Bottom line: The two Dreamworks movie shorts, Scared Shrekless and Monsters Vs Aliens: Mutant Pumkins from Outer Space are available together in a DVD pack. The movies are both short but sweet, offering family Halloween fun with a fairly low fright factor.MPAA Rating: NR
Guide age recommendation: 5+
Scared Shrekless and Monsters Vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - OverviewThe DVD double feature includes two DVDs from DreamWorks:
- Scared Shrekless: Shrek and Fiona are having a great time teaching the little ones how to scare trick-or-treaters on Halloween, when Donkey and a few other familiar friends show up bragging about their Halloween bravery. Shrek challenges them to an all-night fright fest. The last one left after all the others have left the room screaming wins. Shrek and friends take turns telling scary stories to try to spook each other into giving up. Also includes a Shrekified "Thriller" music video.
- Monsters Vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space: Susan and the other monsters are called out on Halloween night to investigate mysterious happenings in Susan's home town. They are surprised to find a patch of mutant pumpkins set on taking over the world, and Halloween candy seems to make the mutant pumpkins grow bigger and bigger. It's up to Susan and her team to stop the monsterous pumpkins before it's too late.
Scared Shrekless and Monsters Vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - Guide Review
Both of these Halloween specials (new to DVD in 2011) are kid friendly and fun to watch for the whole family. The double feature offering is nice, since the movies are only 25 and 27 minutes long. Instead of thinking of them as movies, think fun cartoon shorts featuring some favorite characters and a lot of Halloween holiday cheer.
Some rude humor occurs in each movie, but the humor is fairly mild -- the worst instance is when Shrek calls Donkey an "ass." This name-calling occurs during the "Thriller" music video, which is otherwise quite hilarious.
A few scenes in each of the movies could be slightly scary to young children. The mutant pumpkins grow into pumpkin monsters with mean glowing faces, and in the Shrek movie, the stories are more funny than scary, but the tone could be unsettling to kids anyway. Grownups, however, will appreciate the Shreky spoofs on Psycho and The Exorcist. If your kids are really sensitive to scary stuff, you might want to preview the movies first, otherwise, the scary parts are infused with a lot of humor and are not likely to frighten anyone for too long.
Scared Shrekless and Monsters Vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space - Halloween Party
The fact that these shows are fun for a wide age range makes them the perfect double feature for a Halloween movie party. Additionally, the Shrek and Monsters themes make it super easy to come up with party treats and activities. Here are a few ideas from around the web:
- Do a twist on the traditional and offer movie party guests a bowl of popcorn and some candy. For the candy, set out bowls of Shrek favorites like the following: green licorice (Ogre Snot), gummy worms and bugs, candy eyeballs, green jelly beans, Halloween colored or green M&Ms.
- Swamp Sludge: Make a bowl of green jello and a bowl of chocolate pudding. Toss together and add some gummy worms and/or candy insects. Or, make a trifle layering chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, green jello (add the gummy worms and bugs to the jello), and whip cream. Repeat the layers and top the trifle with a few gummy creatures. You can also find an easy green swamp cake on the Kraft Foods website.
- If you would rather go the Mutant Pumpkin route, use green gel frosting to create Mutant Pumpkins with this Jack-o-Lantern cake.
- Shrek Trivia: Who said these Top 5 favorite lines from the Shrek series? See which party guests can match the quote to a character. You can also find a good Shrek Trivia game on Kidsreads.com
- Play Shrek's ghost story game: Turn out some lights and let the kiddos go to town trying to tell a scary story that will spook everyone. Or, make it an add on game to add some humor. Each person gets 30 seconds to add to the spooky tale, then the next person has to add on to the story where the last person left off. The last person to go gets to end the story.
- Who is the mutant pumpkin?: This is a take on the old favorite, "Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?" Everyone sits in a circle, with one person standing in the middle. Take a hard piece of candy and pass it from person to person while Halloween music plays. When the music stops, the person in the middle has to guess who the mutant pumpkin (person with the candy) is. Kids absolutely love this game. Remind them that everyone should act suspicious so the person in the middle doesn't know who has the candy, and you will get some hilarious "acting" from little ones.