Story

Shrek is the animated story of a grumpy green ogre (voiced by Mike Myers) living a life of solitude in a mucky, slimy swamp – which is just the way he likes it. Then Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow), the ruler of the Kingdom of Duloc, banishes all fairytale creatures and talking animals from his lands to ensure a pure community.

Displaced and desperate, the three blind mice, Tinkerbell, the three little pigs and many other fairytale creatures end up in Shrek’s swamp looking for a place to live. Unhappy about this, Shrek demands that one of the creatures takes him to Lord Farquaad so he can ‘sort out this mess’. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) offers to take Shrek to meet Farquaad. Farquaad is less than impressed by Shrek’s demands. After Farquaad’s soldiers fail to kill Shrek, Farquaad makes a deal. If Shrek can rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from the castle where she’s being held hostage, Farquaad will ensure that all the fairytale creatures are removed from Shrek’s beloved swamp.

The movie then follows Shrek and Donkey’s adventures as they try to rescue Princess Fiona from a fiery dragon. They must also make the dangerous trip home to deliver feisty Princess Fiona to her Prince Charming.

Themes

Cruel actions and attitudes towards the ogres and magical creatures

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • Shrek is attacked by a group of humans who are hunting ogres with pitchforks and fire torches. They threaten to torch Shrek’s house in the swamp. Shrek creeps up behind them and frightens them away by roaring in a scary way.
  • Shrek makes a lot of threats when he’s upset. For example he says, ‘I’ll drink their blood’, ‘I’ll pop their eyes and eat the juices’, ‘I’ll give you a smacked bottom’, ‘I’ll cut open their spleen and drink their blood’.
  • Donkey’s owner is trying to sell him, but he won’t talk on demand. She hits him over the head and calls him a ‘bonehead’.
  • Donkey is chased by soldiers, but he manages to escape.
  • Lord Farquaad’s soldiers attack Donkey and Shrek. Shrek crushes the soldiers with a barrel, head-butts them, hits them with things and wrestles them.
  • Princess Fiona beats up Robin Hood and his merry men by throwing, kicking and punching them.
  • Lord Farquaad tries to force Princess Fiona to marry him by holding a sword to her throat.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under five. For example:

  • Shrek and Donkey meet an angry and scary dragon. The dragon lives in an abandoned castle, which is surrounded by fire and brimstone. It’s surrounded by skeletons of soldiers who’ve died there. The dragon chases them in several scenes. Donkey, Shrek and Princess Fiona escape unharmed. Later in the movie, Shrek, Donkey and the dragon become friends.
  • Shrek’s house has a jar of eyeballs on the shelves and he eats a slug for dinner. 

From 5-8

There aren’t any other scenes likely to scare or disturb children in this age group. 

Over 8

There are no scenes in this movie likely to scare or disturb children in this age group. 

Sexual references

This movie has some sexual references. For example:

  • There’s a tall building that Lord Farquaad has built to ‘compensate for something’.
  • Shrek and Princess Fiona flirt throughout the movie. For example, Princess Fiona falls on Shrek and they look at each other as if they’re about to kiss. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There’s one example of substance use in this movie, when Lord Farquaad drinks a cocktail. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • When Shrek has a shower in his swamp, the top of his bare bottom is shown.
  • Lord Farquaad is in bed alone with no top on and his chest showing.
  • Shrek and Princess Fiona kiss. 

Product placement

There is no product placement in this movie, but a large amount of associated merchandise, including food, is marketed to children. 

Coarse language

This movie has some mild coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Shrek is an animated family comedy about an unlikely hero, a faraway princess and the journey they take to find true love.

The main messages from this movie are about following your heart and not judging someone based on how they look.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include friendship, forgiveness, bravery and standing up for what you believe.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as discriminating against people who are different. 

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