Shrek appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 3D Blu-ray Disc. Shrek provided a positive visual experience.
Sharpness seemed solid. A few shots came across as a bit soft, but these didn’t cause notable concerns, so overall definition appeared very good.
No signs of jagged edges, moiré effects or edge haoles appeared. The movie also was totally free of any source flaws.
The fairytale setting of Shrek offered a nicely bright and varied palette, and the disc reproduced the colors well. From the cartoonier tones to more natural and lifelike hues, the colors always came across as vivid and lively.
Black levels also seemed deep and rich, while shadow detail looked appropriately heavy but not overly dense. In the end, Shrek provided an appealing visual presentation.
As for the 3D imaging, Shrek didn’t go wild with stereo effects. While it offered a generally good sense of depth, it lacked a lot of standout 3D moments.
Still, a few shots – mainly with aerial components – brought out some moderate “pop-out” elements, and the sense of environment came across well. This wasn’t a great 3D presentation, but the visuals added some impact to the film.
Shrek provided a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundfield with a fairly forward emphasis. The front spectrum offered nice separation and presence for the music. Effects displayed reasonably good atmosphere, but they usually didn’t go much beyond that.
At times I heard good movement across the front, such as the guy in the Farquaad costume who ran from Shrek and Donkey, and a few other instances provided decent directionality. Nonetheless, the front field usually stuck with general ambience.
The surround channels functioned in a similar manner. They provided reinforcement of the music and effects and didn’t add many distinct elements. On a few occasions, I heard some isolated activity from the rear, and some split surround usage occurred as well, such as elements related to the dragon. However, the rear speakers usually played a fairly minor role during the film; they weren’t terribly active participants, though I thought they seemed satisfactory.
Audio quality was generally solid. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and distinct, as I heard no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Music provided pretty good dynamics and depth.
Effects were clean and accurate for the most part, though I thought they lacked great warmth. Bass response seemed a little flat, as some elements - like the stomp of the dragon - lacked much force. Overall, the soundtrack remained perfectly acceptable for the film, but it didn’t do anything to stand out from the crowd.
Only one extra appears on the Blu-ray disc: a 3D trailer for Puss in Boots. The set included no 2D Blu-ray version of Shrek.
The package does provide a DVD copy of Shrek, though, and it comes with some extras. First up is an audio commentary from producer Aron Warner and directors Vicky Jenson and Andrew Adamson. All three were recorded together for this running, screen-specific piece. Overall, I like the track, though it can be fairly erratic.
The first half of the commentary offers the strongest information. The three participants provide a wealth of solid information about the film, from animation problems and details to story development to alterations made along the way. They seem peppy and involved in the process as they add lots of useful tidbits in an engaging and entertaining manner.
Unfortunately, the commentary starts to run out of steam about halfway through the film. After the 45-minute mark, valuable remarks pop up less frequently, and the participants spend more of their time simply watching and enjoying the movie.
A lot of their statements relate to their appreciation of the film, and Jenson especially comes across like a cheerleader at times. The second half of the commentary still provides some good details, and even during the less informative spots, it remains reasonably entertaining. However, you’ll encounter the most compelling data during the movie’s first half.
Three Deleted Scenes run a total of eight minutes, three seconds. We see “Fiona’s Prologue” (2:55), “The Deal” (2:41), and “Fiona Gets Them Lost” (2:27). These come to us as “storyboard pitches”; this means we see storyboards while an animator voice-acts them for us.
I think the first two are interesting but nothing special; the movie doesn’t suffer for their omission. On the other hand, “Lost” is a lot of fun. I don’t know how well it would have integrated with the film, but I like it and wish it had been completed. In any case, I like this look at the unused footage.
Two featurettes appear. Spotlight on Donkey runs 11 minutes, 36 seconds and delivers comments from Warner, Adamson, Jenson, Katzenberg, Myers, Murphy, Bielenberg, director Mike Mitchell, producer Teresa Cheng, and actors Antonio Banderas, and Walt Dohrn. “Spotlight” looks at the character’s development and design as well as Murphys’s casting and performance. The program gives us a decent but somewhat fluffy look at Donkey.
Next comes Secrets of Shrek, a three-minute, 50-second piece. It identifies cameos and movie details that otherwise might go unnoticed. It’s a fun little bonus.
“Shrek, Rattle & Roll” adds two music videos. We find “I’m a Believer” from Smash Mouth and “Best Years Of Our Lives” from Baha Men.
The first one combines a lip-synch performance by the band with a minor plot in which lead singer Steve Harwell pursues his dream girl. Shrek clips are integrated in a clever and smooth manner, and it’s a decent little video with a funny ending.
The Baha Men clip is much less interesting. It combines an annoying lip-synched performance alongside some dancing babes with the standard movie snippets. The song itself’s a bland and inane piece of dreck. Ugh!
Within “Rattle”, we also find “What’s Up Duloc?” from Shrek: The Musical. It doesn’t make me want to see the show.
“Rattle” ends with “Karaoke Swamp Party”. This two-minute, 52-second reel shows the Shrek characters as they belt out some pop songs. It becomes a fun addition.
The disc opens with ads for Megamind and Kung Fu Panda 2. These also appear under Previews along with clips for The Penguins of Madagascar, the Kung Fu Panda World game, and Shrek: The Musical. No trailer for Shrek shows up here.
After a few viewings of Shrek, I still can’t understand the fuss the film received. While it has some reasonably clever moments, I feel it seems lackluster. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals, generally good audio and a small but informative set of supplements. This remains a mildly fun movie and a mildly effective 3D presentation.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of SHREK