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English: Shrek

About the film

undefinedOnce upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. There are blind mice in his food, a big, bad wolf in his bed, three little homeless pigs and more, all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad. Determined to save their home--not to mention his own--Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona to be Farquaad's bride. Accompanying him on his mission is wisecracking Donkey, who will do anything for Shrek... except shut up. Rescuing the Princess from a fire-breathing dragon may prove the least of their problems when the deep, dark secret she has been keeping is revealed.

GENRE: Humour


  • Beauty
  • Gender Stereotyping
  • Friendship
  • Fractured (or Twisted) Fairy tales

Symbolism in Shrek

Fractured Fairytales

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales describes two variations of fairy tales. Parodies humorously mock the fairy tale genre and individual tales, while fractured fairy tales reformat the tale to include more serious current morals and social messages. We see that there are clearly two sub-genres: parodies and fractured.


Gender Stereotyping

Teaching resources

Questions to consider

  • Does the style of Shrek remind you of other animated films? In what ways?
  • Each of the characters in the film come to understand that there is something wonderful about who they are and that beauty is on the inside. Give some examples.
  • Shrek is a modern fairytale with many references to traditional fairytales - list as many as you can and suggest why the filmmakers included these references.
  • During the film the camera becomes the narrator, telling the viewer the story through a sequences of camera shots. How do you think this contributes to the film?