What We Are Gonna Say

We need to make our discussion interactive. Make it more conversation like. Have people asking questions, others answering, and the points more spread out so that everyone talks and the speech becomes more engaging. Admittedly this may have the negative effect of making the discussion seem chaotic and out of hand, if it is not pulled off correctly. Hence we need to have Guy in between it all "controlling it". Say x asks a question, guy then asks if anyone has a response, y and z both raise their hands and guy gives them each a turn. It is still engaging but in a ordered way.

Summarised discussion

Guy: Introduce everyone and the topic. State the format of the discussion. Ask Steven for an overview of the typical elements of a fairytale.

Steven: Typical elements of a fairytale.

Michael: Points out that shrek starts as a fairytale.

William: Agrees, refers to how music and voice are used to further this impression.

Guy: Asks Robert when and how it becomes apparent that Shrek isn't a regular fairytales.

Robert: The opening scene. The music changes.

Steven: Point out the significance of music in the movie and possible reasons.

Gareth: Points out the deeper significance of Shrek's comments, and his misuse of the pages of the storybook. Mentions how other movies/fairytales are quoted.

Guy: Asks why the creators of Shrek would want to insult other movies.

Robert: Gives a possible explanation, stating that Dreamworks and Disney are competing companies and therefore have reason to want to insult each other.

William: Points out that Duloc could be a parody for the Disney theme parks.

Guy: Asks Michael if he Shrek has a greater message

Michael: States that most fairytales portray the heroes as beautiful. Points out that Shrek does not do this.

William: Points out that no matter who you are, you can make it in your own chosen journey

Robert: Asks whether the movie says that it is okay to be different.

Gareth: Answers yes, with examples.

Guy: Asks William if character appearances are important

William: Refers to the fact that the heroes are unconventional, as is the "steed", and yet they are all important, in order to prove that appearance is inconsequential.

Michael: Builds on williams point by using the example of the princess who is not quite a damsel.

Robert: Highlights the point Shrek makes that the most unconventional pair may become friends.

Guy: Asks Steven if setting is important.

Steven: Responds by showing that Shrek uses settings to poke fun at fairytales.

Guy: Asks Robert if the fact that Shrek has a greater meaning makes it a fairytale.

Robert: Quotes the definition of fairytales to prove that it does.

Guy: Summarises the discussion and the points raised. Explains that although Shrek is most obviously a parody of other fairytales, it is in itself one as well.

How we plan to say our parts (edit your part individually)

Guy: Hi I am Guy Kabot and I will be the chairman for this forum discussion. These are the other members of the group, Robert Ketteringham, William Versveld, Gareth Howard, Steven Wylie and Michael Smith. Today we will be discussing Shrek and whether it can be seen as a typical fairytale or a story that undermines the genre of fairytales as a whole. I will be asking questions to different group members who will then give their opinions. If another group member has a point to add they may do so once the first group member is finished talking.

The first question is for you Steven: Could you give me a brief overview of the typical elements found in a fairytale?

Steven: Yes, a fairytale usually involves characters that embark on a journey of discovery. This journey is usually dangerous and ends with a handsome reward, for example a princess or treasure chest. There is also usually a battle between good and evil. Good most often than not triumphs over evil.

Michael: Shrek starts out as a typical fairytale. The movie begins with “once upon a time,” which is how almost all fairytales start.

William: Yes and the music is also very medieval at the beginning, which makes us believe it is going to be just another fairytale. The voice we hear reading the story sounds handsome and deep, further emphasising this fact.

Guy: This question is for you Robert. How and when do the differences between Shrek and normal fairytale become apparent?

Robert: The mood suddenly changes near the end of the reading of the story. The choice of music emphasises this. The music suddenly changes from medieval flutes to rock. The first hint of cynicism also becomes apparent, when Shrek remarks, “Like that will ever happen.” Through this change in music and dialogue, Shrek, the movie, goes from being just another fairytale to comical satire.

Steven:To add to what Robert was saying, there are many examples later on in the story where the music plays a key role in changing the mood from a typical fairytale to a satire. Rock music is usually used to break the mould of typical fairytales. I think this could be because rock music its self, broke the mould in the music scene of the 1970’s.

Gareth: To elaborate on what Robert was saying, the satirical nature of the movie is illustrated by the way Shrek uses the fairytale book as toilet paper. This action shows us that this is no ordinary fairytale. And that there is little respect for other fairytales and that they are, as Shrek so nicely put it, "a load of cr…" Shrek also rips off other more well known fairytales. There is referrence to babe the pig, the gingerbread man and Pinocchio. This is most probably done to emphasise the undermining of the genre of fairytales.

Guy: So you're saying that they are purposefully trying to rip off other fairytales. Why would the creators want to do this?

Robert: One possible reason why Shrek mocks these fairytales is that Dreamworks, which is the maker of Shrek, is in direct competion with Disney, which is the maker of many of the fairytales that were ripped off in Shrek. —So it makes sense that Shrek will rip these fairytale movies off.

William: Shrek also mocks disneyland theme parks. This comes in the form of Duloc castle, with it's queues, ticket & information offices and mascots. The theme song, "Duloc is the perfect town" is apparantly very similar to the Disney theme song.

Guy: This next question is for you Michael. Do you think Shrek has a greater message for its audience and if so what is it?

Micheal: I think Shrek creates a powerful message just by satirising the average fairytale. Typical fairytales place a huge emphasis on the appearance of the hero and the princess. The Prince is always dashing and tall and the princess is always beautiful. The movie mocks this by having a seemingly “ugly” hero and a seemingly “ugly” princess.

William: It basically shows us that no matter who you are and what you look like, you can be successful in your chosen journey.

Robert: In other words, what you are trying to say is that, according to Shrek anyways, you don’t always have to conform to societies’ stereotypes and it is OK to be different?

Gareth: Exactly, this theme of breaking societies’ moulds is evident throughout the play. From where Fiona, who is supposed to be the damsel in distress, defends herself against Robin Hood and his merry men, to the love affair between donkey and the dragon.

Guy: William, do how do the appearances of the characters in Shrek relate to this point?

William: Well, if we take Shrek and the princess, for example, they are both seemingly unattractive, yet they are the heroes of the story. This ,as was said before, is very unconventional. Then there is also donkey, who is certainly a not a “noble steed” ridden by the hero, yet in the end he comes to the hero's assistance in his time of need, and saves the day. The fact that he could be considered a "noble steed" is even hinted at in the movie.

Michael: There is also the Princess, who is not the typical damsel in distress. Most of the princesses in fairytales are completely helpless, but Fiona defends herself well against Robin Hood and his merry men.

Robert: In a typical fairytale, the knight slays the dragon. In this fairytale they become friends. This shows us that once you get to know someone personally you might find that you like them, even if you are expected to be enemies.

Guy:What about the setting Steven?

Steven: Well firstly there is Duloc castle, which I believe is exaggerated on purpose to undermine typical fairytales, which usually have perfect castles. Duloc is almost kichey and sticks out in the natural environment. There is also the castle where Fiona is kept. The dangers are exaggerated once again, like the boiling pit of lava. It is mocking the unrealistic nature of typical fairytales by going way overboard.

Guy: So Robert, by having a greater message, you are saying that Shrek is in some ways a typical fairytale.

Robert: Well by definition, a fairytale aims to teach children values and Shrek has done this, a little unconventionally I might add. So it does not undermine the genre of fairytales completely, as in the end the "hero” and the “princess” do live happily ever after and get married.

Guy: In conclusion I think our group has shown that Shrek does mock certain elements of a typical fairytale and portrays a very powerful message in doing so. It does however maintain certain elements found in a fairytale like a moral message.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License