Movies

A figure of Shrek
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If Your Kid Loved 'Shrek,' They'll Love These Movies

An ogre dose of fun.

You have to give comedian Mike Meyers credit. The man knows how to build a movie franchise. First he did it with three Austin Powers films. Then he followed it up with the wildly popular Shrek. To date there are five Shrek films in total. Kids and parents alike just can’t get enough of that silly ogre.

But once you’ve completed viewing all the Shrek sequels, your family might ask, “What next?” Good question, with a great answer. All of these options, that’s what. There are many movies like Shrek. How are these movies like Shrek, you ask? They share similar characteristics. For starters, Shrek was a great film because it was packed with so much humor, much of it directed just as adults as kids. These films follow a similar format. Also, many of these movies have great soundtracks and scores. Shrek managed to take a fantasy fairytale world and weave pop hits into it, a winning combination. In the same way, movies like Trolls and Frozen have great tunes that your whole family will be singing for weeks to come.

But even more than that, these movies are like Shrek in that they each have a heartwarming storyline that tells a universal truth. Whether it's The Croods’ message that family is important or Shrek’s message that you can’t judge a book by its cover, each gives viewers a lesson wrapped up in family-friendly entertainment.

1

How to Train Your Dragon

One of the main components of Shrek is its setting. It takes place in Shrek’s swamp of Duloc and in the kingdom of Far, Far Away. Similarly, How to Train Your Dragon happens in the Norse island of Berk where the people have been fighting dragons for centuries. Within these landscapes we find our protagonists: Shrek and Hiccup, both misfits. Shrek is an Ogre who everyone is scared of. While Hiccup is the oddball son of the king who just doesn’t fit in. Both have to prove themselves and show others that not only do they belong, they might just be heroes after all.

Stream How To Train Your Dragon, rated PG, on YouTube, Apple TV, and Vudu

2

Kung Fu Panda

Po is known for being a lazy panda. But his secret dream is to become a kung fu master. Serendipity intercepts when an awful snow leopard threatens Po’s homeland. Po is suddenly chosen to defend his home. But it will take everything kung fu trainer Master Shifu has to get Po fit and ready to battle. With Po played by comedian Jack Black, this movie has the same comedic rhythm as Shrek, with plenty of self-deprecating humor thrown in for good measure. Some of it may go over your kids' heads, but that’s ok. The slapstick will keep them happy while the one-liners offer some adult entertainment along the way.

Stream Kung Fu Panda, rated PG, on Netflix, Prime Video

3

The Croods

Part of what sends kids into hysterics when watching Shrek is just how much of an ogre he is. Shrek eats onions and pumpkins, he makes candles out of his own earwax, and belches frequently, saying “better out than in.” He’s gross. In the same vein, The Croods, a prehistoric family, are equally bad mannered. Focused entirely on survival, they’re messy and rough and will eat pretty much anything they can lay their hands on. In short: kids can relate. These wild characters show that perfect manners do not a perfect person make. You can be a mess and still be a good family member or friend, a good reminder to kiddos.

Stream The Croods, rated PG, on Peacock, Google Play, Apple TV, YouTube, Prime Video

4

Madagascar

If an ensemble cast of seriously funny actors is what you’re interested in, much like Shrek (think Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz), then Madagascar is a great choice. Starring Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Ben Stiller, this movie is stacked with funny people. And the plot is pretty hysterical too. When Alex the lion, a Central Park Zoo resident, gets a wild hair to see the world, a team of clever penguins will help him break free, and naturally, chaos will ensue. Finally a truly wild animal, Alex will have to figure out what life is for him.

Stream Madagascar, rated PG, on Vudu, Prime Video, Google Play

5

Mr. Peabody and Sherman

The character of Mr. Peabody, the world’s smartest canine, has been around since “Peabody's Improbable History” segments aired on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. So note, this might be an extra fun movie to watch with grandparents who grew up with this character. In this film, Mr. Peabody has become a father to human boy 7-year-old Sherman. Together they explore history using the Wabac machine. But when Sherman decides to impress a friend and take her to the past in the Wabac, he rips a hole in the space time continuum. Where Shrek plays on pop culture references to create humor, Mr. Peabody and Sherman use history for laughs and both equal comedy gold.

Stream Mr. Peabody and Sherman, rated PG, on Netflix, Prime Video

6

Home

Want a movie like Shrek that stars an alien? Try Home. The old odd man out trope works again, just as it does in Shrek, in the movie Home. Oh is a Boov, an alien race hellbent on sucking all the resources from planet Earth and steering as far away from its enemies the Gorg as possible. But Oh doesn’t really fit in with his species. He’s desperate for friends. So when he accidentally meets Tip, a human (Rhianna) trying to find her mother in the midst of the alien takeover, they become friends and work together to get, well, home.

Stream Home, rated PG, on Netflix, Prime Video

7

Trolls

If you have a crew of kids who love to sing along to movies like Shrek, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than Trolls. The entire film is like a glitter-coated stage show but instead of Rockettes it’s backed with Troll dolls. This all makes sense given Trolls comes from the same creative team that brought audiences Shrek. Go figure. The insanely happy Poppy lives for a song, but her perfect world is threatened when the Bergens, aka the bad guys, look to cook up a few trolls. With Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake as the stars, you can bet the music is fire with this one.

Stream Trolls, rated PG, on Hulu, Prime Video

8

Trolls World Tour

You thought the first Trolls was good? Then, by all means, cue up Trolls World Tour. This movie is like Shrek in that its sequels are as good (or in this case better) than the first film. Here we discover that the world of Trolls has been divided into musical genres, but if the creatures can just put their chords back together, they can make music as one once again. Sounds convoluted, but it actually makes for a compelling plot with loads of great cover songs like “Rock N Roll” by Haim, “Trolls Wanna Have Fun,” and “One More Time” by Anthony Ramos.

Stream Trolls World Tour, rated PG, on Hulu, Peacock

9

Monsters, Inc.

Just as Shrek has made a career out of scaring the various creatures he comes across, so too have Sully and Mike Wazowski, a pair of scarers at Monsters, Inc. The business produces energy by scaring children in the middle of the night. But when a tiny human stowaway named Boo follows Sully to the scare floor, things get crazy. Now they’re on a quest to return Boo to her home while avoiding some villainous rivals in the process. Both Shrek and Monsters Inc. take a common childhood fear of monsters and flip it on its head to show they’re not so bad after all.

Stream Monsters, Inc., rated G, on Disney+

10

Frozen

World building is no easy task. Some cartoons nail it. Others not so much. Both Shrek and Frozen feature fantastical worlds that come to life through the magic of computer animation. But this movie is also like Shrek in that it features a soundtrack that kids go ga-ga for. Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “Snow Queen” story, the movie is all about what happens to a pair of princess sisters when one with ice powers, Elsa, injures her sister. Trying to protect her, the girls’ parents have Anna’s memories wiped so she doesn’t recall the pain. But in doing so, Elsa goes into hiding, never playing with her sister out of fear or hurting her. Can the two overcome this force? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

Stream Frozen, rated PG, on Disney+, Prime Video

11

Brave

Kings and queens and things have long been the main fodder for fairytales. And even now, centuries after monarchies ruled the Earth, we still can’t get enough of them. That’s why kids like Shrek and will like Brave. The latter follows raven-haired beauty Merida, the daughter of Scottish King Fergus, who wants to be her own woman, but is told she must conform and accept her future as a queen. Not content to just accept her fate, Merida fights back but enlists the help of a witch in the process, a choice that could undo her future. What does real bravery look like? That’s what she must find out.

Stream Brave, rated, on Disney+, Prime Video

Ready to laugh like you did while watching Shrek? And to likely sing along with some great tunes too? Cue up this playlist.