Gender Stereotypes in Fairytales

analytical Essay
996 words
996 words

Shrek, an enormous, disgusting green ogre falling in love with a beautiful princess (later turning into a nasty ogre) is a perfect example of a stereotypical fairytale, right? Well in the movie Shrek, the voice over in the trailer talks about a “hero” attempting to rescue a “fair princess” with the help of “his trusty companion." Besides the fact that the hero is a voluptuous green ogre and the companion is a donkey, everything fits in normally to the definition of a traditional fairytale (Diaz). Also according to Mary Kunimitsu, in fantasy films “There may be characters with magical or supernatural abilities such as witches, wizards, superheroes, mythical creatures, talking animals, and ghosts” (Kunimitsu). In Shrek, there are many of these different characters. Therefore, by explanation, a traditional fairytale with the beautiful princess getting saved by the prince and falling in love is exactly what happens in the movie Shrek, just with a twist. The voice over in the trailer for Shrek states it perfectly as he says “Shrek is a highly irreverent take on the classic fairytale” (Adamson). As an untraditional fairytale, and a parody, the movie Shrek poses the breaking of stereotypes of gender and film fairytales all the while keeping the criteria of a fairytale.
The original Disney fairytales portray their princesses as beautiful, elegant, and very ladylike. Although this is portrayed in most fairytales, it is not a qualifying factor to determine if a film is a fairytale or not. In the movie Shrek, Princess Fiona starts out as a very stereotypical girl, but as the movie progresses, she becomes more comfortable and starts to break these stereotypes. For example when Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey are walking back through the woods Fion...

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...le. Movies like this resist gender stereotypes that say women have to be beautiful and ladylike to live like a princess. There should be more films like Shrek because it breaks norms and teaches people that the only thing that matters is what’s on the inside.

Works Cited

Adamson, Andrew and Vicky Jenson, Shrek, Dreamworks Animations, 2001.
BAYKAL, Nurulhude. "MURATHAN MUNGAN'in "ZAMANIMIZIN BİR KÜLKEDİSİ"Nİ MARKSİST KURAM ÇERÇEVESİNDE OKUMAK. (Turkish)." Milli Folklor 24.96 (2012): 137-147. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Diaz, E. "From Ogre to Beloved Husband." Our Animated World. Jura Gentium Cinema, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2013.
Kunimitsu, Mary. "Fantasy3." Fantasy3. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.
Westland, Ella. "Cinderella In The Classroom. Children's Responses To Gender.." Gender & Education 5.3 (1993): 237. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shrek, an enormous, disgusting green ogre, falls in love with a beautiful princess with the help of his trusty companion.
  • Analyzes how disney fairytales portray their princesses as beautiful, elegant, and very ladylike. shrek's princess fiona starts out as a stereotypical girl, but gradually breaks these stereotypes.
  • Analyzes how the breaking of stereotypes in fairytales reinforces the strict details of girlhood and womanhood.
  • Analyzes how the writers of shrek wanted to change the stereotypes of princesses in fairytales by subverting them to suggest alternative world views for the reader.
  • Analyzes how in stereotypical fairytales, the next step would be to have the princess fall in love and live a long and happy ever after.
  • Opines that shrek is a good member of the fairytale category because it fits into the stereotypical plot line of princes saving and falling in love to end in marriage.
  • Explains that cinderella in the classroom. children's responses to gender.
  • Cites baykal, nurulhude, and diaz, e. "from ogre to beloved husband."
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