|Shrek is the protagonist and hero in the film Shrek. In the beginning of this film, Shrek struggles with accepting himself as an ogre. He is essentially shunned by society, and this causes him to really re-evaluate all of the characteristics he once prided himself on. Visually speaking, by looking at images of Shrek, it is difficult to imagine him as the hero of any story. He is not your average hero or prince for that matter. He is instead, green, unattractive, out of shape (obese), dirty, ungroomed, standoffish, and unwealthy. All of these characteristics are made quite clear throughout the movie. In other fairy tales, there is no mention of the hero ever being anything but handsome, human, in shape, royal (or in some way privileged), and clean. Shrek defies these representations, and is able to actually get the girl in the end. Because the story is set up in this way, it redefines characteristics of a normative hero. This film also, "as with any children’s text, [possesses] the didactic implications of film that worry adults. We are all familiar with the phrases, 'this is a bad message for children', 'this is not appropriate for children', and above all: 'this is not good for children'" (Garson 31).
|Shrek is bigger than all of the other male heroes in animated films, and being green really sets him apart from his human counterparts. Visually, this is not necessarily pleasing or not pleasing, it just reinforces the idea that his is different. Shrek is also very large. By placing him next to Fiona and Donkey, it is apparent that his size is quite daunting. His hands are massive, and when placed next to Fiona's almost monster like. That is how he is portrayed throughout most of the movie, as a monster. It is the progression of his internal characteristics that really and truly helps the viewer over come the stigma's associated with whatever character occupies the role of the hero, radically altering the perceived characteristics of the hero. Although this is the way that the audience is able to see how Shrek has an overall moral character, the way he is represented visually is really the most important part of this redefinition of the 'knight in shinging armor'.
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