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DreamWorks Shrek & Friends app review

dreamworks shrek titleA simple, drag-and-drop app, DreamWorks Shrek & Friends (DreamWorks and Fox & Sheep, July 2016; iOS only) invites you to get toddler-aged versions of six different DreamWorks characters ready for their day.

The app opens with some very familiar typeface (hint, it’s green with ears) and moves directly into a colorful, early morning cityscape, complete with gentle music and bird song. As the scene pans to the right, showing a six-storied tower with a sleeping protagonist per floor, a soothing male voice asks you to get involved: “The sun is rising on a bright new day. Everywhere people are waking up and starting their day. But look! What’s going on here? Shrek and his friends are all still fast asleep. Can you wake them up and help them get ready?”

dreamworks shrek apartment

Scroll up and down to choose which adorable large-eyed, little-kid character you would like to wake first: ogre Shrek; penguins Skipper and Private or lion Alex from Madagascar; Po from Kung Fu Panda; Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon; or alien Oh from Home. Once the window is tapped, you’re brought to the character’s bedroom (a childlike version of the setting the character inhabits in the film).

First things first: wake ’em up. Tap the window in the corner to open the shade, letting morning light in, and then three different noise-making items are strewn about the space. Tap the items in any order for as long as it takes for the sleepy character to eventually rouse (“Good morning, Shrek!”). Once the character is awake, tap the arrow at the top right hand of the screen and move on to the next step: tooth-brushing and face-washing.dreamworks shrek wake up

dreamworks shrek toothless

After the morning hygiene rituals, it’s time to feed the characters — Shrek likes cockroaches, Oh doesn’t; Oh likes screws, Alex doesn’t — then pack their bags. To clean the characters up, feed them, or pack up their toys and other belongings, simply drag items to the correct place. Tap around the background for a few animated surprises. To finish the game, complete all four tasks for each of the six protagonists.

While the app assumes prior familiarity with DreamWorks films, it doesn’t rely on that assumed knowledge: the simplicity of play, number of language options, and aggressive cuteness of the characters give it wide appeal.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 8.0 or later); $3.99. Recommended for preschool users.


Siân Gaetano About Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano is assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc. Follow her on Twitter @KidLitChick.



  1. Does this include in-app advertising? Thanks

  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Yes, there is a small ad on the top left corner of the title screen; when tapped (and unlocked with a simple math problem), it links to Fox & Sheep’s App Store page.

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