Scared Shrekless

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Scared Shrekless Movie Poster Image
Halloween "scary tale" is a real treat for families.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 21 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Shrek and his friends are good-humored and mostly embody positive traits of friendship, loyalty, and reliability. Some potty humor, including a kick to the groin, vomit in the face, and a frightened cookie character pooping sprinkles when he’s scared.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Shrek and Fiona encourage their kids to frighten trick-or-treaters, but it’s all in good fun. Shrek and his friends try to outdo each other with scary stories.

Violence & Scariness

It’s a Halloween special, so it’s unavoidable that there are brief scenes that show knives, magic wands, and other items objectified as weapons. Donkey is shown being eaten by an animated waffle, and characters sing that they’ll “chop off your head and then laugh when you’re dead” as one demonstrates using a wooden fish as an ax. Scary content includes disembodied ghostly voices and furniture moving by itself, but this relatively mild stuff might only bother very young kids.

Sexy Stuff

One very mild instance of innuendo as Fiona hints at intimacy with Shrek, but it will go over most kids’ heads.


One instance of "stupid," plus the title plays on an expression that normally includes a swear word.


This holiday special is part of an extensive media franchise that includes full-length movies, specials, toys, books, games, and other accessories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that for kids who are familiar with Shrek and his pals, there’s nothing in Scared Shrekless, but it's a very funny Halloween special. Mild peril includes some inferences of a ghostly presence as well as some brief instances of knives or magic wands brandished as weapons, and in one scene, characters sing about chopping off heads and then laughing about it. Expect a fair amount of the trademark potty humor (vomiting, pooping, and the like) that Shrek is famous for, as well as one very subtle bit of sexual innuendo. Of course there’s also the major marketing tie-in as well, since Shrek’s face graces everything from lunch boxes to loungewear, but more than anything, families should prepare to laugh at this treat of a Halloween special.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 and 12-year-old Written byEvilstepdad January 23, 2012

A bit too edgy for kids below 12?

Both my kids (8+) were uncomfortable watching this. The hanging, etc. is a bit close to the edge. We ended up turning it off at my younger one's request.
Adult Written byAngie_rod April 21, 2020


There was a scene where pinochio was hanging with a noose. Then a scene where they chopped a head off and set somebody on fire.
Written byAnonymous July 26, 2018

Evil movie

Very very very horrible movie. I love the movie psycho but the parody in this movie was very weird. They parody The Exorcist thinking that that terrible movie i... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 27, 2018

It's OK, I would rather watch Shrek the Halls

Violence 2/10: It's a Halloween special of course there's a few brief scares, Pinocchio's costume is a rope around his neck hanging from the ceil... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SCARED SHREKLESS, it’s the ogre tots’ first Halloween, and while they’re out spooking trick-or-treaters, the fairytale characters are setting up camp in Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) and Fiona’s (Cameron Diaz) house to scare them. When their surprise doesn’t have the effect they hoped for, Shrek challenges Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Puss (Antonio Banderas), Gingy (Conrad Vernon), and the others to a scary tales contest at Lord Farquaad’s creepy abandoned castle. As they swap terrifying tall tales and keep an eye out for Farquaad’s ghost, it’s a battle of nerves until just one winner remains.

Is it any good?

Four full-length movies and two holiday specials later, these ogres prove that they’re anything but rough around the edges. Shrek and Fiona are as imperfectly lovable as ever, and their hodge-podge of faithful friends can still dish out the laughs with the best of them. Longtime fans won’t be disappointed in this festive tale, which revisits Donkey and Puss’s contentious relationship, gives the Duloc singers the stage once more, and chronicles Gingy’s attempts to create the perfect mate.

No one familiar with Shrek will be surprised that Scared Shrekless has its fair share of potty humor (vomiting, a kick to the groin, and Gingy poops sprinkles in a moment of fear), and the Halloween theme and spooky setting calls for ghostly voices and some very mild peril. But fear not; none of this makes it off-limits for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about media marketing. Why do advertisers use the images of characters like Shrek on products like candy, clothing, and accessories? What kinds of things have you seen characters’ pictures on? Does seeing Scared Shrekless make you want these items more? Why or why not?

  • Do you think the Shrek stories should continue? Have you enjoyed the later movies as much as you did the first couple? How do they keep the stories fresh and funny? How do new characters help the movies succeed?

  • Is Shrek a good role model? What are some of his best qualities? Is there anything about him that you wouldn’t want to imitate? Can Shrek be considered a hero in any way? How does he show that he’s a good person? A good friend? 

Movie details

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For kids who love to be scared (a little)

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