Gross-out laughs meet a marvelous fairytale mix.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Staying true to yourself, looking beyond appearances, and the power of friendship are big themes. (But there's also a fair bit of bodily function humor.)

Positive role models

Princess Fiona is a strong character who challenges the prim 'n' proper princess stereotype. Shrek seems cantankerous and rude, but he has a tender heart and is ultimately trustworthy, loyal, and brave. Donkey is a dedicated friend.

Violence & scariness

Characters in peril; ogre hunters wave pitchforks and torches; a bird explodes; scary fire-breathing dragon (who is much less scary when she gets a crush on Donkey); one character is eaten in one gulp by the dragon.

Sexy stuff

Mild sexual humor. Some innuendo that will go over kids' head (for example, when Shrek sees the big tower that is Farquaad's castle and says to Donkey, "Gee, think he's compensating for something?").


Strong language for a kids' movie, including "damn," "ass," and "crap."


Lots of tie-in products available in real life.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes some edgy humor directed at teens and adults. The jokes that teens and adults snicker at (like when Shrek wonders whether the small Lord Farquaad is compensating for something with his very tall castle) will be over the head of most younger kids, but parents should be ready for some questions. There's also plenty of potty humor and gross-out jokes directed at kids – mostly based on the appalling personal habits of ogres. Scary scenes for young ones include fights with guards, villagers coming after Shrek with pitchforks, and a fire-breathing dragon (who turns nice when she falls for Donkey). A bird explodes, and its eggs are eaten, and a character is eaten in one gulp by the dragon, but it's not graphic.

What's the story?

It has an enchanted princess in a tower, guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. It has a donkey that not only talks, and not only sings, but sings the old Monkees' song, "I'm a Believer." It has an evil (but short) bad guy, kickboxing, a Robin Hood and Merry Men who perform an Irish Riverdance, potty humor, and some digs at Disney. It has sensational animation, adventure, romance, and laughter. And most of all, it has Shrek, a big, green ogre who lives happily alone in a swamp until Lord Farquaad of nearby Dulac sets out to create the perfect kingdom by getting rid of all of the fairy tale characters and sending them to "a designated resettlement community." Soon, the three blind mice, the three little pigs, the gingerbread man, all the broom-flying witches, Pinocchio, and a talking donkey are all relocated to the swamp. Shrek is furious at the intrusion. He makes a deal with Farquaad, who needs to marry a princess to put the final touch on his kingdom. Shrek will rescue Princess Fiona and bring her to Farquaad, and Farquaad will give Shrek his swamp back.

Is it any good?


The movie is a marvelous fairy tale, with a thrilling quest and a happily-ever-after ending. It has the great themes of enduring myths, about believing in yourself, being loved for the person you really are, and good triumphing over evil. It is also a delicious satire, tweaking all of our assumptions about ogres, princesses, rescues, and even fire-breathing dragons. The voice talents of Mike Myers (as the Scottish-burred Shrek), Eddie Murphy (as Donkey the talking donkey), Cameron Diaz (as Princess Fiona), and John Lithgow (as Farquaad) are all perfect.

The computer animation is breathtaking, like nothing seen before it. The textures are stunning. The glass, fire, clouds, and water seem three-dimensional, and you will feel that Donkey's fur almost brushes your hand. The animation has wonderful warmth and depth, but it also has a great deal of character and wit. The facial expressions and body language are such a treat that the audience can't help thinking that if ogres and donkeys and don't really look like that, they should.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Donkey's statement that Shrek has "that kind of 'I don't care what nobody thinks of me' thing." Is it true that Shrek didn't care what people thought of him? How can you tell? What did it mean to say that ogres are like onions? What does it mean to say that people have layers?

  • Princess Fiona expected Prince Charming to save her and Shrek came instead. How did she change her mind about him? How did it help her to accept herself? Why is self-acceptance so important?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 18, 2001
DVD release date:November 2, 2001
Cast:Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Directors:Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language and some crude humor

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous October 10, 2014
age 6+

Shrek review

========================================================= Sex/Nudity: In a take-off of The Dating Game, the narrator introduces three eligible bachelorettes, including Snow White whom the announcer states, "Although she lives with seven other men, she's not easy." Noting the size of Farquaad's castle, Shrek jokes that the Lord may be compensating for something (which could be a joke about genital size or the Lord's diminutive body size). This is later referenced again. Fiona shows a tiny bit of cleavage in her somewhat low-cut dress. We hear the Donkey talking in his sleep as he mutters something about "Yeah, baby - that's the way I like it," implying that he's having a dirty dream. The Donkey mentions something about the smell of pheromones between Shrek and Fiona. ========================================================= Violence: Some guards drag away a woman, eventually causing a Tinkerbell like creature to fly up through the air in a container that then lands on the Donkey's head. Shrek throws a wolf (from Little Red Riding Hood fame) outside. We see Farquaad having the Gingerbread Man tortured for information (he's already missing the bottom of his legs and is being dunked into milk). Farquaad has one of his guards smash a small hand mirror with his fist to get the attention of the big, talking Magic Mirror. Some slapstick style material has a man dressed in a giant head running into a wall and the Donkey spinning around in a turnstile before being dumped to the ground. During a contest, Farquaad announces that whoever kills Shrek shall be named the champion. Accordingly, many soldiers/guards/contestants come at the Ogre. He opens a spigot on a barrel that sends a torrent of ale toward the attackers, knocking them down. A barrel knocks others down and Shrek then uses various professional wrestling moves to defeat his attackers (kicking them, jumping and landing on them, clotheslining others, etc.) with the Donkey head butting one. The huge, fire-breathing dragon chases after the Donkey, shooting huge amounts of flame at him. It then smashes the elevated structure the Donkey's standing on, and then prepares to smash him and the last remaining part of the structure. Shrek, however, grabs ahold of its tale and after being flung about a bit while holding onto it, is sent flying up through the air where he comes crashing through the tower where Fiona is located. Shrek blasts through the locked door that was holding Fiona in her room. As Fiona sings with a little blue bird and each tries to outdo the other with hitting the high notes, we suddenly hear the bird pop and see a few feathers fly into the shot (along with seeing Fiona's surprised reaction to the apparent explosion). Robin Hood and his men show up and he briefly holds a knife on Shrek. Fiona, however, goes into martial arts mode and takes out all of the men (with punches and kicks, etc.) with one of them shooting an arrow at her and Shrek. We then see that the arrow struck Shrek in the behind (no blood or gore, although she has to pull it out and we then see what looks like a tiny bit of blood on just the arrow). The Donkey is sent flying through the air when a tree that Shrek had bent down for Fiona to cross over is let go, shooting the Donkey off like a catapult. Fiona falls to the floor from an upper floor as it apparently collapses (she's not hurt). Some guards approach Shrek and he knocks/throws some of them aside, punches others, and head-butts one. Farquaad then holds a knife to the Princess, but the dragon then shows up and blasts through the wall, grabs Farquaad in his mouth and swallows him whole. All of the glass breaks in a church/cathedral as a person goes through a transformation. During a wedding reception, one woman slaps another woman while trying to catch the bouquet. 5/10. ========================================================= We see Shrek come out of his outhouse and then adjust the back of his pants. Shrek squeezes a bug and uses its "guts" as toothpaste that he spreads on his toothbrush. We hear farting sounds and accompanying bubbles as Shrek jumps into a pond, and he later belches across a torch to create a mini-fireball that lights a fire. A comment is made about strong gases coming from a character's butt. Some automated little figures sing a song that almost has them say, "Turn around and wipe your (what rhymes with grass)" but they don't. We briefly see (from a distance) the urine stream from the Donkey as he puts out a fire with it. The Donkey complains about a smell and then accuses Shrek of passing gas and there are several related comments to all of that (but the Ogre didn't as they're smelling brimstone). While Shrek and the Donkey look at various constellations, one of them mentions something about one with the secondary name being "The Flatulent." Shrek and then Fiona loudly belch after eating. We see that an arrow has struck Shrek in the behind (no blood or gore, although Fiona has to pull it out and we then see what looks like a tiny bit of blood on just the arrow). A dragon belches after eating a villain. 3/10. ========================================================= Profanity: At least 8 damns (5 are in a song), 4 asses, 1 crap, 1 hell and 2 uses of "Oh God" and 1 use of "Oh my God" as exclamations. Also, at one point, a character says, "You scared the spit out of everybody," which is an obvious substitute for the "s" word. 3.5/10. ========================================================= Shrek appears to have a martini of sorts (he drops an olive into a martini glass filled with a liquid). In a take-off of The Dating Game, the narrator introduces three eligible bachelorettes, including Fiona whom the announcer states, "Love piña coladas and getting caught in the rain." After Farquaad announces that whoever kills Shrek will be announced champion of some contest, the ogre picks up a mug and asks why they can't settle this over a pint. When Farquaad refuses, Shrek quickly downs the ale. He then opens a spigot on a barrel that sends a torrent of ale toward his attackers, knocking them down. Farquaad appears to have a drink. 3/10. ========================================================= A bear is briefly seen with a pipe in his hand/paw. 0.5/10. ========================================================= Shrek is a great animated comedy and is definitely worth the watch. I give it 7/10. =========================================================
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byLinVA June 3, 2010
age 6+

a kid movie that has too much that is not for little kids

It's not bad, but it is not really a kid's movie. The jokes are often about mature themes, involving drinking, romance, etc. I do not understand who in Hollywood thinks this is OK in an animated movie aimed at kids. My young boys do not get the jokes, so some might argue that it is harmless, but repeated exposure to this kind of thing early on doesn't seem good. Do I later want my young men to consider young women based on their preferred alcoholic beverage? No.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written bySunnye June 9, 2010
age 6+
Even at 6+, I don't want my kiddos to watch a "kid" movie that has profanities. Should be kept out entirely or rated PG-13 at least.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10, 12, and 14 year old Written byGimmick February 27, 2011
age 2+


This is a brilliant movie, with some mild language. This movie is still, to this day, an all-time family favourite


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