Thursday, April 2, 2015

Blog 4: Shrek Hypocritical

Shrek’s Hypocritical Message

            The movie Shrek originally came out into theaters in 2001. With its childish sense of humor and fun for all ages, Shrek quickly became one of America’s favorite kid targeted movies. The story is about an ogre named Shrek who lives in a swamp by himself. He is happily alone until the kingdom starts to invade his property with all kinds of magical creatures one could only find in fairytales. Shrek, annoyed with the kingdom’s invasion, visits the king, demanding that he leaves his swamp alone and lets him live in peace. From there the story takes us on a wild adventure where Shrek has to save a princess for the king in order to complete the deal he made for his swamp to be left alone. The story told includes how Shrek saves the princess with his newfound friend Donkey and while returning the princess to the king, Shrek finds himself falling in love.
            The rest you can watch for yourself but the movie itself is full of messages that can be easily seen by most people and hopefully some kids will learn from it. What exactly they will get from the movie is another question entirely. On a very basic level, Shrek is a film about appearances not being all that matters about a person. Basically the movie is trying to show kids that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and the love story that unfolds between Shrek and Princess Fiona is a perfect example of what can come from getting to know someone rather than just simply writing someone off and judging them before you actually get to know them.
            Not judging a book by its cover is a classic message that parents and adults alike preach to the younger audience almost everyday. It is a well-established good message in today’s society even if people don’t always follow up and practice it. The interesting thing about Shrek is that while it has the obvious message that it is clearly trying to show, the movie contradicts itself in a very hypocritical way thus creating a negative message for kids.
            The movie made its message clear about not judging others and yet continued to make jokes at the expense of Lord Farquaad. Farquaad was the brunt of many jokes about his size and stature clearly looking for entertainment value at the expense of the Lord’s feelings. Although the jokes seem funny to innocent kids watching, it is clear that the wrong kind of message is being sent here. The movie claims that it preaches not judging others by their appearance and yet contradicts itself by making fun of a short person.

            I know the movie itself had good intentions and tried to be funny but how can a movie actually go and contradict its main message in the movie by not following it’s own morals? Why is making fun of a short person ok and yet we can’t make fun of an ogre? The hypocritical message may go unnoticed by most and I will agree that the main message of the film is more positive than negative but I fail to see how the writers thought it was a good idea to preach something to kids only to do the exact opposite in the movie. What impact this has on kids and what they get from the movie is beyond my understanding but I certainly was surprised to see such a major flaw in the film’s script.


  1. Solid work here Patrick. After watching "Shrek" for myself back in the day, I definitely picked up on the positive theme of not judging a book by its cover. I believe this idea is pretty overt and viewers are able to pick up on this easily. Even my younger siblings were able to discover this message. Furthermore, this message is key to the storyline of the movie and helps inspire and teach younger kids to not be so quick to judge. However, I never thought of the other, contradicting side of the argument, dealing with Lord Farquaad. After reading your blog, this contradicting idea became obvious to me, even though I had not picked up on it originally. Also, most kids probably do not pick up on this while watching the movie because Lord Farquaad was created as a comedic villain, which children enjoyed. Overall, great discovery and insight into a negative theme than not many pick up on originally.

  2. I agree with Michael how I would have never seen this hypocrisy yet know that I have I am appalled. I completely agree how it is shocking how the writers can see this as an "okay" message in a movie all about acceptance.