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Shrek – Princess vs Merry Men Scene

This scene is from mid-way through the 2001 Dreamworks movie Shrek. Which parodies other fairy tales, primarily animated Disney films. The film kickstarted a franchise consisting of five feature movies (with two more in the works), eight short films, three TV specials, one TV show, many videogames, and a stage musical. In the first film, we meet an ogre named Shrek who finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures who have been banished by the corrupt Lord Farquaad. Shrek makes a deal with Farquaad to regain control of his swamp in return for rescuing Princess Fiona, whom Farquaad intends to marry. With the help of Donkey, Shrek embarks on his quest but soon falls in love with the princess. 

This scene shows Shrek and Donkey walking Princess Fiona to meet Lord Farquaad. Shrek lets out a burp and apologizes to the princess, but she then lets out a louder burp. Shrek is confused but impressed. All of a sudden the Princess is picked up by Robin Hood and his Merry Men, they sing a song explaining they are here to rescue Princess Fiona, but she swiftly ends the song, knocking Robin Hood out and stating “man that was annoying” before knocking the rest of the Merry men unconscious. This scene parodies what is expected of princesses, it plays with stereotypes, questioning what is expected of different types of people. 


What are the characteristics of Princess Fiona in this scene? 

Would you describe these characteristics as feminine or masculine? 

What does it mean to see a character defying these stereotypes?

What other examples of stereotyped femininity can you think of? Do those characters end up defying the stereotype?

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