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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The princesses are selfish and a bit stereotypical at first but eventually prove to be good role models since they defend themselves rather than waiting to be rescued. Fairy tale villains choose to be good. Typical high school relationships (popular kids picking on those who don't fit in, for example) are played for laughs. The importance of integrity and choosing to be yourself no matter what others think of you is shown through discussion and action.
Positive Role Models
Shrek is a kind-hearted ogre who loves his wife and wants to do what's best for the land of Far Far Away. Although shown early in the film to be a frequent target of bullies, Artie learns to stand up for himself and to understand the responsibilities required to rule a kingdom. The women in the movie act somewhat helpless early on, but they learn to stand up for themselves and to use their skills to escape being held prisoner.
Violence & Scariness
The villains and heroes of fairy tale lore engage in face-to-face battles with sticks, swords, fists, and more. Some bullying -- one of the main teen characters is shown hanging from a clock in the auditorium of the high school; characters openly discuss "wedgies" and "swirlies." Frequent slapstick violence -- pratfalls and clumsiness leading to exaggerated destruction.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Shrek and Fiona are affectionate and kiss; they're shown sleeping in the same bed (it's implied that Shrek is naked, but you don't see anything). Two other couples hug, and Puss flirts with various female cats. Puss starts to explain where children come from (a man is "full of urges" for his wife) but is cut off; Doris says Charming makes her "hotter than July." Merlin wears an ill-fitting robe; a character says it "doesn't quite cover his..." but is interrupted before the final word is said.
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PG words and insults: "butt," "dork," "loser," "poop," "stupid," "twit." A well-timed Viking horn bleeps out the final word when a character tells another that he is "royally [bleeped]." A sign taped to a character's backside reads "I sucketh."
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Products & Purchases
Real brands are parodied for humor. Versace logo is shown as "Versarchery," men flock to "Ye Olde Hooters," and a box has the label "Ye Olde Foot Locker." Shrek also is the spokes-ogre for a wide variety of real-life products, including candy and fast food -- while simultaneously appearing in anti-obesity ads for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Fuzzy navels are ordered at a bar where characters drink out of steins and glasses. Puss proposes that he and Shrek drink mojitos. Students at Artie's high school tumble out of a smoke-filled carriage talking about frankincense and myrrh in an obvious pot reference.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shrek the Third is the third movie in the Shrek franchise. There are several references to alcohol and drugs that are clearly meant to entertain parents and likely will go over kids' head. Real brands such as Foot Locker, Versace, and Hooters are parodied for humor. Profanity and insults include "butt," "dork," "loser," "poop," "stupid," "twit," and "suck." There's quite a bit of innuendo: Puss starts to explain where children come from (a man is "full of urges" for his wife) but is cut off; Doris says Charming makes her "hotter than July." The villains and heroes of fairy tale lore engage in face-to-face battles with sticks, swords, fists, and more. Some bullying -- one of the main teen characters is shown hanging from a clock in the auditorium of the high school; characters openly discuss "wedgies" and "swirlies." There's also frequent slapstick violence -- pratfalls and clumsiness leading to exaggerated destruction. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not an animated masterpiece like the enchanting first two classics, but it's still one of those rare films that everyone from preschoolers to grandparents will find irresistibly amusing.
The princess-in-peril subplot proves to be the most entertaining, and one of the movie's most memorable moments is Snow White summoning her woodland animal friends with a sweet high-pitched song, only to start belting out Fergie's cover of "Barracuda" as she storms the castle. Parents also will get a kick out of the other hits on the soundtrack. Wings' "Live and Let Die" accompanies a key scene, and Donkey sings Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" after hearing Shrek's daddy issues. But the slightly watered-down third installment really isn't an improvement on its predecessors.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.