How To Watch Shrek Franchise In Order

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Summary

  • Shrek was the first film in the franchise and won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
  • Shrek’s success positioned DreamWorks Animation as Pixar’s main competition and spawned spinoffs and sequels.
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots serves as a prequel to the Shrek movies and remains one of DreamWorks’ most successful streaming efforts.


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Given the sheer amount of short films and spinoffs, figuring out how to watch the Shrek franchise in order can be surprisingly tough. For starters, viewers of the fairy-tale send-up can either watch the films, shorts, and series in release order or in a more narrative-driven, chronological order. Based on William Steig’s picture book of the same name, the original 2001 Shrek kicked off the franchise in a memorable fashion, becoming the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature winner. Bolstered by its tongue-in-cheek humor and defining voice-over performances, Shrek was one of the year’s best films — period.

As a result of its success, Shrek positioned DreamWorks Animation as Pixar’s main source of competition. Of course, the movie about a bitter ogre (Mike Myers), a secretive princess (Cameron Diaz), and a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy) didn’t just receive critical acclaim. Notably, Shrek also amassed an impressive box office draw, garnering $491.8 million against a $60 million budget. Since its first outing, the Shrek franchise has spawned a spinoff series, Puss in Boots, as well as three other feature-film installments and numerous animated shorts, making it a tall order to watch every Shrek movie — both the best and worst.


The Shrek Franchise In Release Order

Shrek and Fiona in Shrek the Third

The first installment in the series, Shrek, released in 2001. Given the feature film’s remarkable box office success and critical darling status, the fairy-tale comedy’s sequel was quickly green lit. Ahead of 2004’s Shrek 2, however, DreamWorks kicked off its trend of releasing humorous shorts with Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party. The rare sequel that’s just as well-loved as the original film, Shrek 2 opened the floodgates to a bevy of short films and made-for-TV specials. The second movie also introduced viewers to one of the best Shrek characters, the spinoff-worthy Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas).

  • Shrek (2001)
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2001)
  • Shrek 4-D (2003)
  • Shrek 2 (2004)
  • Far Far Away Idol (2004)
  • Shrek the Third (2007)
  • Shrek the Halls (2007)
  • Shrek Forever After (2010)
  • Scared Shrekless (2010)
  • Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular (2010)
  • Shrek’s Yule Log (2010)
  • Thriller Night (2011)
  • The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (2011)
  • Puss in Boots (2011)
  • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (2012)
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots (2015–18)
  • Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale (2017)
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)
  • Puss in Boots: The Trident (2023)

The Shrek Franchise In Chronological Order Of Events

The Adventures Of Puss In Boots (2015–18) — TV Series

The Adventures of Puss in Boots

Although The Adventures of Puss in Boots released over a decade after the first Shrek movie, the Netflix series actually serves as a prequel to the franchise’s feature films. In the show, the egotistical, adventure-hungry feline (voiced here by Eric Bauza) is tasked with guarding the treasures of a once-hidden city from intruders. With six seasons and a special under its cat-sized belt, The Adventures of Puss in Boots remains one of DreamWorks most successful streaming efforts.

Puss In Boots: Trapped In An Epic Tale (2017) — Interactive Special

Puss in Boots storybook interactive

Taking cues from interactive TV specials like Black Mirror‘s Bandersnatch, Netflix expanded its digital choose-your-own-adventure offerings with Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale. Sandwiched between the fourth and fifth seasons of Puss’ TV series, the interactive special sees the charismatic cat stuck inside an enchanted picture book. As a result, the viewer must decide Puss’ fate by choosing between various, branching scenarios.

Puss In Boots (2011)

Puss in Boots first movie

Box Office: $555 million | Runtime: 90 minutes

Cast: Puss (Antonio Banderas), Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), Jack (Billy Bob Thornton), and Jill (Amy Sedaris).

The fifth installment in the Shrek franchise to hit theaters, Puss in Boots is actually a prequel to the 2001 flick, centering on the titular adventurer. Since Puss makes his first franchise appearance in Shrek 2, some viewers may want to watch that film first. However, Puss in Boots makes for a great pre-Shrek watch too. An origin story for Puss, the movie sees the cat and his allies, Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, fighting against murderous fairy-tale outlaws Jack and Jill in order to claim a legendary treasure.

Shrek (2001)

Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey.

Box Office: $488 million | Runtime: 90 minutes

Cast: Shrek (Mike Myers), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), and Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow).

The movie that started it all, Shrek centers on the titular, bitter ogre — an anti-social character who just wants to live a life alone in his swamp. However, when his home is threatened, Shrek finds himself on a kingdom-wide adventure. Not only does he cross paths with the bumbling Lord Farquaad, but a wise-cracking, fast-talking mule called Donkey, and the secret-harboring Princess Fiona — who Shrek ends up harboring feelings for in true fairy-tale fashion.

Puss In Boots: The Three Diablos (2012) — Short Film

puss in boots three diablos

Runtime: 13 minutes

A bonus feature on the Puss in Boots DVD release, Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos sees Puss attempting to recover stolen ruby from the notorious Whisperer. However, Puss’ compatriots — the titular three kitten menaces — need to be tamed first.

RELATED: Shrek’s 30 Funniest Quotes

Shrek In The Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2001) — Short Film

Shrek Karaoke

Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party is a bonus feature that accompanied the first film’s DVD release. In the three-minute short film, various fairy-tale characters send Shrek and Fiona off on their honeymoon in musical style. Essentially, it’s like an extended version of Shrek‘s ending sequence, but it’s fun nonetheless.

Shrek 4-D (2003) — Short Film/Theme Park Attraction

Shrek 4D

Shrek 4-D is known by many other names, from Shrek’s Never Before Seen Adventure to The Ghost of Lord Farquaad. As the title implies, it was created for a Universal Studios theme park attraction, though the short was later released on DVD. In the sequence, a back-from-the-dead Farquaad kidnaps Fiona, prompting Shrek, Donkey, and Dragon to go on a thrilling adventure to save her.

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek 2 with Shrek Donkey and Puss in Boots

Box Office: $935.3 million | Runtime: 92 minutes

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews (Queen Lillian), John Cleese (King Harold), Rupert Everett (Prince Charming), and Jennifer Saunders (Fairy Godmother).

When Shrek and Fiona — now embracing her full ogre self — return from their honeymoon, they meet Fiona’s parents, King Harold and Prince Lillian. Shocked to see their daughter’s appearance (and choice of husband), the royals aren’t the most welcoming to Shrek and Fiona. After discovering that Fiona was previously crushing on Prince Charming, Shrek sets out to change himself. Meanwhile, Harold plots away with the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming.

Far Far Away Idol (2004) — Interactive Short Film

Far far away idol shrek

An interactive five-minute short film that accompanied Shrek 2‘s DVD release, Far Far Away Idol is a send-up of American Idol. With a Simon Cowell cameo and multiple endings, the short is a fun watch for Shrek fans.

Shrek The Third (2007)

Shrek the Third

Box Office: $813.4 million | Runtime: 93 minutes

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, and Justin Timberlake (Arthur “Artie” Pendragon).

When King Harold falls ill, Shrek and Fiona are tasked with running the Kingdom of Far Far Away. Reluctant to take on these duties full time, Shrek the Third sees its titular protagonist setting off to find one of Fiona’s relatives, Artie, whom he hopes can assume the throne instead. Meanwhile, Fiona reveals that she’s pregnant and Prince Charming rallies his fellow villains to seize their own “happily ever afters.

RELATED: Shrek 5 Voice Cast Guide: What The Actors Look Like In Real Life

Shrek the Halls (2007) — TV Special

Shrek Christmas special

The 22-minute television special sees Shrek, who has never celebrated Christmas, trying to make the perfect holiday moment for his family. Of course, Shrek the Halls is full of holiday gags and relatable hilarity.

Shrek Forever After (2010)

shrek forever after

Box Office: $756.2 million | Runtime: 93 minutes

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, Julie Andrews, and Walt Dohrn (Rumpelstiltskin), with Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, Lake Bell, Kathy Griffin, and Kristen Schaal voicing additional characters.

Also known as Shrek: The Final Chapter, Shrek Forever After tackles the challenges of being a parent. With ogre triplets taking up their time and feeding into their exhaustion, Shrek and Fiona find their relationship strained. Shrek, meanwhile, yearns for his pre-marriage life, leading him to sign a contract with the deceitful Rumpelstiltskin. But Shrek’s desire to feel like a “real ogre” again leads to the creation of a truly disastrous alternate universe.

Scared Shrekless (2010) — TV Special

scared shrekless

Set after the events of the fourth feature film, the 21-minute special, Scared Shrekless, centers on Halloween night. After Shrek dares Donkey, Puss in Boots, and other side characters to spend the night in a haunted castle, the pals take turns trading scary stories.

Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular (2010) — Short Film

Donkey Christmas Special

Also known as Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular, the five-minute, holiday-themed finds Donkey encouraging his fellow fairy-tale characters to sing popular Christmas tunes at the local tavern. This one was first released with the Shrek Forever After home media box set.

RELATED: Shrek: Donkey’s 20 Most Hilarious Quotes

Shrek’s Yule Log (2010) — Short Film

Shrek Yule Log with Donkey

Like the other Christmas-themed special, this 30-minute short accompanied the home media release of Shrek Forever After. A send-up of the atmospheric holiday yule log, the camera centers on Shrek’s fireplace for the whole of the short, with various characters from the franchise coming and going.

Thriller Night (2011) — Short Film

Shrek Thriller video

The six-minute short film is a parody of Michael Jackson’s music video “Thriller” and released alongside the DVD for Scared Shrekless as a fun bonus feature.

The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (2011) — Short Film

pigs who cry werewolf shrek

When it first debuted, The Pig Who Cried Werewolf was a Nintendo 3DS exclusive, though it later showed up on a DreamWorks DVD collection. As its title implies, the six-minute 3D Halloween short film puts a holiday spin on The Three Little Pigs story.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Puss in Boots the last wish

Box Office: $484.6 million | Runtime: 102 minutes

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek Pinault, Harvey Guillén, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Samson Kayo, John Mulaney, Wagner Moura, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

The sixth installment in the Shrek feature film franchise, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is set after Shrek 4 and sees its titular character teaming up with Kitty Softpaws once again. This time, however, the quest is personal. Eager to restore his first eight lives, the feline adventurer hunts down the last wish of a fallen star, though he faces some steep competition from a menacing wolf and other fairy-tale criminals.

Puss In Boots: The Trident (2023) — Short Film

Puss in Boots Trident

A four-minute short film that accompanied the at-home release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Trident sees the fan-favorite feline telling the story of one of his deaths, which resulted in the loss of one of Puss’ nine lives. As of 2023, it’s the latest installment in the Shrek franchise, though DreamWorks has teased the potential of both Shrek 5 feature film and a Donkey-centric spinoff movie.