“Shrek” often subverts the typical stereotype of a princess. Beautiful and graceful that is what the typical princess is and Snow White adheres to this stereotype. She cooks and cleans for the dwarves and sings beautifully. She is typical princess who needs rescuing. Princess Fiona however, doesn’t need protecting at all. She is masculine and is not as helpless as Snow White. She burps and actually ends up protecting the hero and doesn’t care for the woodland creatures. She blows them up into a balloon.
Snow White always looks beautiful whether she is in dirty clothes or fine clothes, unlike Princess Fiona, she turns into an ogre at night. This is another thing the creators of “Shrek” have subverted. The inversion of the stereotype can also be seen in the way the hero is portrayed. The hero in “Snow White” is stereotypical with his big muscular body and his black hair. He can sing and is loved by many people, but he only loves the princess. The hero in “Snow White” is hardly in the film and is only seen for a limited time at the start and end.
The film doesn’t develop his character but he makes a difference at the end when he kisses the princess and he comes in on a white charger and sweeps her off her feet into the sunset. “Shrek” again subverts how a stereotypical hero would look and act. Shrek is big and fat and is an ogre. He is solitary and is very sophisticated like when he is eating dinner he has a candle and a little glass of Martini and eats with a napkin and cutlery. Shrek is not traditional when rescuing the princess; instead of sweeping her off her feet he grabs her and puts her on his back.
Shrek tries to be funny but is outshone by the donkey throughout the film. Humor is one of “Shrek” best qualities and makes the film more effective. It starts its humor with grotesque images, which if shown when Snow White was released would cause controversy and uproar. This shows how society has changed and how we find different things funny. It targets a universal audience and deals with serious issues like prejudice. Donkey is the main character to use humor and he acts like Shrek’s stooge. Snow Whites humor is very simple and innocent, it appeals more to children and there is very little humor in the film.
Both films use humor through animals. Animals are made to seem human in both films but very differently. In “Snow White” the animals can’t talk but have emotions; they are sad when Snow White is put under the spell and show Snow White the house. They know when something is wrong and when Snow White is in danger. However, in Shrek the animals are human apart from their looks. They can talk unlike those in Snow White. The animals appeal to the audience with their different nationalities and singing with the pop music. This gives the film an international theme.