What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is rated PG, but it includes some edgy humor directed at teens and adults. It's a shame that Hollywood finds it necessary to include this material in a movie that would be otherwise perfect family fare, but that's the economic reality of this era of moviemaking. The jokes teens and adults snicker at (like when Shrek wonders if the small Lord Farquaad is compensating for something with his very tall castle) will be over the heads of most younger kids, but parents should be ready for some questions. There's also plenty of potty humor and gross-out joke 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.
- 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?