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Shrek is the flagship movie of comedic techniques because it highlights and makes use of many types of humour to create a the best film. It does this through strategical placement of satirical techniques like parody, reversal and intertextuality. It is confirmed that Shrek is not your typical Disney movie at the start with Shrek reading a story of a prince saving a princess before ripping out a page saying, “like that’s ever gonna happen”.
After ripping the page out loud pop music starts to play while bathes in a swamp, cleans his teach and breaks his mirror. This start to the movie parodies the start of traditional fairy tales, that would have no music at all or very slow dramatic music. This unexpected start to the movie sets the scene for the rest of the movie and creates humour by starting the movie in a funny, obnoxious and unprecedented way. Very different from how you would expect.
Shrek’s friend donkey, who is also named donkey is a parodied dog, this is evident by Donkeys mannerisms. An example is when Donkey is going to go to sleep, instead of just laying down he instead walks in circles before laying down with his head on his paw, just as a dog would do. The donkey possess all the traits of a stereotypical dog, but in order to create humour DreamWorks have applied this to a Donkey. The fact that Donkeys lives with Shrek is an example of incongruity as ogres are typically scary and mean but donkeys considers him a friend.
To discuss the comedic technique intertextuality, you need to first understand what it means. The definition of intertextuality is an idea that any text has been influenced and shaped by texts that have come before it. To understand the intertextual humour in Shrek the viewers must have a significant prior knowledge of children’s fairy tales, for example The Mirror on the Wall, Pinocchio, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, The Gingerbread Man and more.
There is very easy to identify intertextuality such as making the connections between the 7 Dwarfs in Shrek and the Snow-White movie to the reversal beauty and the Beast relationship with Shrek and Fiona. Their relationship is a reversed Beaty and the Beast because instead of the beast who in this case in shrek transforming into a prince, it is Fiona that becomes a Beast or ogre. This use of incorporating fairy tales within Shrek also adds a layer of irony to the movie, which adds further comedic value and humour.
Satire is a type of comedy that ridicules or exposes a person’s stupidity, faults or misbeliefs. Shrek uses satire to subvert fairy tale traditions by using unprecedented characters and situations as reversal to defy what the audience would typically expect. An example is how we as viewers make correct assumptions about the role of each character by first impressions, however this is not the case for the characters in Shrek. At the start of the movie DreamWorks makes us believe that Shrek is the villain by depicting him as a big, green monster and filming him from low angle camera shots. This is done in reverse to lord Farquad as we are made to believe he is the hero, not the villain.
This subverts the common assumption that a monster or ogre in this case is bad and that a prince or lord is the “good” guy. Another example is Fiona being a professional martial artist, which is evident in the scene with the merry men and Robin Hood where she saves herself by beating them up by using crazy moves and techniques. This is an example of reversal as princess are portrayed as innocent and helpless in fairy tales and is why a knight comes to her aid but this use of reversal makes the princess (Fionna) strong and independent. This reversal is perceived as humorous as we expect her to lose but she is suddenly and unexpectedly showed to be strong and independent.