Shrek Has Hidden Life Lessons

Nicole Felici, Copy Editor

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The movie Shrek is no stranger to our childhood memories. Almost none of us tilt our heads in confusion when we hear “Ogres are like onions” and “What are you doing in my swamp?!”

Clearly some of the most remembered moments from Shrek are its subtle jokes and dry humor; but after viewing these movies from an older perspective, Shrek surprisingly contains some of the best lessons one can learn.

Throughout the course of Shrek, viewers see how the people of Duloc have completely misunderstood the characteristics of ogres. They are constantly afraid of Shrek’s appearance and they even come to drive him out of his swamp with pitchforks and torches.

Shrek himself even talks about how the humans believe he will “squeeze the jelly from their eyes” and much worse. They believe all this in spite of Shrek never coming close to doing any of these acts.

In fact, the worst thing he does is roar at them and defend himself against Lord Farquaad’s guards. The assumptions made by the people are not very far off from real life events; many people make common assumptions about others without getting to know them.

Once we see them, we immediately put a label on them and treat them as such. This is exactly what all the humans did to Shrek, who turned out to be a decent guy.

Shrek is a great example of how jumping to conclusions about people can prohibit us from expanding our horizons and getting to know who people really are.

Lessons on friendship are also extremely prevalent in Shrek. In the beginning of the movie, viewers meet a talking donkey (simply named “Donkey”) who is a bit of a chatterbox. Soon after meeting Shrek, Donkey’s loud mouth gets on his nerves so much that he casts Donkey away as a nuisance. Both go their separate ways and eventually realize they are not the same without the other.

Toward the back half of the movie they make up and realize how valuable their teamwork is. All jokes aside, Shrek is underappreciated for how many life lessons it teaches. Even if themes of not being judgmental and friendship do not come to mind right away, they are not any less valuable.