Shrek Parent Guide
This hybrid fairy tale contains enough irreverent humor to keep audiences--and parents--upright in their seats.
Parent Movie Review
Near a bubbly soupy swamp in a forest of strange creatures, lives the ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Meyers of Saturday Night Live and Austin Powers fame). Feared and hunted by townspeople (all “normal” humans), the large ugly green being with horns for ears has grown accustomed to his solitary life… until the day when ruler of the land, Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow), decides to administer an ethnic cleansing of sorts. Rounding up the strange fairy tale characters living amongst the people, he orders them to reside in a designated area—Shrek’s peaceful swamp.
Amongst the throng of things like a wooden doll with a growing nose and an old woman with scads of children living in a shoe, is a wisecracking non-stop talking donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) who anxiously wants to accompany Shrek to Farquaad’s castle and assist in convincing the ruler to let the creatures roam freely again. Reluctantly, Shrek agrees to take Donkey (as he is simply named) to see the prince. But Farquaad will only agree to restore the swamp to its original splendor if the twosome can deliver Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz), who is imprisoned by a dragon in a far away castle. With purpose and haste, Shrek sets off on his quest with Donkey in tow.
This hybrid fairy tale contains enough irreverent humor to keep audiences—and parents—upright in their seats. Shrek is the type of guy who enjoys blowing flatulent bubbles in his swamp water, and Donkey—not surprisingly—resembles Eddie Murphy after he’s been fitted with a crude humor muzzle. Then there’s the princess. Let’s just say she’s not quite what you’d expect either.
Shrek does have its laughable moments, and strengthens its theme of racial tolerance in a humorous way. Yet the bathroom humor, double entendre sexual jokes (hopefully vague enough to pass by young children), occasional cartoon style violence, and handful of mild profanities (including a synonym for “donkey”), may leave some parents wondering if the good makes up for the bad and the ugly in this movie.Directed by Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson. Starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release May 17, 2001. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Shrek rated PG? Shrek is rated PG by the MPAA for mild language and some crude humor.
A simple tale of an ugly ogre, beautiful princess, and hard hearted ruler. The writers of this computer animated adventure threw in enough original twists and spoofing comedy to make for an interesting watch. Unfortunately, they also added enough burps, flatulence, and double entendres to bring our overall grade down to a barely recommendable B-.
Men come to capture ogre. The Gingerbread Man (a fairy tale creature) is threatened with being drowned in milk and having his legs removed. Creatures deemed different or unusual are rounded up and sent away. Large keg of ale sprayed on attackers. Various conflicts between creatures and knights result in wrestling, punches, kicks, and hitting with chairs and other objects. One character teases another by increasing his fear of crossing a rickety bridge. Leg bones sticking out of a pair of boots seen, along with other skeletons littered about inside a dark castle. Dragon spews flames at characters. Character injures crotch. Woman stops band of men with martial arts moves. Character shot in rear with an arrow. Dragon eats a man.
Sexual Content: B
Carefully positioned objects block views of Sherk’s “private” areas when shown bathing. Sexual implications in lines such as: Snow White lives with seven other men but “She’s not easy;” Gingerbread man says “Eat me;” Farquaad’s castle size is assumed to be compensating for something else. Animal character urinates on fire. One creature unknowingly kisses the backside of another. Sleep-talking male character comments about a female in his dream. Song mentions a lady’s backside. Female character accidentally ends up lying on top of male character, and a bystander asks if they would like to be alone.
At least: 6 mild profanities (one in a song, and two as a double meaning for a donkey), also one obvious mild profanity that should be in a rhyme, but isn’t said. 3 terms of Deity used as expletives. Occasional name-calling. Flatulence jokes.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B-
Shrek drinks some sort of ale, and a pina colada is mentioned.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Shrek Parents' Guide
Can you see parallel examples between the story told in Shrek and the injustices done to the Jews and other races by Adolph Hitler during World War II? How does the characterization of Lord Farquaad add to this comparison?
While we may not see big green ogres in our society today, what types of people are often misjudged or not invited to be part of mainstream community life?
The most recent home video release of Shrek movie is November 1, 2001. Here are some details…
- Package type: Keep case
- Number of discs: 2
- Aspect ratio: Full screen standard - 1.33:1 Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1
- DVD encoding: Region 1
- Available audio tracks: English, Spanish & French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS).
- Available subtitles: English.
- Behind the scenes featurette, The Tech Of Shrek
- Game Swamp - vast array of interactive games and activities
- Shrek’s Music Hall
- Shrek’s Re-Voice Studio (add your voice)
- Favorite Scenes Selection
- Donkey’s Tale Read-Along
- Production notes
- Filmmaker commentary
- Storyboard pitch of deleted scenes
- Technical “goofs”
- Playing hints for Shrek Xbox videogame
Related home video titles:
For other movies about people who are ostracized, see our reviews for Beauty And The Beast (suitable for young children and over), The Mighty (good for young teens and up), and The Man Without a Face or Pay It Forward (for older teens and adults).