A Definitive Ranking of the Shrek Movies

As a writer (la ti da), I like to use my platform to tackle real hot-button issues. I really enjoy exploring the questions that plague all of our minds and make us ponder our existence. The kind of questions that wake us up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, heart racing, with tears pouring down our faces. The questions that we ache to have answers for. They may make us uncomfortable, but as a woman of the people, it is my want, nay, my DUTY to address these questions head-on and give you the answers that you so deserve. Now, I think it is pretty obvious that there is one particular debate that has divided our country for years and I am here to finally put an end to it, once and for all. There is no doubt about it in my mind, I know we are all thinking of the same one. So let’s just go ahead and reveal the question that has been torturing us all on the count of three: one…two…three… What movie of the Shrek franchise is the best?

Whew, glad we are all on the same page and said the exact same question, like jinx for sure!

So before we dive right on into the ole mud bath (cue Shrek reference number one), you may be wondering what makes me the expert on all things Shrek. That is such a valid question and I give you props for actively pursuing the path of a well-informed reader. The answer is really simple. I grew up, as most of us do, near a movie theater. And you know what movies I saw in the said movie theater? All. The. Shrek. Ones. Yeah, that’s right, I (indirectly through my parents) paid good money, over and over again, to see these cinematic masterpieces. And if that isn't evidence enough for you, well then do I have another bombshell to drop: I own all the Shrek movies ON DVD. You read that correctly. D.V.D. We are kickin’ it old school. So vintage, so trendy. I’ve watched these bad boys more times than I can count on my green little ogre hands, so I’d say, yeah, I am the foremost Shrekspert (Shrek-expert) that the world has to offer. I even know all of Shrek and Fiona’s children’s names: Felicia, Fergus, and Farkle. BOOM. Impressed yet? That’s what I thought, thank you VERY much. Also, If any Dreamworks execs are reading this right now, please know that I am VERY available to be the Shrek brand ambassador.

I know I'm being a tease, but I swear, I just need to say one teeny tiny disclaimer before I reveal the ranking of the Shrek movies: All the Shrek movies are amazing. I said it and I meant it. They are all simply wonderful and groundbreaking. This ranking business is incredibly hard and is like picking your favorite child, but it has to be done. I would tie them all for first place, but that is not what hard-hitting journalism is about. Tough choices must be made. The envelope must be pushed. So without further ado, the definitive ranking of all the Shrek movies from least favorite to most favorite:


4. Shrek the Third

Photo Credit: Movieposter.com

In fourth place is Shrek the Third for the sole reason of it being a little bit of a sad fest. Spoiler Alert: King Harold DIES. FIONA’S DAD = DECEASED. He is gone. I mean, that on its own is a tear jerker. Plus, Shrek questions himself so much in this movie! He is filled with doubt that he will be able to be a good father to his future children (heck to the yeah, we find out Fiona is preggers). I just find a lot of the movie sad. Call me crazy, but I like my Shrek confident. I know the reason for its low ranking being because it makes me teary eyed is a cop-out, but it had to be done. However, since I’m not a soulless monster, I will acknowledge some of Shrek the Third’s greatest moments; the queen and princesses all teaming up to escape, Shrek throwing himself in front of Artie to protect him from Prince Charming’s sword, Puss in Boots and Donkey switching bodies. All such wonderful scenes. I literally love this GD film so much, but I had to make tough decisions and unfortunately Shrek the Third had to take a hit. I’m not trying to tosseth the shade, but I am trying to be an objective reviewer.


3. Shrek

Photo Credit: reelgood.com

In third place is the first Shrek. Look, I’m sorry. I know that this is the movie that started it all, but it’s just average in comparison to the other movies in the franchise. It doesn’t have the same pizazz and sparkle of the more recent ones. It just is not one of the ones I like to watch over and over again. But to be honest, besides those two small reasons for the first Shrek’s third-place ranking, I really have nothing to complain about. I’ll give credit where credit is due, the first Shrek is a classic and is jammed packed with some wonderful moments including; absolutely everything Donkey says, Lord Farquaad’s clear complex about being short, and the start of Fiona and Shrek’s love story. On top of that, the musical score is *kisses fingers* Magnifique. Smash Mouth’s not one, but two hits "All Star" and "I’m a Believer"?!? Rufus Wainwright’s dramatic rendition of the classic Hallelujah? Like, yes please, do I smell a Grammy?


2. Shrek 2

Photo Credit: Amazon

In second place is Shrek 2. Now this one is a true work of art. My main reason for loving Shrek 2 so much is the Fairy Godmother. Can you say “icon?” I mean, that dress, that sass, those musical numbers. I am clutching my pearls as we speak. Besides the glitz and glam of this movie, it is also hysterical, especially when Shrek and Donkey take the “Happily Ever After” potion and become, as Donkey put’s it, “sexy.” What a weird little film, ugh I love it so much.

I could go on for days about all the things that make my heart swoon in this movie, but really one of the best is the message about true love. Fiona and Shrek both have the choice to stay human forever, but they turn it down because they realize that they love each other the way they naturally are: as two gassy ogres. If that ain’t love, then I don’t want it. Speaking of true love, can we talk about Donkey’s Dragon-Donkey hybrid babies? I’m no expert and I am certainly not here to discuss the logistics of how all that must have gone down, but I will say that those flying fire-breathing donkeys are the cutest little buggers these two eyes have ever seen.


1. Shrek Forever After

Photo Credit: MarketSaw

Drumroll please… in first place… is the movie… that I listed above…next to the number one but we are still doing a drumroll because I LIVE for the theatrics of it all…. it’s Shrek Forever After!! This final chapter of the Shrek franchise is certified (by me) as Shrek-sational (Shrek-sensational).I know at first glance, this final Shrek movie seems like a real stretch, just Dreamworks attempting to get all they can out of the franchise. But your first glance is WRONG. This movie is comparable to such classics as Gone with the Wind and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (confession: I have seen neither of those movies, because I think I have made it pretty clear the kinds of things I’m into, but I know that these two movies are well-respected and name-dropped a lot so just let the reference happen). Shrek Forever After is, without a doubt, the BEST movie in the Shrek franchise and here’s why. Well, first of all, we get the dynamic character of Rumpelstiltskin. He’s a dramatic little fella who changes his wigs out to match his emotions.

I mean, his commitment to his aesthetic is just enviable. Your man could NEVER. To top that off (as if ‘Stiltskin needed to give us another reason to love him) he has a pet GOOSE. We LOVE a specific and strange sidekick. Secondly, this movie rocks my socks right off because it gives us a glimpse into a world full of other ogres! Ogres who can make honking sounds with their ears! This was a party trick that Shrek did not know about until this movie and I am sure he now cannot live without! And lastly, and probably the BIGGEST reason why this movie is my favorite, is because of the beginning birthday party scene. I know that if you are reading this article you are well aware of what I’m talking about: The kid, with munchkin-like voice and a lollipop that keeps demanding for Shrek to “do the roar.” That scene literally has cured me of every ailment I have ever experienced. It is, to me, the single best scene in all of cinematic history, and you can quote me on that.


I hope you enjoyed your journey through my own personal swamp and, may I be so bold as to say, “hey now, you’re a rockstar!”


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