From the above review, it is clear that although ‘Shrek’ was initially designed as a children's movie, not for children only, but also the family. The language, setting, languages and some of the scenes in the moviemakers it extremely offensive as a children's movie. It is important to note that the idea behind its production was a book and the attempt by Katzenberg to compete with Disney studio. Therefore, there is a need to reconsider the target audience of the movie.
- Asri Nur, Rohmawati. ‘Speech Acts Analysis of the Main Character in the Shrek Movie Script’. Diss. IAIN Ponorogo, 2018.
- Burgos, Cotapo, and Edilma Maritza. ‘Contrastive Analysis of Stereotypical Humour Found in the Characters Donkey and Burro in the Movie ’Shrek' (2001). A Localized Proposal of Humor Rendering Techniques' (2016).
- Leong, Anthony. 'Shrek Movie Review' (2001).
- Niemiec, RM (2017). 'Movie Reviews and Psychology: A PsycCRITIQUES Retrospective to Inspire the Future. PsycCRITIQUES, 62 (51), DOI:10.1037/a0041182.