An article appeared in the Guardian earlier this week and, I have to say, it has left me absolutely rattled.

It was a hit piece, an attack, a takedown of a certain, dearly beloved green ogre. A slanderous attempt to drag the name of a good man through the mud of his very own swamp.

That man is Shrek. I had a pirate copy of this film on VHS and watched it so much I actually wore out the tape. To me, it was a masterpiece and it still is. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it has an excellent storyline with great arcs for all the characters. To see someone decide to try and ruin this film in a national newspaper had me raging.

This article tore the film apart. Lambasting it for crude use of toilet humour, slating the animation and laughing at the hero of the film. While I obviously disagree with any and all criticism of the film, the article did get me thinking more about Shrek.

There are many things that don’t make sense about the film, many moments where you have to suspend your disbelief and just the wonderful world you’ve been invited into wash over you.

He’s Scottish for example, although this is never addressed further in the film, despite his thick accent. I remember watching Shrek for the first time and thinking right, this must be set in Scotland then. But then comes along a talking Donkey with an American accent. There are several English-sounding characters as well.

For years I’ve tried to figure out where Duloc, the magical land where the films are set, is supposed to be. In the first Shrek film it seems to be rural England, going by the landscapes and the accent of the tyrannical ruler, Lord Farquaad. In the second film however, we are introduced to the land of Far Far Away, a Hollywood-style place.

I believe this means Duloc is a lost island, with features similar to both the UK and North America. If I was to hazard a guess at its location, I’d say it’s somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. For the purposes of this investigation into Shrek’s background however, and to suit my agenda here, I’ll leave my fantastical ideas about where the film is set and just say it’s set in England somewhere instead.

This means that the only character with a Scottish background in this film that’s set in England is a smelly green monster who lives in a swamp. I’ll leave you, dear reader, to decide what you think of this.

So how did Shrek come to be living in England? I believe Duloc is maybe similar to Corby, also known as little Scotland. I believe Shrek was a steelworker in Scotland, perhaps coming from a long line of steelworkers. He moved to Duloc in the hope of a better job, better pay and a better life. When he arrived there however, I believe Lord Farquaad committed to closing the steelworks, thus causing Shrek to lose his job.

He had no choice but to find some land on the outskirts of the town and cobble together a shack on a swamp to make his home with no money to get back up the road to, presumably, Motherwell. What I’m saying here is that Shrek is an allegory for the Thatcher years, with Lord Farquaad playing the role of the ex-PM and Shrek being the downtrodden working classes.

I’m not sure this is what the writers of Shrek had in mind when they were writing the film, but it gives you something to think about. I like doing this kind of thing whenever I watch a film or read a book, try and retrofit some weird narrative into it. Reading into things that aren’t there, finding ways to make them validate some mad idea I have. I especially love the idea of people doing this to my work.

At school I loved English and doing this very thing for my essays, picking apart what the author said and trying to figure out what they really meant. When my first book was published, I received a couple of emails a few months after it came out from teachers saying they’d been using a couple of my stories as examples for their class. I was chuffed to hear this, obviously, but my first thought was, ‘They’re going to be analyising my work and looking for subtext that isn’t there.’

I thought they’d be thinking that the fact the middle-aged man in one story goes from wearing a white trackie when hanging about with neds to a black one symbolises a loss of innocence or something daft like that. Really, I just wanted to show he had more than one trackie.