- Troll on the stage 5. From screen to book
- Computer-based versions 6. A new type of a character
- Old stories in a new way 7. An award-winning cartoon
- Enjoyable parodies of Hollywood hits 8. Similar to a real person
A. Somewhere in a far-away magic kingdom there lived a beautiful princess and a prince and animals who could talk like humans. This is a typical plot for many fairy tales. In 1990, a short story for children about Shrek, a big green troll, appeared. Unlike previous heroes he looked ugly and scary but had a big, kind heart. In 2001, DreamWorks studio made the first animated Shrek cartoon that was followed by three full-length ones.
B. The story of the troll called Shrek became very popular, especially with children. All the characters of the cartoons are easy to remember and have a good sense of humour. The cartoons are full of episodes about friendship, good and evil, love, and family values. The cartoons present an amusing mixture of traditional fairy tales and real-life events familiar to everyone.
C. Few people know that Shrek’s appearance copies that of Maurice Tillet, called the ‘French Angel’. He was a famous professional French boxer and wrestler of the 20th century. Unfortunately, at the age of twenty he got a rare disease which changed his body and appearance. It made him look like a huge troll but, in contrast to the cartoon character, Maurice Tillet was highly intelligent – he spoke fourteen languages and was good at writing prose.
D. Several scenes in cartoons about Shrek are based on scenes from famous films. For example, the ‘Welcome to Duloc’ song sounds like the popular Disney tune ‘It’s a Small World’. During the fight between Fiona and Robin Hood’s men, the camera moves as in ‘The Matrix’. There are hints of the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Mission Impossible’.
E. The famous story was also made into a Broadway show, ‘Shrek the Musical’. Technically, the musical is not the same as the movie but it has its advantages. Children and adults enjoy seeing celebrities in the roles of Shrek and Princess Fiona. The success of the musical was also based on a nice combination of new and old popular songs.
F. The stories about the green troll and his friends are for all ages. Teenagers and grown-ups may enjoy modern computer games about Shrek. Computer stories have attractive design and dynamic plots, so gamers and fans will not be bored. Though the images of Shrek and Fiona are a bit different from the film, they are quickly recognizable.
G. Reading is Shrek’s favourite hobby. He reads in nearly every film. In the final movie, he puts a volume on the shelf where the viewer may notice a cover with the name of the next DreamWorks film, ‘Puss in Boots’. In the end, Shrek himself has become a literary character. The first electronic novel based on the cartoons is available on the Internet.