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Children & Media Project. Chris Abele, Joe Schulte, Bill McLaughlin. Thesis. Fairy tales today teach children morals in the same way that stories long ago did, through fun characters and wacky adventures. . The Ox and the Frog.

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Children & Media Project

Chris Abele, Joe Schulte, Bill McLaughlin

  • Fairy tales today teach children morals in the same way that stories long ago did, through fun characters and wacky adventures.
The Ox and the Frog

A young frog set out on his first adventure. As he came out of the pond he saw a large ox grazing in a field. Having never before seen such a creature, he hopped excitedly to his father, the bullfrog, and said, "I have just seen the biggest frog in the world!

"Humph!" said the bullfrog, "Was he as big as me?" and he puffed himself up.

"Oh, much bigger than that!" said the little frog.

"Was he THIS big," said the bullfrog, puffing himself up even larger.

"Much, much bigger than you!" said the little frog.

"Ridiculous!" said the bullfrog, who fancied himself much more important than he was. "He couldn't be bigger than me! I'm the oldest frog in the pond. I was here first! Was he bigger than THIS?"

He puffed and puffed himself up so much...he burst!


Analysis of The Ox and the Frog
  • This story was written to appeal to children. Animals are used as the characters and it teaches a lesson through humor.
  • The story tells of a pompous frog who insists that he is better than all the others and refused to be outdone.
  • This story was written by Aesop in ancient times.
  • Children were exposed to this story a long time ago to teach them to remain humble and not to believe themselves better than anyone else. The story would not have been as effective if humans were used as characters because children would rather read fun, creative stories. The frog in the story exploded because of his need to be the best. Kids probably laughed at his demise but were also fearful that they may share the frogs fate if they wanted to be as arrogant.
  • The story also secretly teaches children not to believe everything they hear. The old frog exploded because he was trying to outdo a frog he heard of. The fabled frog was actually an ox, a huge animal that the old frog stood no chance of dwarfing. The old frog killed itself because it believed what it heard, though there was no other evidence.
  • This story supports the thesis because it uses fun characters and teaches a good lesson.
The Honest Woodcutter

Woe is me!" a poor woodcutter cried when he dropped his ax into a deep pond. A friendly water spirit appeared before him with a silver ax and asked, "Is this yours?"

"No," the woodcutter said.

The spirit returned with a golden ax.

"Is this yours?" she asked.

"No," said the woodcutter.

Then the spirit appeared with his plain wooden ax.

"That one is mine!" said the woodcutter happily.

"You've been so honest," said the spirit, "take the gold and silver ax too!"

On the way home the woodcutter met a rich merchant. When the merchant heard the woodcutter's tale, he ran to the pond and dropped HIS wooden ax in.

"Woe is me!" he cried.

The spirit appeared with a silver ax.

"That one is mine!" the merchant said quickly.

"You know it is not," said the spirit, and disappeared.

The rich man's wooden ax stayed on the bottom of the deep pond.


Analysis of The Honest Woodcutter
  • This story was written to appeal to children. An adult would not believe the story or appreciate it as much because it includes a spirit doing things that could never realistically happen.
  • The story tells of an honest woodcutter who has the chance to lie and get much better axes than the one he has, but tells the truth and gets all the axes. A rich man than tries to lie and get his own axes, but cannot fool the spirit and loses his only axe.
  • The story was created by Aesop in ancient times.
  • Children and their parents would all be exposed to this story.
  • This story was created to teach kids that honesty gets rewarded and lying is bad. The lumberjack in the story is given an unsuspected reward for his truthfulness. When the greedy rich man tries to rip off the spirit, he only loses his axe. The story teaches kids not to expect a reward for being honest, but to be honest anyway.
  • The story also has a subliminal message that rich people are greedy. This is not always the case, but in those times, the rich and poor had a rivalry between them. Aesop was probably not an extremely rich man, and may have had a vandetta against the rich.
  • This story supports the thesis because it uses a fun adventure and teaches a lesson.

When a green ogre called Shrek discovers his swamp has been 'swamped' with all sorts of fairytale creatures by the scheming Lord Farquaad, Shrek sets out, with a very loud donkey by his side, to 'persuade' Farquaad to give his swamp back. Instead, a deal is made. Farquaad, who wants to become the King, sends Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona, who is waiting for her one true love. But once they head back with Fiona, it starts to become apparent that not only does Shrek like Fiona, but Fiona is keeping something secret.

Shrek is a big ogre who lives alone in the woods, feared by all the people in the land of Duloc. When Lord Farquaad, the ruler of Duloc, exiles all the fairy-tale beings to the woods, Shrek loses his peaceful life and his home becomes a refugee camp. So he sets out to find Lord Farquaad and convince him to take the fairy-tale beings back where they belong, and leave him alone. Lord Farquaad accepts, under one condition. Shrek must first go and find the beautiful young princess Fiona, who will become Farquaad's bride. So the big Ogre begins his quest, along with his newfound donkey friend...

In a faraway land called Duloc, a heartless ruler, the diminutive Lord Farquaad, has banished all the fairy tale beings from the land so it can be as boring as he is. But there are three characters who will stand in his way. The first is a green, smelly ogre with a heart of gold named Shrek, his faithful steed, Donkey, who will do anything but shut up, and the beautiful but tough Princess Fiona whom Lord Farquaad wishes to make his wife so he can become king of Duloc. What's to do in a screwy fairy tale like this?


Analysis of Shrek
  • Shrek applies to children. It has mystical creatures, animals, and fairy tale characters.
  • It is a movie about an ogre who tries to get all the fairy tale characters back into the kingdom so he can get the privacy of his home back.
  • Shrek was released in theatres in 2001.
  • Shrek pertained to younger audiences, around 8-12, but it is a film that the whole family can enjoy.
  • The lesson from Shrek is to not judge a book by its cover, and love is blind. Everyone was afraid of Shrek because he was an ogre but he was a genuine nice guy. Shrek and Fiona(a princess) fell in love.
  • This movie supports the thesis because it uses a fun adventure and characters to teach children to be accepting.
  • Rémy is a rat living in Paris who wants to be a chef, but has to overcome the disapproval of his family and the prejudice of humans. Opportunity knocks when a young boy, who desperately needs to keep his job at the restaurant, despite his lack of cooking abilities, discovers and partners the young Remy. Its up to the two of them to avoid the insane head chef, bring the rest of Remy's family up to his standards, win his partner a girl, and, of course, produce the finest Ratatouille in all of France.
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Analysis of Ratatouille
  • Ratatouille was written to appeal to children.
  • The movie uses cartoons to portray their story. They make the rat very cute so people would watch.
  • The movie is trying to teach children that anything is possible. If a rat can do anything, then anyone can do anything.
  • The movie was released in 2007 by Disney.
  • Children and their parents would be exposed to this movie.
  • The lesson is to go after your dreams and you might achieve them.
  • This film fits the thesis because it teaches kids good lessons with fun characters.