Reimagining The Fairy Tale: a Critical Review of Shrek

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 667 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 667|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph
  3. Conclusion


Released in 2001 by DreamWorks Animation, Shrek has become a cultural phenomenon, redefining the animated film genre with its unique blend of humor, heart, and subversive elements. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, the film is based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book Shrek!. Through the lens of satire and parody, Shrek challenges traditional fairy tale tropes and delivers a potent message about self-acceptance and the importance of looking beyond surface appearances. This essay endeavors to critically analyze the film's narrative, characters, and thematic elements to understand its enduring appeal and cultural significance.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Body Paragraph

Shrek presents a rich narrative that subverts conventional fairy tale norms. The story revolves around Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers), a reclusive ogre who finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures exiled by the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). In a bid to reclaim his home, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a dragon-guarded castle so that Farquaad can marry her and become king. However, the narrative takes a twist as Shrek and Fiona develop a bond, leading to the revelation that Fiona herself transforms into an ogre at night due to a curse. This plot structure not only provides an engaging storyline but also serves as a vehicle for deeper thematic explorations.

One of the film's most significant achievements is its character development, particularly in its portrayal of Shrek and Fiona. Shrek's journey from a misunderstood outcast to a beloved hero underscores the theme of self-acceptance. Initially, Shrek embodies the stereotypical ogre—frightening and antisocial. However, as the story progresses, it becomes evident that his gruff exterior masks a kind-hearted and lonely individual. Fiona's character arc is equally compelling. Unlike traditional princesses confined to passive roles, Fiona is strong, independent, and capable of defending herself. Her transformation into an ogre symbolizes the breaking of societal expectations and the embrace of one's true self.

Moreover, the film's humor and satirical elements are noteworthy. Shrek employs a range of comedic techniques, from slapstick to witty dialogue, to entertain audiences of all ages. The film parodies numerous fairy tale conventions, such as the heroic prince, the damsel in distress, and the happily ever after. For instance, Lord Farquaad's kingdom, Duloc, is a satirical take on the overly sanitized and commercialized theme parks, complete with a catchy jingle and animatronic tour guides. These elements not only provide humor but also offer a critique of the homogenization and commercialization of culture.

The animation and visual design of Shrek further enhance its storytelling. The film employs a distinctive visual style that blends realism with caricature, creating a world that is both fantastical and relatable. The character designs are particularly effective in conveying personality traits. Shrek's bulky, green form contrasts sharply with Fiona's more traditional appearance, highlighting the film's theme of inner beauty. The lush landscapes and detailed textures add depth to the setting, making the fairy tale world come alive.

Additionally, the film's soundtrack plays a crucial role in setting the tone and enhancing the emotional impact of the narrative. Featuring a mix of contemporary pop songs and original compositions, the soundtrack complements the film's modern sensibility. Songs like "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "I'm a Believer" by Eddie Murphy (in his role as Donkey) contribute to the film's upbeat and irreverent atmosphere. The use of music also underscores key moments in the story, such as Shrek and Fiona's blossoming romance.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.


In conclusion, Shrek stands as a landmark in animated cinema, offering a fresh and subversive take on the fairy tale genre. Its engaging narrative, well-developed characters, and thematic depth set it apart from conventional animated films. By challenging traditional notions of beauty, heroism, and love, Shrek delivers a powerful message about self-acceptance and the importance of looking beyond appearances. The film's humor, visual design, and soundtrack further enhance its appeal, making it a timeless classic that resonates with audiences of all ages. Through its innovative approach, Shrek has not only entertained millions but also inspired a new generation of animated films that dare to defy expectations.

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Reimagining the Fairy Tale: A Critical Review of Shrek. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Reimagining the Fairy Tale: A Critical Review of Shrek.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Reimagining the Fairy Tale: A Critical Review of Shrek. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Reimagining the Fairy Tale: A Critical Review of Shrek [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now