‘Shrek’ the story of an ugly ogre, who goes on a daring quest, to rescue feisty Princess Fiona, to win back the deed for his beloved swamp from scheming Lord Farquaad, is a fairytale with a difference. It has the usual fairytale characteristics, but around every corner there is a twist to the tale. ‘Shrek’ is an ugly ogre, who for years has been terrorised by the people of Dulock, as they feel that he is a threat, when really he just wants to be left alone. He lives in a swamp in a forest on the edge of Dulock, a kingdom ruled by Prince Farquaad.
Now Prince Farquaad has banished all fairytale characters from his kingdom, and has sent them to the ogres swamp to live, but ‘Shrek’ is unhappy about this and goes to Dulock, to try to win back the deed for his swamp. But Prince Farquaad won’t back down without a fight, and so he sends ‘Shrek’ on a daring quest to rescue the Princess of his dreams Fiona. So ‘Shrek’ takes up his offer, and with a little help from his loveable loud – mouthed donkey, and successfully completes his mission.
Having ‘Shrek’ as the hero defies the law of fairytale writing, because usually in fairytales the hero is young, handsome, popular and usually human, but in ‘Shrek’ they have turned this around to make Shrek the hero, who is ugly, unpopular and is an ogre. But by using Shrek as the unconventional hero, it adds to the humour and gives the viewer a different side to the fairytale genre. It also makes you ask, why do all heroes have to be like they are in typical fairytales, when we can quite clearly see that from ‘Shrek’, it works if you turn this idea around.
Lord Farquaad is the evil prince, who is selfish and too self contained to care about anyone else. He is looking for the woman of his dreams, and asks his Magic Mirror for help. The Magic Mirror suggests 3 princesses and Princess Fiona is one of them. Lord Farquaad then sets out to find a knight who is strong and brave enough to fight the dragon that protects the castle that Princess Fiona is stuck in. But all knights who try out fail, but when ‘Shrek’ comes to have a word with Lord Farquaad about the deed to his swamp, Lord Farquaad sets Shrek the challenge of saving the Princess just for him, in order to get the deed for his swamp back.