Shrek: A Not So Typical Fairytale
Everybody has seen the movie, and everyone has met previously with the characters being re-introduced in this new age fairytale. The story takes place deep in the forest (a swamp to be exact) and follows any typical story line of a damsel in distress to be rescued by a seemingly typical prince, but when the princess is to be saved by a big green ogre the whole tone of the story changes.
The story follows Shrek on his journey from almost becoming a victim of a local round-up of infamous fairytale characters like Pinocchio , Little Bo Peep, and the three little pigs, just to name a few but is later recruited to rescue the princess from the grips of an evil dragon in a castle far, far away. Unhappy about his newly appointed journey, he trudges along with his trusty, yet annoying side kick, Donkey, and fights his way through a myriad of trials and tribulations set forth to detour him from success. As a fairytale should it ends with a happy ending, having rescued the princess from harm's way, only to find out she too is plagued with an ogre identity.
Along the way the viewer runs into many well-known characters, like the gingerbread man, and get to see them in a whole new light, a way that wasn't possible within the confines of their own story and although the movie has all the tell tale signs of your typical fairytale story, it's satirical tone lends a hand to the film as a new age fairytale that pokes fun at the rules set forth by all the characters and their fairytales' as told differently in the past.
So even though the story follows the appropriate rise and fall of your traditional fairytales the simple fact that the main character and his bride to be are ogres is an immediate introduction to the very un-traditional events that are to unfold as the story progresses. It is even more unique that the once beautiful princess is seen as suffering from a disease because she is an ogre but Shrek shows her that beauty isn't the path to happiness, but love is, even if it is ogre love. I think it's important that the implicit nature of the film is pointing to the concept that even though the fairytale is an unlikely event for the reality of everyday life, the characters, attitudes and humaness of the characters and the story they are sharing holds the movie to a whole new standard as say Cinderella or Snow White. It would be appear that the re-telling aspect of the movie is not in the story line itself but in the humanity and reality of the characters that are being met for the first time and those that are being re-troduced in the modern world.