Shrek the Musical Movie Poster Image

Shrek the Musical



Musical version is edgier, not as fun as animated movie.
  • Review Date: June 30, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 130 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As in the animated Shrek, the message is that everyone should be accepted for who he or she is, whether a princess, an ogre, or a wooden puppet. This is especially brought home in the song "Freak Flag," which shows the fairy tale creatures proudly proclaiming, "It's time to stop the hiding, it's time to stand up tall / Sing, hey, world, I'm different, and here I am, splinters and all!" 

Positive role models

Princess Fiona is a positive role model for young girls because she directly challenges the usual girly-girl princess stereotype. In fact, she's just as likely to crack a fart joke as Shrek.


There are a few scenes showing children in peril, including a scene with a 7-year-old Shrek being sent off into the world alone to fend for himself where he encounters angry villages and ogre hunters with torches and pitchforks. Lord Farquaad banishes characters and threatens them with execution. There's also a scene where a fire-breathing dragon chases Donkey, Shrek, and Fiona, and actors dressed like skeletons writhe and dance around the stage.


Although no real sexy stuff is shown, there is quite a bit of adult innuendo, including an extended series of jokes about Lord Farquaad's tall tower compensating for something. The big bad wolf also sings, "They tore my granny dress and called me a hot and tranny mess."


Some mild profanity is used, including "hell" and "damn." There's also a lot of potty humor (including a song that mostly consists of Fiona and Shrek burping and farting), and the fairy tale creatures are called "fruitcakes and freaks."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Both Lord Farquaad and Shrek are shown drinking a cocktail. There's also a reference to some "funny mushrooms."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Shrek the Musical is a DVD release of the Broadway musical based on the Shrek animated movie. It has basically the same plot and characters and even much of the same dialogue as is in the original Shrek movie but with added song-and-dance numbers. As with its predecessor, it has quite a bit of adult innuendo, potty humor, and gross-out jokes, though the musical does seem to have a bit more adult humor than the cartoon. The play also adds more backstory to main characters Shrek and Fiona, both of which are quite dark and a little scary: Shrek is sent off by his parents at age 7 to fend for himself, and Fiona is sent to live in a tower alone as a young girl. There's also some mild profanity ("damn" and "hell") and some scary scenes with characters being threatened with execution and Shrek being chased by townsfolk with torches and pitchforks.

What's the story?

Shrek (Brian D'Arcy James), a hilariously grumpy ogre, finds his swamp taken over by fairy tale characters who've been banished by the evil Lord Farquaad (Christopher Sieber). In exchange for getting his swamp back, Shrek agrees to rescue the princess Fiona (Sutton Foster) from a fire-breathing dragon so she can marry Lord Farquaad. Shrek reluctantly sets off to save Fiona with the hilarious talking donkey, Donkey (Daniel Breaker). On their adventure, Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona all learn that appearances can be deceiving, and they learn the true meaning of friendship.

Is it any good?


As with Shrek the movie, SHREK THE MUSICAL is funny, clever, and charming, for all the same reasons the movie is. It takes your typical fairy tale characters and turns them upside down, making the ogre the hero and the princess anything but princess-y. Many of the same jokes and favorite lines from the movie are in the play, and often they're just as funny, but sometimes they seem to miss the mark when played by real actors dressed up as, for example, a big green ogre or a talking donkey. Also, somehow the burps and gross-out humor seem even grosser when not delivered by a cartoon character.

Mostly the play itself feels somewhat unnecessary. Shrek the movie hit all the right notes, with hilarious voice actors, silly humor, and a really great soundtrack. Shrek the musical doesn't really add anything to the mix that's better than the movie. Although the actors are very talented, none of the songs is memorable. And, although many of the sets are impressive (there's a giant puppet dragon and some great dance sequences), they don't catch your attention the same way on video they would if you saw them on stage. Kids will probably be entertained by the play's humor, but they may be bored by the numerous songs and the play's more-than-two-hour run time.

Families can talk about...

  • Why do you think they made Shrek into a musical? Do you think it works as a musical, or do you like the movie version better?

  • There are a lot of references to Disney movies and other Broadway-based movies in the play. Which ones did you notice?

  • Do you like the songs in the play? Do you like them better than the music in the movie? Why, or why not?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 7, 2013
Cast:Sutton Foster, Christopher Sieber, Brian D'Arcy James
Directors:Jason Moore, Michael John Warren
Run time:130 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byCornholita December 2, 2014

A Fun Musical

I loved this so much! The musical numbers are fun to watch, and they even performed I'm a Believer at the end. And if you hear of a local high school or community theater putting on a performance of this, definitely go and see it. My grandma got to take me and Sis to see the local high school's performance. I do understand it's not for everyone, but if you like musicals, and a Shrek fan, definitely check this out. :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bynduns May 15, 2015

Honestly, I prefer this to the film

In a way, that kind of works as a double-edged sword as it actually makes it hard for me to watch the original film. It's just, this one gave the characters much more depth, gave Fiona and Shrek more chemistry (The gas expulsion contest surprisingly being one of the best moments) and managed the amazing task of making Farquad genuinely funny. (Seriously, am I the only one who thought he wasn't funny in the film? Honestly, most of his humor stems from other characters making fun of him, not anything funny that he does, aside from that one quote mocking the gingerbread man) If you're a fan of Shrek and like stage musicals, check this out. It's very generous of Dreamworks to release this to home video and it came out great. My only complaint, though, is that this version gave Dragon Donkey Pot Pie as her song. I personally find Forever to be a much better song as it's more timeless and gives Dragon much more depth, but that's a minor gripe. Everything else is great. The songs are amazing, the characters are even more lovable, yeah, highly recommended.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Kid, 7 years old May 24, 2015

GO OGRES!!!!!!!!!

To long. Shrek (2001) was 95 min. and I think that that is just right. You should enjoy it.
What other families should know
Too much sex


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