In DreamWorks attempt to compete with Disney, they created the aimed franchise, Shrek (2001), a story about an ogre named Shrek, who goes on a quest to save Princess Fiona, in exchange to get his swamp back from Lord Farquaad yet ends up becoming the hero of the story.
I love the humor and the depth of each character. Each character appears to be the stereotypical architype, like the hero, the princess, the steed, and the villain, yet DreamWorks only uses the characteristics while changing each physic letting their actions define their roles.
Shrek, played by Mike Meyers, starts out as being a foul. short-tempered ogre, who just wants to live peacefully in his swamp. After rescuing the princess, he starts to fall in love with her, and you see Shrek soften up being kinder to her and Donley.
Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy, is friendly, talkative Donley, who flees to Shrek’s swamp along with the other faerytale creature to escape being sold when it is revealed he can talk. He is optimistic and tries to get Shrek to see things from another person’s perspective.
Princess Fiona, played by Cameron Diaz, is the beautiful proncess that is trapped in the highest tower of the tallest castle guarded by a dragon. She shares with Shrek, that she was cursed. A princess by day, and ogre by night, and with true loves kiss she wold take the form of her true love.
Lord Farquaad, played by John Lithgow, is the Lord of Duloc. When trying to arrest Sherk after entering his kingdom, he strikes a deal with Shrek. Rescue the princess for him, so he can become King, and he would return the deed to his swamp.
After Shrek’s swamp is inhabited by faerytale creatures, he travels to Dulac to speak with Lord Farquaad about getting the creatures off his land. He strikes a deal with Shrek, rescue Princess Fiona and bring her to Duloc, and he will have his swamp back. Eager to return to his solitude, Shrek and Donkey journey to the castle to rescue the princess. On their journey back to Duloc, Shrek and Princess Fiona reveal the secrets they’ve both ben keeping.
I think it’s interesting that DreamWorks makes the audience believe that the story will be a faerytale and perhaps the ogre is the villain? But not only do we see our hero being what we perceived to be a vicious monster, our princess is no damsel in distress. Yes, she is locked in a tower guarded by a dragon, yet once she is free we see her fighting the bandits that try to kidnap her.
Even Lord Farquaad is not the devilishly handsome prince tasked with slaying the dragon to save the princess, but rather a cunning, selfish Lord, who only wants the princess rescued to become King. I would give it a eight out of ten rating. The story is original and each character is equally developed, showing their flaws and quirks, but also making them relatable to the audience.