A Fairytale in Disguise
by Joe Tracy, Publisher of Digital
Media FX Magazine
it be that an animated movie which pokes fun at fairytales
is actually a fairytale in disguise? After all, consider
It has a hero in Shrek. OK, so Shrek isn't your typical
hero. He is ugly ogre, many times disgusting, and could
care less (so it seems) about "saving the world".
It has a love interest and princess. OK, so the princess
has many problems of her own and doesn't act like a
princess. "She is a firecracker - a little spark
plug," says Cameron Diaz, who voices the princess.
It has a villain. OK, so the villain has some shortcomings
makes Shrek a classic in its own right is that
it successfully pokes fun at other animated movies and
past fairy tales (Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast,
Robin Hood, Peter Pan, etc.) while subtly presenting
itself as a fairytale at the same time.
kind of looks backwards at all the fairy tale traditions
we grew up on, and takes great fun turning all those storytelling
conventions upside down and inside out," says DreamWorks
principal Jeffrey Katzenberg. The producer of Shrek,
Aron Warner, is quick to add to that thought.
basically took every fairy tale in the book and turned
it on its side," says Warner. "Nothing is sacred;
every fairy tale gets roasted. These characters are ripe
for parody because they're part of the cosmic consciousness,
so to speak."
power of illusion is partly contributed to writers Ted
Elliot and Terry Rossio, who experienced Disney's side
of fairy tales when they wrote Aladdin. To help bring
the writing to life was directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky
story is about self-acceptance and that things aren't
always as they appear," says Jenson. "We definitely
turn the concept of beauty on its ear, which I think is
a very powerful theme."
calls Shrek the "first computer animated fairy
tale." It may be irreverent, odd, unique, and off
the wall, but deep down there is a fairy tale story in
disguise which adds some of the
really is an allegory in which we can find something about
our own lives," says Katzenberg. "Each of our
characters come to understand that there is something
wonderful - warts and all - about who they are. I think
that's true for all of us: that the people who ultimately
come to know and love us, see the strengths inside of
us. Whether you're a princess, a donkey, or even a big,
green, stinky ogre, you can find love and happiness."
Tracy is the publisher of Digital
Media FX Magazine.