Realm: Far, Far Away (16th Century)
Featured in: Shrek (2001)
Performed By: Frank Welker (Films), Carrie Compere (Broadway Musical)
Now I admit, I like Shrek, both the film and the character, and I thought Shrek 2 was a nice way to expand the universe some but beyond that… Honestly, I’ve not watched any of the other films simply for the fact that the joke had gotten old by that point. The joke being the satirical takes on many a popularized (that is to say Disney) fairy tales.
There were some that I honestly found quite funny but a good number of them became… mildly irritating to me honestly. I’m all for poking fun at the things we adored as children but there’s making fun and outright trying to be derogatory.
Thankfully, such is not the case with Dragon. While there’s no mistaking the hardships of Shrek and his life as an ogre, Dragon’s circumstances are almost exactly the same if not much worse by comparison. Shrek is an ogre in body yes but he only became one in personality after years of being looked down upon and/or feared by people. Dragon literally had to fill the role of her species and, quite likely, was either bought off or forced to guard Fiona’s tower by the Fairy Godmother.
While she’s “silent” in the films insomuch that she can only communicate with Donkey and Puss, both being animals themselves despite their ability to speak English, such is not the case with the musical. In her song, “Forever,” she goes on to sing of how much she hates and detests her job, going so far as to call herself a glorified babysitter to Fiona.
In fact, there are quite a few words of bitterness towards the young princess and the number of heroes attempting to save her from Dragon. The most telling of them though is the line: “No one wants to rescue me, so yeah I’m a little bitter. I’m no princess, no great beauty. No one wants ever, ever, ever, ever wants me!”
Is it any surprise that she went for the first person, a literal donkey, to actually try and flirt with her?
I shan’t spoil the musical number too much but let’s just say that the end result of Donkey having his say, that being what his type of woman actually is, sweeps Dragon right off her feet in a rather schoolgirl like fashion.
As to the movie proper, yeah, Donkey does flirt with her somewhat shamelessly but her affections for him in return were honest-to-goodness genuine. She was weeping, actually weeping, at a riverside for the broken heart that Doneky left her with but she took him back rather than try and barbeque him when he approached her. Now, seriously consider that for a moment. Dragon was so heartbroken that she was unwillingly to return not only to her home but her hoard.
If anyone has had the pleasure of reading, or watching, The Hobbit, then you all know how important a dragon’s hoard is so you can imagine just how much Dragon had to have hated her life at the tower to go that far.
As to Dragon’s design, I admit, I knew instantly that she was a girl by her eyelashes but I also applaud the addition of lipstick to better emphasize her femininity. Honestly, I had initially thought it a bit much back in the original film but with the additional backstory thrown in by the musical, I can actually understand Dragon’s motives to try and make herself look pretty. Not that she technically needs to. As far as dragons go, of the few female dragons I’ve seen in various media, she’s a far better sight than most.
While I admit that her and Donkey’s kids, apparently named “Dronkeys” as a species rather than Dragonkeys as I had thought, were an incredibly startling surprise to me… It was rather nice that Donkey and her could even have kids at all. While I’m sure there are many that argue the biology, please do try and remember we’re talking about a talking donkey paired with a reformed dragon.
More than that, one must remember that, in this world so far, far away, a frog-turned-prince plus human-princess equals princess-with-nightly-curse-to-turn-into-an-ogre…
So yeah, magic trumps science yet again.
But isn’t that what love is anyway?