Director: Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson
Actors: Mike Myers (as the voice of Shrek)
Eddie Murphy (as the voice of Donkey)
Cameron Diaz (as the voice of Princess Fiona)
John Lithgow (as the voice of Lord Farquaad)
Story: Shrek is a 2001 animated movie about an ogre and his pesky friend, Donkey, that set out on a “quest” on behalf of Duloc’s evil Lord Farquaad, who must marry a Princess before he can become king. Shrek made a deal with Lord Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona from a castle, protected by a fire breathing dragon, in order to rid his swamp of the fairytale creatures Lord Farquaad banished, in this story of love and friendship.
Plot: Shrek is an ogre that lives quite happily in swamp in solitude, as everyone else is terrified of him. He ventures out and comes across Donkey being chased by Lord Farquaad’s men, which Shrek scares off. As he makes his way home, followed by the grateful but annoying Donkey, he discovers that Lord Farquaad has evicted all of the fairy-tale creatures and has forced them to live in his swamp, intruding on Shrek’s peaceful and quiet lifestyle. He demands to know who sent them there and where he can be found. Donkey eagerly offers to lead Shrek to Duloc where he can face-off with him.
Meanwhile, Lord Farquaad realizes that the only way he can become King of Duloc is to marry a Princess, he chooses Princess Fiona, who is locked in a castle tower that is being guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Being that Lord Farquaad is of short stature and a coward, he holds a tournament where the winner will have the “honor” of rescuing the Princess and bringing her back to Duloc for him to marry, effectively making him King of Duloc. Shrek and Donkey stumble on the tournament and easily defeat the Knights. He makes a deal with Lord Farquaad that if he successfully rescues Princess Fiona, Farquaad will get rid of all the fairy-tale creatures from his swamp. Lord Farquaad agrees and Shrek and Donkey take off an adventure.
Once they reach the castle they have to figure out a way to reach the tower without being burned or eaten by the dragon. The dragon catches Donkey and to his surprise she is a girl dragon, who is lonely and becomes smitten by Donkey’s charm. This distraction allows for Shrek to get to Fiona and rescue her. As they barely make it out of the castle, to Fiona’s dismay, her rescuer is an ogre.
The trio proceed on the long trip back to Duloc to the awaiting Lord Farquaad. Initially, Shrek and Fiona do not like each other but warm up to each other during their journey. At one point, Fiona insists that they stop to rest. This is because she is hiding a secret that when the sun goes down she turns into an ogre and only a kiss from her true love will undo the curse and reveal her “true” form. Donkey discovers her secret and urges Fiona to reveal herself to Shrek, but she refuses saying “ogres are ugly and unlovable”. Shrek overhears this and assumes she’s talking about him. He immediately turns cold and by the morning, Lord Farquaad arrives to pick up his princess.
During a heated argument, Donkey reveals Fiona’s secret and then they begin to plot a way to stop the marriage of Farquaad and Fiona. By the time they reach the church it’s too late, Fiona and Farquaad are married. Shrek tells Fiona she loves him and they kiss which transforms her immediately into an ogre. Farquaad, disgusted, tries to have her killed, but Donkey comes to the rescue by whistling for his lady friend, the dragon, who bursts through the window and swallows Lord Farquaad whole.
Both ogres, they get married and Shrek, Fiona and Donkey live happily ever after.
Chronology: The story was told in chronological order, meaning the “events in the movie’s plot follow the same order as they occurred” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, Chapter 3.2). Since this movie is geared towards children, having the story told in this fashion allows for an easier flow and understanding of the events as they occur.
Character Development: Using chronological storytelling in Shrek allowed its audience watch his transformation from a grumpy, lonely ogre to one with friends and love. The audience is able to experience Shrek and Donkey going from a dislike and annoyance to best of friends and trusting each other.
Different Style: If the story had chosen a different presentation style, such as non-linear, meaning it interchanges between the present, future and/or past (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014) it may have been unable to hold onto the attention of the young viewers who often have small attention spans to begin with. They may have been confused and therefore, uninterested.
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing, 2nd Ed. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education Inc.