Shrek Forever After

  • Review Date: May 20, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fiona's fierce, Shrek's lovable in still-funny 4th movie.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 93 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn the importance of banding together to fight injustice, just as the ogres do.

Positive messages

The messages include being thankful for what you have (including family and friends), even when it's difficult. Also, stand up for freedom and the rights of the disenfranchised. And don't make important decisions when stressed out (or after drinking!). Some fat jokes at the expense of Puss.

Positive role models

Fiona is a great example of a take-charge fighter of injustice. She believes in defying the tyrannical rule of Rumpelstiltskin, inspires her fellow ogres to overthrow their evil dictator.

Violence & scariness

Cartoonish violence includes Gingy fighting animal crackers gladiator-style; the ogres taking up arms to fight the witches who are around Rumpelstiltskin.

Sexy stuff

Fiona and Shrek kiss, flirt, and proclaim their true love for each other. Donkey and his Dragon-wife also make kissy faces at each other. Rumpelstiltskin surrounds himself with a cabal of witches, many of whom seem to adore him.


Some mild insults like "stupid" and "fat," as well as "ass" used appropriately to describe Donkey.


As in past installments, real brands are referenced and changed for use in Far Far Away. The real issue with consumerism, however, is all the merchandise tie-ins that target kids: McDonalds, Gogurt, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Shrek has five or six "Eyeball-tinis" in martini glasses mixed by Rumpelstiltskin, who also offers him "Mudslides."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that like all Shrek movies, this "final chapter" includes some cartoonish violence, mild innuendo most children won't pick up on, and a scene in which Shrek gets tipsy on shaken "Eyeball-tinis." The mild peril is mostly medieval fighting between the ogres and Rumpelstiltskin's cabal of witches. Shrek and Fiona, as well as Donkey and his dragon wife, are all affectionate and flirt and kiss and declare their eternal love to each other. The gross-out humor is limited to some disgusting items the ogres eat and a few jokes about Donkey and the ogres, but otherwise, this is an animated movie for general audiences. Be warned, though, Shrek has a lot of merchandising tie-ins, so the consumerism is difficult to escape. Also, since it's offered in 3-D, a few scenes are more intense than they'd be otherwise.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona's (Cameron Diaz) triplets approach their first birthday, the family's life seems idyllic. But the days spent playing, changing diapers, sharing meals with Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), and the rest of the Far Far Away pals grow monotonous, and Shrek begins to long for his days as a "wanted" ogre that people feared. Driven to temporary insanity at the triplets' birthday party, Shrek winds up having one too many drinks with the shrewd magician Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), who convinces him to sign a contract that provides Shrek with one full day to spend as if he'd never saved Fiona from the dragon's keep. In exchange, Shrek has to "give a day back" to Rumpelstiltskin, but the day he ends up giving up is the day he was born. This leads to a "metaphysical time warp" in which Shrek and Rumpelstiltskin are the only ones who know the truth. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin is the tyrannical dictator of Far Far Far Away; Fiona is the leader of an underground ogre rebellion; Puss in Boots is literally a fat cat; and Donkey is a slave to the coven of witches to protect Rumpelstiltskin. The only way to reverse the spell is for Shrek and Fiona to share true love's kiss before the day ends.

Is it any good?


If there had never been another Shrek movie, perhaps this "fourquel" would be worthy of four stars as an entertaining family flick, but in this iconic pop-culture franchise, this installment is not quite up to par. The jokes, while still funny, are predictable, and some of the best sight gags -- like Gingy fighting Gladiator-style against animal crackers or Rumpelstiltskin's various "mood wigs" -- are fleeting. There are definitely reasons to laugh, and in a couple of spots out loud, but overall the characters we've grown to love don't have as much to do in this story. And let's not even get started on the fact that most young children may not immediately understand the It's a Wonderful Life-style time paradox. Be prepared to answer all sorts of questions about why the babies don't exist, why the young king crowned in Shrek the Third isn't present, and why Puss in Boots is so fat and lazy -- all during the movie.

On the upside, the ogre rebellion features the voices of Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson, and Jane Lynch, all of whom welcome Shrek into their green brotherhood. As the ogres' resistance leader, Fiona is fierce and fiery. The villainous Rumpelstiltskin and his surrounding witches, however, are not as hilariously evil as the previous antagonists. To make matters worse, there aren't as many noteworthy musical numbers, although the sequence where Shrek revels in being hated and feared again is perfectly accompanied by The Carpenters' classic song On Top of the World. Ultimately, it's not as revolutionary as the first two, or even as memorable as the third, but the fourth -- and probably final -- Shrek is still worth seeing, if only to revisit some of the best animated characters ever to appear on screen.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the message of this installment of the story -- is the grass always greener on the other side, or is it best to love your life and not that life you could have lived?

  • Shrek merchandise can be found everywhere. Does it cheapen a movie to have so many toys and food items attached to it, or is it simply a sign of how popular the movie is? If you like Shrek, does seeing him on products make you want to buy them more? How can you avoid getting sucked into the commercialism?

  • Is time-warp Fiona different than ogre-mama Fiona? Has Fiona always displayed bravery and leadership skills? What kinds of stereotypes about men and women does the movie challenge or reinforce?

  • How does this movie compare with the previous three? Is it best for Fiona and Shrek to retire in Far, Far Away, or are there even more stories to tell?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 21, 2010
DVD release date:December 7, 2010
Cast:Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Director:Mike Mitchell
Studio:DreamWorks Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild action, some rude humor and brief language

This review of Shrek Forever After was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byKarenSkyy July 15, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old March 19, 2015

A funny movie that will entertain the whole family

I love this movie but keep in mind there is some violence(water spilling on witches making them melt and throwing pumpkin bombs at people).But otherwise it's a squeaky clean film for the entire family.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy brew November 25, 2014

Less crass of all but also less exciting of all sequel has mild inneuendo and adult humor

My rating:PG for mild action and rude humor


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools