Film Shrek as a Modern Fairy Tale Analytical Essay

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Fairy tales have been around for hundreds of years being passed down from generation to generation. Although not every story is the same they all share the same goal which is to teach the reader about morals and life lessons. DreamWorks Animation computer-animated comedy film, Shrek, is a modern fairy tale that takes place in Duloc which is ruled by evil Lord Farquaad there he decides to banish all magical beings into the woods.

Shrek who is the main protagonist feels disturbed that his home has become a refugee camp makes a deal with Lord Farquaad, Farquaad will take back the magical beings and leave him alone if Shrek rescues princess Fiona from a tower that is being guarded by a fire breathing dragon. During this journey we learn that there are many morals in this film that have been modernized for today’s audience which can also be found in the classical fairy tale we have read.

One important moral we learn about in the film is the importance of seeing what makes someone beautiful and its whats in the inside that matters. Shrek who is an ogre and looks intimidating is able to win over Fiona’s heart despite being unattractive simply because she has seen that he’s kind hearted person. Also when Fiona transforms into an Ogre Shrek assures her that she is beautiful. He does not care what she looks like because he knows and loves her.

We also see something very similar to this happen in the classical fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Beauty at first is intimidated by Beast who is described as an ugly monster. But after talking to him she realizes that he isn’t this big bad scary monster that he looks like. Beaumont writes,”tis thousand pities, anything so good natured should be so ugly.'[46]

Here Beauty is shown to be having compassion for Beast because she knows that he has a good heart but is sadly in the body of a monster. In the end knowing that Beast is a kind hearted person she agrees to marry him despite his physical attributes. Beauty see’s the good person inside of Beast and falls in love with him just like Fiona did with Shrek. It is modernized in the film because Shrek was an ogre who rescued the princess and in “Beauty and the Beast” Beast was a monster who lived alone.

Another moral that is shared by the film and a classic fairy tale is that you should not judge a book by its cover. In the film everyone is surprised when Fiona showcases her martial art skills. Nobody expected that from a beautiful young princess. Also the Dragon actually turned out to be friendly. If you were judging by looks only then you would probably think of her as a ruthless evil monster.

In the story “The Princess in the Suit of Leather” Juleidah was basically forced to go into hiding wearing a suit of leather. Everyone just saw her as a blind deaf woman not realizing that under that suit was a beautiful woman. They describe her her beauty in the book by saying “where our fine princess sat revealed, her fairness filling the room like a ray of light.”[180]

They wouldn’t have treated her this way if she was still wearing the suit of leather. The film modernizes it because we see in many classical fairy tales that the princess is always in need of help and it’s a man who comes in and saves her, but in Shrek Fiona holds her own and beats up the men who were trying to attack them not needing the help from Shrek.

The final moral that the film and the story share is the importance of friendship In the film Shrek donkey was loyal to Shrek throughout the whole film even though in the beginning Shrek wanted nothing to do with him and thought of him as annoying. After a while Shrek sees that Donkey has good intentions and befriends him. In the classical fairy tale “Snow White” by Brothers Grimm we notice that the real friends in this story are the seven dwarfs.

The first time we see this was when Snow White was found unconscious on the floor when they arrived they saw that the laces were to tight on her so they cut it in two and she slowly began to regain consciousness. The dwarfs were worried for their dear friend and would constantly tell her to not open the door to anyone. Brothers Grimm writes, “Take care and let no one in when we are not with you.”[99]

This shows that they truly care about her because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have tried to help her or warn her of the danger of the evil queen. This is modernized in the film because Donkey was persistent with Shrek and had to win his friendship while in “Snow White” she automatically has the seven dwarfs see her as a friend.

In conclusion the film Shrek and many classical fairy tales share the same morals but modernized to appeal for today’s audience. The film shares the moral of beauty being within a person, and not to judge a book by its cover. These are morals that we have probably heard of before but were modernized in Shrek in order to get the point across to the audience.

Everyone thought Fiona was just another beautiful princess and were surprised when they saw that she knew martial arts. The film modernized it because instead of making it where she has to be saved by a man like many other stories we have read she fights the bad guys herself and shows that women can be just as strong as men. Next time you see a movie you might realize that there are many more similarities to other stories you have read than you might’ve thought.


Cite this paper

Film Shrek as a Modern Fairy Tale Analytical Essay. (2021, May 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/film-shrek-as-a-modern-fairy-tale/



Is Shrek a folk tale?
No, Shrek is not a folk tale. It is a modern fairy tale that was created by DreamWorks Animation.
What fairy tales are in the movie Shrek?
The movie Shrek includes fairy tales such as "The Three Little Pigs," "Pinocchio," and "The Big Bad Wolf."
What is a modern day fairytale?
"The Princess and the Frog" and "Tangled" are both modern day fairytales. In "The Princess and the Frog", a girl named Tiana dreams of owning her own restaurant and one day she meets a frog who may just be her prince. In "Tangled", a girl named Rapunzel is kidnapped and taken to a tower where she is locked away for years. One day, a thief named Flynn Rider climbs up her tower and Rapunzel's life changes forever.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out