The makers of this DVD have thought of just about everything to deliver a film that has as many layers as an onion and can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. A parent is able to let their child watch their own full-frame version of the film on one disc while they watch the widescreen version on another. Thereby preventing the young one from continually asking, “Daddy, why do you keep laughing when they say Farquaad?”
The classic fairytale spun on its head. …hrek has a great moral and takes a fun journey to get to it. An angry ogre (Mike Myers) who prefers life on his own is forced to save a princess (Cameron Diaz) kept in a tower so he can continue living in the style he’s become accustomed to. Along with his donkey sidekick (Eddie Murphy) he sets out on a crusade to save his swamp home from being overrun by fairytale creatures forced to abandon the forest by the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). In the end we learn the old adage, “beauty is only skin deep” really means just that.
This DVD has it all… English DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0, and French 2.0. In each of these audio formats, the soundstage and separation are incredible. The surrounds are used very effectively, and the sound movement through the different speakers is great. The voices are all very accurately places, and the subwoofer is noticeable but not overpowering. The audio commentary is fun to listen to, with directors Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson and producer Aron Warner recalling many comical and painstaking moments in the creation of the film.
Given its digital beginnings there is no question that expectations are high when watching this film on DVD. You won’t be disappointed! The picture is so crisp and clean I was able to see slight facial and hair movement in the characters that I missed while watching the movie in a theatre.
There is a full frame version of the movie on disc one and a 1.78:1 widescreen version on disc two. This allows you to watch the movie properly on your home theatre and at the same time, send the children down to the dungeon to watch the full frame version on the tiny TV.
Two words describe the extras on both discs…INFORMATION OVERLOAD. Disc one is basically the children’s version with so many DVD-ROM games, music videos, animated interviews with the main characters, a making of featurette, and numerous other extras. Included on this disc is a first for DVD technology… “Shrek’s Revoice Studio”. With this feature, you can record your voice in the place of the characters from the film. In order to take advantage of the very cool special feature, you must have a DVD-ROM drive on your computer. Disc two is the adult version with filmmakers’ commentary, a storyboard pitch of deleted scenes, a featurette on the technology of the film, a short on how the film is dubbed into different languages, character design progression drawings, and technical goof outtakes.
Unfortunately, this is where the discs stumble a little bit. Some of the information is repetitive between the discs. The making of featurette has too much information that is already in the technology featurette and there are a few other instances where you waste time going to a certain level only to find out you’ve already seen the same thing on the other disc. Production notes are available on both discs but in completely different font. After viewing the notes on disc two my eyes were starting to go nuts. Later I found the more legible notes on disc one, but by then my eyes were watering!
The features on this DVD are plentiful and fun. The overlap of information is somewhat unfortunate, but the overall feeling for the special features on this DVD is still great. The menus are nicely animated with original gags for each feature you go to and access to “hidden fun facts” will have you feeling sorry for the Gingerbread Man.
A great story and cutting edge animation combine to create a fun and very “re-watchable” movie. With the leaps and bounds made in computer animation, the only question that remains is, when they do a sequel will we really believe in the existence of ogres and other fairytale creatures.
Special Features List
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Game Swamp
- SHREK’S RE-VOICE STUDIO (DVD-ROM)
- Favorite Scenes Selection
- Donkey’s Tale Read-Along
- Filmmakers’ Commentary
- Storyboard Pitch of Deleted Scenes
- Technical Goofs
- International Dubbing Feature
- Character Design Progression Reel