A sentimental Ogre
by Graziella Carbone
2002 – First Trimester – The Dream Works era begins: Shrek – the most beautiful fairy tale ever told
«Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess, who was victim of a terrible spell that could be lifted only by the kiss of love». So begins the tale of a green ogre named Shrek». Even though the beginning is a “fairy tale standard”, the story breaks all schemes.
With a budget of sixty million dollars and four years of developing, Shrek mark an important step in the concept and making of 3d animation.
The movie – a blockbuster – won the Oscar in 2002 as best animated full feature movie.
Mulino Bianco started a collaboration with DreamWorks with this film and used Shrek in three promotional campaigns.
The first one was a Shreck Film Cards campaign: a series of printed cards in lenticular printing capable to give the image an effect of three-dimensional movement. This type of 3D printing takes advantage of the qualities of light refraction as this goes through a transparent knurled plastic material. Unlike in other occasion, PET was the material used as a base for the Shrek cards – to better understand, it is the plastic used to make water bottles – instead of PVC (a polluting plastic), and this was produced in Italy rather than being imported from the United States as usual until then.
Being able to have a base of materials to elaborate revealed to be a real challenge: we began with taking original footage from which we individuate and downloaded the necessary film segments – we received the footage from a film company that was in Milan, on Moscow Street.
For the first time, the cards were printed in 12 step multi-frame process. The effect we obtained was similar to a movie sequence. On the back of each one of the cards that were numbered from 1 to 20, was printed a quote translated and adapted from the original text of the film, commenting the scene.
Moreover, each card was accompanied by a leaflet with several facades where I summarized the plot of the film, and added games set in the story and many intriguing quizzes on the characters.
In addition to this, collecting a lot of film cards, these could be used to play Domino with friends. The film cards were combined to a contest: whoever found one of 1.000 special film cards would win a video cassette of the Shrek movie.
2002 – Second Trimester – The Shreck Pastimes
The Shreck Pastimes were the protagonists of the second promotion – from May to June 2002 – for a total of 24.4000.000 pieces made, including those produced in a smaller format and suitable to be inserted in the Crostatine snack packs.
These are a series of ten booklets – the format is about 12×8 centimeters – 24 pats each to tell the entire story of Shreck, and not only…
Each book had a different cover and referred to a different part of the film which narrates.
The booklet was composed by a special adaptation of the tale and many different games: a path game called Find the right road, crossword puzzles like word boards, rebus and many more games of other kinds like Find the differences, The missing pieces, Connect the dots, a series of Fill in and colour games and the ever present tests and quizzes, complete with solutions, all connected in some way to the story narrated by the movie.
At the end of the booklet I inserted one more game, the game of matching pairs to play with the various characters of the film. So, by cutting out the figures in the last two pages, you could have the entire collection of protagonists to play with your friends. Each booklet also contained a different temporary tattoo card.
2002 – Third Trimester – The Shrek movie characters become animated and turn into the “Fairytale People”
In the light of the success of the Shrek movie, for the autumn promotion of 2002 we created the Fairytale People, 16 three-dimensional characters made in ABS material. Their peculiarity was that many characters had movable parts and therefore children could interact with them in the best way: Shrek head and arms moved, while Donkey only moved its head, Thelonius moved his bust, the terrible spitfire Dragon (a female dragon) that kept watch over the castle where Princess Fiona was kept, had a movable head and tail. Both versions of Fiona, issued in beautiful Princess and Ogre versions, moved their bust, Robin Hood had a movable bust and the Witch is set on a base. Cinderella and Snow White moved their bust. The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, Lord Farquaad and the Magic Mirror completed the series.
In order to create a better game for children, we also created two background sets in 3D, made of plasticized cardboard, one representing the swamp and the other the castle, equipped with a base that completed the scene. Shreck’s house even had a table…
To introduce the entire operation to the trade, I also made a paper converting box shaped like a book that when opened showed the swamp and the castle in a pop-up effect. It contained many 3d figures of the movie characters.