The Shrek movies are still so popular for a reason, and they left a monumental mark on cinema with a wave of copycats and imitators following in its wake.
They are some of the most well-loved animated movies and remain popular with both children and adults for how they are engaging for both audiences.
The first two installments in the series are still held in high regards, and while the more recent two are not seen as highly, they all did well.
The movies all have a good rewatch value. Many people want to know more about the series and see if there is anything they have missed out.
This guide is here to walk you through all of the main Shrek movies which have been released and help you have a better understanding of the series and its chronology as a whole.
We will give you all the details you need to know about the Shrek series, so if you feel like there is anything you do not know, keep reading, and you might work out what you have missed.
If you want to learn more about the Shrek series, keep reading!
The Shrek Movies In Order
Details About This Movie
The first Shrek movie was released in May 2001 and runs for 90 minutes. It is rated at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7,8 on IMDB, and 84/100 on MetaCritic at the time of writing.
This movie follows the titular ogre Shrek being voiced by Mike Myers who starts off the movie enjoying his lonely lifestyle in his now iconic swamp.
This is all ruined however, when the peace is ended as his swamp gets invaded by famous characters from fairy tales who have been banished from their home by the antagonist Lord Faquaad being voiced by John Lithgow.
Wanting his peace back, Shrek is forced into making a deal with the evil lord to get his swamp back by saving Princess Fiona voiced by Cameron Diaz who the Lord plans to marry.
Everything seemingly goes to plan until details about Fiona are uncovered and throw everything into more chaos.
Details About This Movie
Shrek 2 was originally released in May 2004, 3 years after the original and lasts for 93 minutes. Currently, the movie out rates the original on Rotten Tomatoes with 89%, but is beaten on IMDB with 7.2 and Metacritic too with 75.
This movie starts with a heartwarming montage of Shrek and Fiona’s honeymoon which is when we rejoin the characters.
Upon returning to the swamp the pair are met by an invitation from Fiona’s royal parents from the creatively named Far Far Away to come and meet Shrek as they have never met their daughter’s husband.
The main conflict arises as Fiona’s parents are unaware that their daughter is living her life as an ogre and has ended up marrying one too.
With their hopes that she will still marry the pompous Prince Charming, the conflict between Shrek and Fiona’s Father drives the plot’s narrative.
This is also one of the best movies when it comes to Shrek’s talking donkey friend, and also introduces us to the now iconic Puss in Boots.
Details About This Movie
The third installment in the Shrek movie series was released in May 2007 and also runs for 93 minutes. It has a much poorer critical reception than its 2 predecessors with 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 6.1 on IMDB, and a 58 on Metacritic.
In the third story in the Shrek main series the movie begins with Fiona’s father King Harold voiced by John Cleese passing away and leaving Shrek to rule Far Far Away in his stead as king.
This is obviously not a role which Shrek wants to play and this leads him to have to find an heir for the throne which he does not want to have.
This is when we meet Fiona’s lazy cousin named Artie who is voiced by Justin Timberlake who is a just a teenager in a medieval spin on high school.
This means that Shrek, and Donkey, joined with Puss in Boots have to go on an extended quest to reach Fiona’s cousin and bring him back to rule in the kingdom. Of course the quest is nowhere near as simple as first expected.
Details About This Movie
This most recent entry in the Shrek series follows the series trend of being released in May, 3 years after the previous entry in 2010. It also runs for 93 minutes.
On average this movie scores a little better than its prior entry getting a more generous 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 6.3 on IMDB and finally a 58 on MetaCritic.
We join this movie seeing Shrek fully settled living his married life with Fiona and now acting thoroughly un-ogre-like.
He has fully moved on from the life he used to live and instead functions as a father, but of course this leads him to miss the life he once lived and wishes to go back to this time when he felt like he was actually an ogre.
This leads to Shrek getting quite easily tricked by Rumpelstiltskin voice by Walt Dohrn who convinces Shrek to sign a contract which ends up causing big trouble for the ogre.
This leads the ogre to be forced to live in an alternate reality where Rumpelstiltskin has started ruling over Far Far Away. In this reality ogres are violently hunted and in this life Shrek never even got the chance to marry his wife Fiona.
This leads Shrek to need to find a way to get the contract gone and return to the old life he once led, so he can reunite with the old Fiona.
There has long been rumors about a sequel to Shrek Forever After or at least some mainline continuation of the series.
We know that the studio is still interested in the universe with Puss In Boots getting his own movie released soon, but where does this leave the rest of the characters?
We have been hearing multiple rumors about the future of the series, and it has been a long time since the previous entry, so it is very easy to lose hope.
Especially since the series had such a downward trajectory since after the second entry, we can understand why the series was left where it was for a while.
However, Shrek has maintained its cultural relevance, and with the child audience of the original movies now growing up and becoming nostalgic, there is almost no better time to return to this series.
There has been some talk that a return to the Shrek movies would be a reboot of the series and this is understandable. Especially with how confused the lore of the series became after the second movie.
Many details and character developments were kept and canonized between entries, and this led to some of the later movies getting a bit confused, especially for a younger audience who likely do not have the attention span for keeping up with each character’s development over a multi movie series.
A reboot could be exactly what this series needs with the older generation getting to return to the characters which they love in an interesting setting, as well as being able to attract a younger audience who never even watched the original series.
There have also been talks that the series would not be an entire reboot but instead a partial reboot following on from the second movie.
This would make the most sense since the first two movies are the most beloved and the plot developments within them are enjoyed by most.
They also leave the door open for the narrative to be continued in any direction, and the series could choose to completely forget the potential missteps made by the two more recent movies.
However, it would be unfair to overlook that some people do enjoy the third and fourth movies, however they are generally in the minority, especially compared to the success of the first two.
Whichever direction the Shrek movies decide to go in, there is a certain level of a guaranteed audience, so it is likely that we will be seeing this series back on the big screen at some point in the future, we just do not know how soon yet.
Chronological Order Of The Shrek Movies
So far all the Shrek mainline movies are in chronological order. Shrek (2001) is followed by Shrek 2, which is then followed by Shrek The Third, and then concludes with Shrek Forever After.
While the most recent movie does dabble in parallel realities, this is not done to the extent to mess with the timeline of the series. As long as you watch the movies in order you will be able to understand the narrative.
With the spin-offs, there are mixed opinions over whether these are canonical. If you want to watch everything, the best thing to do is watch them in order of release.
This way you will not have any new character introduced to you in the wrong order. These movies and specials for the most part have no impact on the rest of the series, however they do occasionally allude to developments from the main movies.
Shrek Spin Offs
- The Adventures of Puss in Boots
- Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular
- Far Far Away Idol
- The Pig Who Cried Werewolf
- Puss in Boots
- Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos
- Scared Shrekless
- Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party
- Shrek 4-D
- Shrek the Halls
- Shrek Forever After
- Thriller Night
- Untitled ‘Puss in Boots’ Project
Hopefully this list has helped you have a better understanding of the Shrek movies and given you all the information you were looking for!
This series is well worth watching at any age so if you are in need of a funny and entertaining movie series to watch, this is a series which is well worth considering!
If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Watch The Narnia Movies In Order‘.