Shrek part 1

Media coursework
GCSE English language
Media piece
History of fairytales
• Fairytales were originally meant for adults;
• They were invented during a time when
people believed in things such as witches,
ogres, giants and trolls;
• Eventually they were altered to remove
violence so they could be told to children;
• Now they often include a “moral” or a
lesson for children to remember;
• When was the last time you heard a
traditional fairytale?
• In pairs write down as many fairytales as
you can think of – you MUST be able to
remember the story!
• Compile the list as a whole class
• Remember 5 key events from the fairytale
you are given (tableaux)
We’re fairytale experts then!
What makes a fairytale?
What types of words are used?
What characters are typical?
What locations/places might appear?
What usually happens?
Any words or phrases you might expect?
Create a fairytale mindmap
Traditional fairy tales
Traditional representation Evidence from fairytales
The Hero: Tall, dark
handsome, brave, noble,
charming, represents good.
The damsel: beautiful,
weak, feminine, no common
sense, marries Prince,
represents good.
The baddie: inhuman,
animal like, eats humans,
male, represents evil.
Desired: beautiful,
luxurious, civilised, happy,
home of good people.
Detested: dirty, uncivilised,
unwelcoming, home of evil.
Coursework title
“In traditional fairy tales, ogres are maneating beasts. The prince usually rescues
the Princess, they marry and live happily
ever after.
How do the makers of Shrek use
presentational devices to reverse this
tradition, to reveal the ogre as good and
the Prince as evil?”
Copy this in to your book
Writing task
• Write at least a paragraph about traditional fairy
• You need to write about:
• How Princes and ogres/giants are represented
in traditional fairy stories
• Explain what the ogre does in the story of Jack
and Beanstalk
• Talk about what the Prince does in Snow White
and the seven dwarves
• Pay particular attention to how they are
In total, we are going to analyse:
• Shrek’s character
• Lord Farquaad’s evil side
• Camera shots
• Presentational devices used in the film
(write this down too!)
Analysing Shrek’s character
We are going to address:
• The beginning of the film
• His relationship with the storybook
• His first meeting with Donkey
• Their visit to Duloc
• The rescue of Princess Fiona
The opening
Watch the opening again, think about:
• Why might viewers be surprised?
• What does the beginning of the film
• How will this film fit in with “traditional” fairy
Shrek’s character: the beginning
The film opens with a
book containing a fairy
story, making us think
that is what we are
about to experience.
The music in the
background is old
fashioned, classical and
traditional, we assume
the film will be the
Shrek’s character: the beginning
The story contains
typical fairy tale phrases
such as “once upon a
time” and “happily ever
Shrek’s character: the beginning
The characters in the
story are Princes, ogres,
dragons and
Princesses, just like
traditional fairy tales.
Shrek’s character: the beginning
Suddenly the book is
torn up by a dirty great
big GREEN hand!
The viewer starts to
think this might NOT be
such a traditional story;
it’s almost like the
makers are “ripping up
the rule book”.
Shrek’s character: the beginning
The music changes
abruptly to modern
An ugly green ogre
appears from an
outhouse, traditional
fairy stories are
banished to only “toilet
The message to the audience: SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG!
Shrek’s character: the beginning
His habitat is not inhospitable or ugly: it is very
domesticated and “homely”.
Activity: How many things in this long shot can you spot which
you would not expect to see in a traditional ogre’s swamp?
Shrek’s character: the beginning
The ogre also seems
pretty civilised, doing
daily cleansing rituals,
this is making him
appear like a human
Shrek’s character: the beginning
How is Shrek being
presented as a human
and not as an animal in
this shot?
Shrek’s character: the beginning
He is now painting, not
just a human thing, but
a cultured, refined,
educated human trait.
Message to the audience: this is NOT going to be a
traditional fairy story!
Write a paragraph about the
opening of the film
Cover these points:
• How is it different to a conventional fairy tale?
• Why are the viewers surprised?
• What does such an opening suggest?
You could use some of these phrases:
• The film Shrek opens with…
• Viewers are surprised because…
• The beginning of the film suggests that…