The film “Shrek” is one of the most beloved animated films of our childhood. It has everything we want in a film, it has the fairytale creatures, the princess, the selfish antagonist, and ironic turn of events that only we saw coming.
Our main character is an ogre named Shrek, who sums up the term, “Introvert.” He lives alone in his swamp, and doesn’t have any visitors. What I actually enjoy about him is he actually finds peace and joy in being by himself. Never once do we get that scene where he dreams of how life could of been or how he became so alone. He loves not seeing anybody and just doing life uninterrupted. This is illustrated by the first scene of the movie.
After the story of the film gets moving, Shrek’s world is finally interrupted by a donkey named, “Donkey,” and he brings light to the term, “extrovert.” Donkey needs companionship, and soon finds his friendship in Shrek, who doesn’t really care for him at all. The contrast between these two characters is extraordinary.
The film’s antagonist is Lord Farquaad, who sends all the fairytale creatures we know of to live in Shrek’s swamp, because they’ve been cast out of society. Obviously, Shrek is furious about this, and heads off to Farquaad’s castle, joined by Donkey. Once there, the two main character’s are sent, by Farquaad himself, to rescue a princess who is locked away in a castle, guarded by a fire breathing dragon. If they succeed, Farquaad gets a wife, and Shrek can live alone in peace once again.
The scene that really made me stop and think was when Shrek and Donkey are crossing a long bridge over a lake of lava to get to the castle. Throughout the entire beginning of the story, Shrek has only thought about himself, while Donkey, through his energy, was kindhearted and looked out for both him and Shrek. But when you peel back the layers of the bridge scene, you realize that everything changes. We see what fear can do to ourselves, by looking at Shrek and Donkey.
We realize that on the bridge, Shrek has suddenly become this being that is looking out for not only himself, but even more so, Donkey, while Donkey is only caring for himself, unlike how he’s always been. Shrek actually makes Donkey cross the bridge in front, maybe because Shrek is being annoying, or maybe to watch over Donkey. Whatever Shrek has gone through in life, he is still an ogre, and he is not easily shaken. He never becomes afraid on the bridge, while Donkey is already showing us how scared he is. Shrek sees this and reminds Donkey, “don’t look down,” reminding Donkey that if he stays focused, nothing bad will happen.
When they get to the half way point, a piece of woods under Donkey’s feet breaks in half which causes Donkey to look below and the only thing in sight is the lake of lava, the end game.
“Shrek, I’m looking down!” Donkey screams. He then turns around and demands Shrek do let him go back. Donkey never even acknowledges Shrek and the fact that they got half way. If Shrek would of moved out of the way, Donkey would of ran back to safety without him. Shrek knew the progress they had already made, but Donkey didn’t care.
“You’re already half way!” says Shrek.
“Yeah, but I know that half is safe!” Donkey yells back. And there’s the key line that we can take from this scene. Donkey has no fault in having this mindset. It’s completely normal. He knowns the first half of the bridge didn’t fail him, so he knows that just giving up would be safer. This is how we think every day in life. The reason most of us don’t accomplish great things is because we give up. If Shrek wasn’t there, Donkey would of never gotten on the bridge in the first place.
The rest of the scene is Shrek pushing Donkey against his will to overcome the last half of the bridge. And the entire time, Donkey is turned around, with his eyes closed, walking backwards saying, “I’m gonna die.” But eventually, Shrek pushes him all the way to safety. And once fear leaves Donkey, he’s back to the same character he was before, loud and energetic. Donkey would of never known that the last half of the bridge was just as safe has the first half. This scene shows us that we should never give up, and we should only surround ourselves with people who won’t give up on us and the situation, and who won’t let us give up on ourselves.