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ERIC Number: EJ1036168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
"Happier than Ever to Be Exactly What He Was": Reflections on, "Shrek," Fiona and the Magic Mirrors of Commodity Culture,
Roberts, Lewis
Children's Literature in Education, v45 n1 p1-16 Mar 2014
This article compares the models of subjectivity and identity in William Steig's 1990 picture book "Shrek!" and in DreamWorks' "Shrek" films. Steig presented his ogre hero as a model of the crises of subjectivity all children must face, and then reassured readers by showing how even a hideous figure such as "Shrek" can find resolution and be "happier than ever to be exactly what he was." DreamWorks' "Shrek" films, on the other hand, offer up models of identity based on consumption and rooted in commodity culture, tales which seek to transform their viewers into consumers and even into commodities themselves. As texts of commodity culture, the films must create, not resolve, anxiety and self-doubt. Has DreamWorks' adaptation of Steig's book merely replaced a self-confident ogre with an anxiety-ridden consumer? Or, can the films' humor and absurdity, their parody of familiar commodities and corporate landscapes, and their introduction of boundary-crossing characters such as Fiona offer an alternative critique of commodity culture? This article demonstrates how the films work to uphold and reinforce commodity culture, but also examines how they might also provide moments of potential subversion and critique.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A