Advertisement

Why Is Shrek Funny?: DreamWorks and the Intertextual Gag

  • Sam SummersEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Animation book series (PAANI)

Abstract

This chapter looks at comedy in DreamWorks’ films and in particular the pop-culture references which characterise their approach to humour. Through comprehensive discussion of these gags, delineating the different forms that they can take, it employs and reformulates existing theories of comedy to explain the humour behind them. The chapter applies a variety of approaches to three very different intertextual gags from Shrek 2. It engages with the notion that comedy derives from incongruity and therefore from the contrast between these intertexts and the contexts in which they are used, combining this theory with the little-explored idea of the ‘comedy of recognition’, to explain the basic comic appeal of specific familiar intertexts.

References

  1. Barrier, Michael. 1999. Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Buchan, Suzanne. 2006. “The Animated Spectator: Watching the Quay Brothers’ ‘Worlds’.” In Animated Worlds, edited by Suzanne Buchan, 15–38. Eastleigh: John Libbey Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Critchley, Simon. 2002. “Did You Hear the One About the Philosopher Writing a Book on Humour?” Think 1: 103–112.Google Scholar
  4. Dunne, Michael. 2001. Intertextual Encounters in American Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Furniss, Maureen. 2007. Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics. Rev. ed. London: John Libbey.Google Scholar
  6. Genette, Gérard. 1997. Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree. London: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  7. Grodal, Torben. 1999. Moving Pictures: A New Theory of Film Genres, Feelings, and Cognition. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Holliday, Christopher. 2018. The Computer-Animated Film: Industry, Style and Genre. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Jordan, Thomas H. 1975. The Anatomy of Cinematic Humour. New York: Revisionist Press.Google Scholar
  10. Klein, Norman. 1995. Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  11. Lippitt, John. 1992. “Humour.” In A Companion to Aesthetics, edited by David E. Cooper, 199–203. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Magedanz, Stacy. 2006. “Allusion as Form: The Wasteland and Moulin Rouge!Orbis Litterarum 61: 160–179.Google Scholar
  13. Mast, Gerald. 1979. The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. McCallum, John. 1998. “Cringe and Strut: Comedy and National Identity in Post-War Australia.” In Because I Tell a Joke or Two: Comedy, Politics and Social Difference, edited by Stephen Wagg, 202–220. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Morreall, John. 1983. Taking Laughter Seriously. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  16. Neale, Steve, and Frank Krutnik. 1990. Popular Film and Television Comedy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Olson, Elder. 1968. The Theory of Comedy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Palmer, Jerry. 1987. The Logic of the Absurd: On Film and Television Comedy. London: BFI.Google Scholar
  19. Palmer, Jerry. 1994. Taking Humour Seriously. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Stott, Andrew. 2005. Comedy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Suls, Jerry. 1983. “Cognitive Processes in Humour Appreciation.” In Handbook of Humor Research, Vol. 1: Basic Issues, edited by Paul E. McGhee and Jeffrey H. Goldstein, 39–57. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  22. Summers, Sam. 2018. “From Shelf to Screen: Toys as a Site of Intertextuality.” In Toy Story, edited by Susan Smith, Noel Brown, and Sam Summers, 127–140. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  23. Thompson, Kristen. 1980. “Implications of the Cel Animation Technique.” In The Cinematic Apparatus, edited by Teresa de Lauretis and Stephen Heath, 106–120. London: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  24. Turnbull, Sue. 2016. “‘Look at Moiye, Kimmie, Look at Moiye!’: Kath and Kim and the Australian Comedy of Taste.” Media International Australia 113: 98–109.Google Scholar
  25. Wells, Paul. 1998. Understanding Animation. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Wells, Paul. 2002. Animation and America. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SunderlandSunderlandUK

Personalised recommendations