Shrek - 2001
Age-appropriateness: Many uses of subtle adult humor. Includes a “witch’s curse”. Cartoonish violence.
Overview: After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona for a villainous lord in order to get his land back. Shrek, with a surprising amount of subtle adult humor, is pretty one-dimensional in its plot/theme: Your family will get to discuss that true beauty is on this inside and not to judge a book by its cover.
Themes: judgement, outcasts, beauty, loneliness, friendship, love, fairy tales, parody, magic, adventure, forgiveness
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Beauty. What do you think makes someone truly beautiful?
In this story, we see that something seen as beautiful on the outside can be ugly on the inside. True beauty is about what’s on the inside: it’s about someone’s character and heart.
2. Loneliness. Have you ever been lonely? Do you know anyone else who is lonely?
Even when Shrek is not only alone, he still feels lonely. Loneliness is feeling sad because there aren’t any friends around.
3. Judgement. Have you ever thought something bad about someone before you got to know them?
Lots of people were afraid of Shrek just because of the way he looked. Even before they met him, they assumed he was a big, scary, mean beast. But that wasn’t true!
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. In this story, we see that something seen as beautiful on the outside can be ugly on the inside. True beauty is about what’s on the inside: it’s about someone’s character and heart. In Matthew 23:27-28, Jesus explains that true beauty is on the inside: “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” What do you think makes someone truly beautiful?
2. In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord said to Samuel, "Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Since a big theme of the story is that inner beauty is what really counts, do you think it’s fair that many characters pick on Farquaad for being short?
3. Even when Shrek is not only alone, he still feels lonely. Loneliness is feeling sad because there aren’t any friends around. Have you ever been lonely? Do you know anyone else who is? What can be done for someone who is lonely?
4. Shrek and Donkey are great friends. Great friendships should have trust, caring, and honesty. Most of all, friends should walk through life together through the ups and downs, just like Shrek and Donkey. Who are some of your closest friends?
5. Shrek and Donkey embark on a quest to save the princess. Take some time to plan out and go on a family adventure of your own! (Explore nature and have fun for a couple hours without a plan or agenda. Let your kid lead the way!)
6. Fiona was turned into an ogre because of a witch’s curse. Read this article to understand How to Talk To Your Kids about Magic.
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:04 Why do you think the men were afraid of Shrek? Do you think they could’ve taken the time to get to know him?
:09 Why do you think Donkey isn’t scared of Shrek, when everyone else seems to be?
:18 Lord Farquaad chooses to get married simply to become a king. His motives are very selfish. Selfishness is caring more about yourself than you care about others. Why do you think he wants to be king so bad?
:23 Lord Farquaad says and does very mean things to Shrek. How would you feel if someone acted this way to you?
:27 Shrek says ogres are like onions because they have layers. What does this mean? In what ways do you have layers?
:42 Princess Fiona learns that Shrek is an ogre. She thought she was in love with him, until she saw him. She judged Shrek by the way he looked. Shrek later reminds us that “some things are more than they appear.” Have you ever made assumptions about someone or something that turned out not to be true?
:48 Shrek talks about how people “judge me before they even know me” and comes to the conclusion that he’s better off alone. How must that feel? What do you think could happen that might change Shrek’s viewpoint on others?
:50 Princess Fiona recognized she was wrong and tried to make it right. This is an example of repentance: she confessed what she did wrong and then tried to do the opposite thing in the future. Now, instead of insulting Shrek, she made him eggs! Have you ever repented of something you did wrong?
1:00 Shrek assumes that he and Fiona cannot be together because they are too different. Is there anyone in your life you presume will never be your friend because of who they are?
1:09 Princess Fiona, Shrek, and Donkey all get separated and say hurtful things to each other based on a misunderstanding. They only knew a little bit of the story, and it caused them heartache. We also have a limited perspective when it comes to our life, but God sees it all. That’s how we know we can trust him! 1 John 3:20 says, "Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” Have you ever had a misunderstanding with your friends?
1:13 Donkey and Shrek agree that forgiving each other is what friends are for. When was the last time you forgave someone?
1:20 Fiona learns that she is beautiful! What do you think makes Fiona beautiful? 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” What are the things that make you beautiful?