15 Best Movies Like Shrek You Just Need to Watch
Shrek has always been described as an adult animated movie, and many subtle and not-so-subtle hints support this claim. There’s a ton of parody ”hidden” inside it, and there’s even a scene where lord Farquad gets a little too excited while looking at Fiona, which was trending on TikTok a year back.
You’d have to look hard to find other more subtle hints, but the point stands. It’s not your dreamy, happily-ever-after animated movie at all. Shrek is real and raw, and even though its intended audience is children, many of the aforementioned factors attract adults as well. It’s one of those animated films where you don’t take the hint until you’re an adult. So without further ado, let’s dive into the 15 movies like Shrek you need to watch.
15. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Even though it’s a Halloween movie, no time is a bad time to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. The story follows Jack Skellington, who’s gotten bored with the routine of scaring people in our world. Soon enough, Jack discovers Christmastown and decides to take Christmas under his control.
Many theories have been crafted since the movie’s release in 1993, and it’s surely no children’s movie if kids are the ones to scare easily. For example, if you look closely enough, you can realize how each character died in real life.
14. Corpse Bride
This is yet another one directed by Tim Burton and shares the animation style with The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was released in 2005 and described as a stop-motion dark fantasy musical. It’s based on a 17th-century Jewish folktale, and we all know how bizarre and scary folktales can get.
Corpse Bride follows the story of Victor, who Johnny Depp voices, and Victoria, who’s voiced by Emily Watson, that has to get married because their parents arranged it. Victor sets off to the woods to practice his speech and puts the ring to rest on a branch, and the branch, which is a deceased bride, carries him into the underworld.
Although you’d think that Coraline is another work of Tim Burton, the stop-action film from 2009 was directed by Henry Selick. Just like with Shrek, the viewer can uncover many clues in the story all the more interesting, deeper, and more adult in meaning, even though the movie is already as adult as they get.
The story revolves around Coraline, a young girl who lives with her ”terrible parents”. One night she discovers a gateway into a new world where everything is perfect. Soon, Coraline will learn to appreciate the blessings she had in real life after the fake mom turns on her.
12. Princess Mononoke
Thanks to the amazing Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, we enjoyed watching plenty of Japanese animated movies aimed at adults more than anything. Princess Mononoke was made in 1997 and is described as an epic historical fantasy film.
After Ashitaka, the last Emishi prince is cursed by a boar god; he travels west to find the cure to the curse that gives him superhuman strength but will eventually kill him. He travels west and meets many people and spirits along his way to recovery.
11. Monsters Inc
The movie was released in 2001 and follows the story of two friends, Sully and Mike Wazovski, who work corporate jobs as monsters who scare children while trying to sleep. Everything changes when they stumble upon Boo, a girl who isn’t scared by Sully and who somehow gets into the monster’s world.
The movie got a 90% audience score on rotten tomatoes and a 96% on the tomato meter. It’s said to have changed modern-day animation because not only do kids get to enjoy it, but also adults. This makes it the perfect candidate for our list of movies like Shrek.
10. The Incredibles 2
Although The Incredibles can also fall into the category of movies that both adults and kids can enjoy, The Incredibles 2 elevated that bar after its long-awaited release in 2018. We were always able to relate to Mr. Incredible as a superhero that works a boring 9 to 5 and wants a little more adventure in his life.
If you haven’t watched the first movie, I suggest you watch it first because it lets you get to know the characters already established in the second part of the movie. The Incredibles try to restore the public’s trust in superheroes as they fight a new villain that introduced itself at the end of the first movie.
Moana is likely the most kid-friendly movie out of all the others listed before, but it doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. Moana is a teenager that sets on an adventure to save her people when she meets Maui, a trouble-ridden demi god that will tag along and set on an adventure with her
it was released in 2016, and if you’re curious about where you can watch it, it’s available on Disney Plus, whereas you’ll have to pay a rental if you’re watching on Amazon Prime.
8. The Sea Beast
The Sea Beast is one of the newest animated movies on this list. You’ll enjoy less than 2 hours of adventure-filled fun featuring sea beasts, a young girl, and a sea monster hunter who’ll try and make history together.
Netflix made it, and although it couldn’t reach what Pixar and Disney do time and time again with their animated movies, it comes in a close second and is still a lot of fun to watch for both kids and adults.
Encanto was a smashing hit back in 2021 when it first premiered and a lot had to do with the fact that they included strong female lead characters that look nothing like the age-old Disney princesses; the one I’m talking about specifically is Luisa Madrigal.
Encanto is a small town in Colombia where the family Madrigal lives. They all have magical powers and each child in the family is born with one. Mirabel is the exception but it seems that she might be the only one who can save Encanto because its magic is in danger.
Coco is a movie that will make you cry time and time again. Before writing this, I took a trip down memory lane and saw the scene where Coco signs to his grandma and it made me cry again. It’s a movie from 2017 and follows the story of young Coco whose family banned music.
Miguel wants nothing more in life than to be a musician and after a talent show goes wrong, he finds himself in the world of the dead. His time is running out for him and his friend that everyone seems to have forgotten and he’ll uncover a few family secrets along the way as well.
5. The Addams Family
Wednesday has recently been released on Netflix but not as an animated movie; rather, it’s a series following the adventures of Wednesday Addams, but I’m not talking about her here. I’m talking about the old-school Addams Family that we all used to watch and love.
The Addams family from 2019 is an animated movie that follows the adventures of the Addams family that truly doesn’t need an introduction. If you’re particularly fond of it, you can watch the numerous movies that will surely get you excited about being spooky and kooky.
4. Rise of The Guardians
This is as good of a time as any to watch Rise of the Guardians since it’s a Christmas movie more than anything that follows Jack Frost and other magical beings as they all try to save the world from being ruined forever by Pitch Black.
The movie was released back in 2012 and was amazingly executed. It performed well at the box office as well, but due to high marketing costs, it failed. Still, you can watch it on Netflix and many other streaming platforms.
3. Toy Story
Jealousy and knowing your worth is what drives the story of toy story from 1995. Woody is a toy and is Andy’s favorite but that all changes when he gets a new one called Buzz Lightyear. Buzz seems to think he’s a real spaceman and while Buzz is trying to come up with a plan to return to his home planet, in a rage of jealousy, Woody fights with Buzz and they both become lost toys.
Now they must navigate through what seems to be the place where toys die and the real world to come back to Andy, put their differences aside, and be nothing more than toys again. There’s certainly no happy ever after that Shrek despises so much and the themes portrayed throughout it can easily teach adults something as well.
2. Aladdin and the King of Thieves
I could’ve easily included the first Aladdin movie in this but it does have that happy-ever-after element which I’d like to avoid with this list. Instead, Aladdin and the King of Thieves focus on mending the broken relationship between Aladdin and his father, who’s a king of thieves and tries to steal from Alladin’s wedding.
Aladdin and the King of Thieves was made in 1996 by Disney, 4 years after the release of Aladdin and you can watch it on Disney Plus. I suggest you first watch Aladdin from 1992 because it’ll catch you up on how Aladdin got to his wedding in the first place.
1. Puss in Boots
What better movie to recommend that’s similar to Shrek than Puss in Boots which has a cameo in all but one Shrek movie? It’s the same universe, the same creators, and the same cat we all know and love. Puss in Boots first premiered in 2011 and was a smashing hit after the adventures of Shrek ended.
Nowadays, you can watch another Puss in Boots movie in theaters in Puss in Boots. The Last Wish. It’s definitely not a movie for children unless you want to see them cry in the theater once Death starts creeping up on Puss.