Shrek the Third

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PG under 8 (Violence and disturbing scenes.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Shrek the Third
  • a review of Shrek the Third completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 June 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Most children should be OK to see this film with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Shrek the Third
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence, Mild themes
Length: 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When Princess Fiona’s father The Frog King (voice of John Cleese) dies, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns that he and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are next in line for the throne.  Shrek, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) set off on a journey to find the other possible heir, an unpopular  medieval High School student named Artie (Justin Timberlake). Shrek hopes that Artie will agree to run the kingdom so that he and Fiona can return to the swamp to raise their children.
Meanwhile Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) unites the thwarted fairytale villains and organizes a coup to seize the throne for himself. Fiona leads her princess girlfriends in a desperate bid to stop him.  In the end it is up to the most unlikely hero to save Shrek and Fiona, the Kingdom, and ultimately the future of Far Far Away.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.


Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • While knighting a man Shrek accidentally slices through the man's shoulder.
  • Shrek throws a bottle against a ship at its launch which creates a gaping hole, sinking the ship as its masts explode in flame.
  • Shrek’s belt buckle blasts off his body causing chaos as his clothes come undone and bits and pieces fly in all directions knocking people over and causing a chain reaction that sees Fiona fall to the ground, the banquet ruined, Donkey thrown into the air and pinned to the wall by flaming shrimp skewers.
  • There is a bar fight between various fairytale villains.
  • In a dream one of Shrek’s babies is almost killed by flying knives.
  • When the villains reach Far Far Away they pillage the city streets terrorizing the citizens.
  • Snow White is slapped across the face.
  • Snow White organizes an army of forest animals to attack two enchanted trees guarding the castle.
  • Shrek and Arthur fight over the ship’s wheel and wreck the ship on the some rocks.
  • When one of Merlin’s spells goes slightly awry Shrek, Donkey, Puss in Boots and Artie crash through some trees as they fall down from the sky.
  • Prince Charming holds a knife to Artie’s throat and is about to kill him before Shrek intervenes.
  • Fiona’s mother uses her forehead to smash through stone walls
  • The princesses rip their gowns as they prepare to fight.
  • A guard grabs a woman’s popcorn and shoves her to the ground.
  • The fairytale villains prepare to attack Shrek and his would-be-rescuers.
  • Prince Charming tries to kill Artie and then stabs Shrek.
  • Prince Charming is crushed by a falling tower.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • When Prince Charming enters a pub he is threatened by an evil group of fairytale villains. Some of these characters may frighten very young viewers.
  • Prince Charming tries to kill Shrek and stabs him in the chest with a sword. Shrek falls forward and for a few tense moments it appears as though it may be dying. It is then revealed that Prince Charming had poor aim and hadn’t really harmed him. Some children could be very worried by the initial tense moments.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some children may be concerned when Artie describes how his father dumped him at the school and never returned for him. Shrek tries to make him feel better by sharing how his own father tried to eat him.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over eight are unlikely to be disturbed or frightened by anything in this film

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed or frightened by anything in this film

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Men are seen flocking to ‘Ye Olde Hooters’ and there is a play on the Versace logo, with a shop entitled ‘Versachery’.
  • The Shrek image is currently being used to promote a wide range of products from the usual plush and stationery items to lots of different foods, most of which are unhealthy. Parents are advised that DreamWorks has teamed up with a range of companies to promote Shrek. The Ogre can be found on everything from Happy Meals to flavoured yoghurt.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Puss In Boots attempts to explain to Shrek how babies are made, describing the urges that men feel and tries to continue the conversation with Donkey.
  • One of the Ugly step sisters is a transvestite, who makes a couple of remarks about Prince Charming, including how “he makes me hotter than July.”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Shrek and Fiona kiss in bed and Donkey pulls off the covers. We only see Shrek’s bare legs and toes, but it is implied that he is naked.
  • Shrek appears on a stage naked, before an audience of his babies but we only see his back
  • Merlin the Magician’s short robe keeps blowing up and a comment is made about how “his robe doesn’t quite cover his…”

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Prince Charming and a number of fairy Tale Characters are drinking in a pub.
  • Puss suggests that he and Shrek drink mojitos.
  • One of the Seven Dwarfs gets drunk and swaggers about the street.
  • Students at Arties High School tumble out of a smoke filled carriage and give the impression that they are high.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • The film contains infrequent use of the following names and terms: ‘butt’, ‘dork’, ‘stupid’, ‘twit’, ‘looser’, ‘you sucketh’, and ‘you’re royally beeped’

In a nutshell

Shrek the Third is an is an animated sequel that continues where Shrek 2 left off, yet offers nothing truly new. Boasting an all-star cast the movie will appeal to a wide range of ages. While most of the humour keeping adults entertained will be over children’s heads, Shrek’s antics and some slapstick comedy will appeal to the younger viewers.

The main message from this movie is that it doesn’t matter how other people see you, what is most important is how you see yourself.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Determination
  • Courage
  • Believing in yourself
  • Ingenuity

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • The effects of bullying, on the victim as well as the perpetrators.
  • Following stereotypical ideals or taking the easy route as opposed to believing in yourself and forging ahead on your own.