Shrek the Halls is a television special for that premiered on the American television network ABC on Wednesday, November 28, 2007. The thirty minute Christmas special was directed by Gary Trousdale and produced by DreamWorks Animation. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas reprised their roles from the feature films.
Shrek is quietly living in the swamp with his family when the Christmas season arrives. Under Donkey's urging, Shrek reluctantly promises Princess Fiona a special Christmas surprise. Shrek goes to the local bookstore in Far, Far Away to try to find a present for Fiona, but since he doesn't know what Christmas is all about, the shopkeeper gives Shrek a copy of Christmas For Village Idiots, a step-by-step guide to celebrating the holiday. Shrek proceeds to follow the book's advice by decorating the house and getting a tree so he can spend a quiet Christmas Eve with his family, but Donkey brings the entire "family" to the swamp, ruining Shrek's plans.
As Shrek tries to tell his own version of "A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)"; Gingy, Donkey, and Puss in Boots interrupt and each tell their own version of a Christmas story. Donkey tells of floats coming to the swamp. At the end, Donkey tells of licking an enormous Santa figure that is made out of waffles, but in reality he accidentally starts licking Shrek's leg. Puss tells his version of the story of Santa Claus, but ends up playing with the ball point of his Santa hat, while in reality he is playing with one of the baubles from the christmas tree. However, Gingy's story is not happy, but horrifying, as he tells about how his girlfriend Suzy got eaten up by Santa Claus. To which Donkey finds it unbelievable, with Gingy screaming "You weren't there!". Donkey finds Shrek's Christmas for Village Idiots book, and the ensuing fight over the book destroys all of Shrek's decorations, furniture and the tree. Shrek then loses his temper and ends up ejecting his friends from the house.
With the Christmas spirit ruined, Fiona and Shrek have a talk, after which she takes the children and leaves the swamp to go and apologize to their friends. Shrek feels downhearted that Christmas Eve didn't go as he hoped it would, and he looks at one of Donkey's Christmas cards that says, From Donkey & family. Fiona catches up to their friends and explains to Donkey what Shrek had wanted for Christmas. Shrek catches up with the group, and apologizes for losing his temper. Donkey is shocked to learn that this is Shrek's first Christmas, because "ogres don't celebrate anything." Donkey also apologizes for being annoying, and explains that Christmas never goes as planned and according to his mother, "'Christmas ain't Christmas until somebody cries', and that's usually me."
After a snowball fight, the friends return to the swamp, and Shrek tells his story, featuring Ogre Claus. Soon they hear bells and go outside to see Santa and his reindeer, although Gingy runs back inside screaming in terror.
Shrek the Halls was produced by DreamWorks Animation, concretely, at the PDI/DreamWorks studio. Gary Trousdale directed this special during the pre-production, but he was later replaced by Mark Baldo. The film was produced by Teresa Cheng, Gina Shay and Aron Warner and was screenplayed by Bill Riling, Thresa Cullen, and Sean Bishop.
Shrek the Halls was released on DVD in the U.S. on November 4, 2008. It was originally available by itself, or in a bundle pack with Shrek the Third. It was released on iTunes on November 2, 2008. The special was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012 as part of complication titled DreamWorks Holiday Classics. It was re-released on DVD on October 1, 2013 along with Merry Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury, and The Croods.
In 2011, as part of a strategic partnership between DreamWorks Animation and Gaylord Hotels, Shrek the Halls was presented as the theme of the ICE! exhibit at Gaylord's hotels in Texas and Florida. In this presentation, the plot of the film is told through a series of ice sculptures that visitors walk past.
- This is the first DreamWorks Animation television special.
- When Shrek throws the axe in the sign, when Donkey scares him by singing Jingle Bells, Shrek makes the same recycled "Donkey" which is heard in the second movie when Donkey accidentally opens the door which causes the guards to see them.