SHREK’ is the perfect comedy for teaching values

It has been two decades since the DreamWorks Animation production company presented us with its animated film Shrek. A film based on the illustrated children’s book Shrek! by William Steig. In 2001, directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Henson launched a product that quickly triumphed, in fact that same year it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as participating in the official selection of the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

And, like almost every product that works, it had its successive installments. Until now Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the third (2007), Shrek happily ever after (What was, and still is, the secret of its success? Perhaps the answer is that Shrek, being an animated movie, was able to reach both adults and children, which makes it a perfect movie to enjoy with the family and to teach values.


Shrek teaches us to educate in values

The plot. An unsociable ogre who lives in a swamp alone and far from the world finds his home full of fantasy characters who, it seems, have been expelled from the place they used to occupy. Shrek, in order to recover his swamp and be free of these individuals, will have to go to the rescue of a princess trapped in a tower.

Título Shrek

So much for the story. But this film, which we may have seen more than once, is much more than an animated film, as it portrays very important themes and values that we can teach.

Stereotypes

In the case of Shrek and Fiona, the stereotypes are clear. He, an ugly ogre with no manners. She, a beautiful and delicate princess. But not everything is what it seems. Appearances can be deceiving and what a person projects on the outside can be a reflection of their fears and insecurities. The film teaches us that people with a different physique or a different beauty are not to be rejected. Regardless of your physique, there will always be someone who loves and accepts you as you are. People who are considered different are often victims of harassment by society (we have a clear example when the “bad guy” of the film enacts a “wanted” law for all those animated creatures with features that do not fit in with “normality”).

Children will thus learn that being “different” is not to be criticised. On the contrary. It is to be accepted as we have to accept ourselves regardless of our appearance. Our beauty does not symbolise what we are and what we can become. By falling in love with an ogre and a princess we are teaching values as important and necessary as the importance of personal acceptance, integration and, therefore, the rejection of harassment. The film teaches us that we must look inside people, get to know them, put ourselves in other people’s shoes and develop empathy.

Characters with real personalities and roles

todas las películas Shrek

In the film, nothing is what it seems at first. We are no longer dealing with princesses patiently waiting for their prince. Princess Fiona is not content with her fate. She is brave and wants to make her own decisions. Shrek is apparently brutish, inconsiderate and antisocial but this is just a reflection of his insecurities as he fears he will never be accepted by others. The film serves to eliminate the sexist roles that still exist in stories and films.

Teaching values: Shrek teaches to face fears

Shrek valores para niños

For example, when Shrek entertains Donkey as he crosses the bridge to the castle. To overcome fears you have to face them. The film reflects this theme well in several of its scenes.

The film also reflects the fear of loneliness, represented mainly by Donkey and Shrek himself. Donkey does not want to be alone, he thinks he will not be able to live like that and therefore he is always trying to please others, to please others, he is afraid of being judged. Shrek, on the other hand, wants to be alone, but in reality what he fears is precisely that, being alone. Both of these things generate great emotional suffering in the characters.

The value of friendship

The best friendships do not always have the best beginnings. Sometimes, friction, continued contact and living together make us respect and love someone we had initially dismissed as a friend. This is the case of Donkey and Shrek who, although at first they seem incompatible, weave a beautiful friendship throughout the story. The value of friendship is extolled in this film and shows children that it is a fundamental value and that, although sometimes friends can be annoying or we can argue with them, the important thing is that, if they are real friends, they will accompany us to the end in all our adventures.

Love

Shrek valores niños

Shrek teaches that love is not about finding the most beautiful or the most perfect person. It’s about finding the one who makes you happy regardless of how they look. Children have a clear example in addition to the romance between Shrek and Fiona in the love that arises between the donkey and the dragon.

Abuse of power

Abuse to which all the inhabitants who live subjugated to the whims of Lord Farquuad are subjected. This arrogant being has created a reign of terror in which everyone has to submit to his will and in which they are not allowed to express their opinions, or to go outside the established rules or to have an ideology different from that of the ruling class. Children identify all these values in the figure of the Lord “the bad guy in the film” and then understand that this is not appropriate.

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