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Chris Miller, Raman Hui
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen
Writing Credits:
Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Chris Miller, Aron Warner

When his new father-in-law, King Harold falls ill, Shrek is looked at as the heir to the land of Far, Far Away. Not one to give up his beloved swamp, Shrek recruits his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots to install the rebellious Artie as the new king. Princess Fiona, however, rallies a band of royal girlfriends to fend off a coup d'etat by the jilted Prince Charming.

Box Office:
$160 million.
Opening Weekend
$121.629 million on 4122 screens.
Domestic Gross
$320.706 million.

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 9/23/2008

• “Shrek’s Trivia Track”
• “The Animators’ Corner” Interactive Feature
• “The World of Shrek” Interactive Feature
• “Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood” Featurettes
• “Meet the Cast” Featurette
• “Tech of Shrek” Featurette
• “Big Green Goofs” Reel
• Lost Scenes
• “Donkey Dance”
• DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox
• “Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball” Game
• “How to Be Green”
• “Learn the Donkey Dance”
• Preview


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Shrek The Third [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 22, 2016)

Was it just me, or did 2007’s Shrek the Third hit screens with less fanfare than expected? After all, 2004’s Shrek 2 became that year’s biggest hit and took in $436 million in the US. Without adjustment for inflation, only Titanic and Star Wars had earned more money as of 2007. Against that background, I’d have anticipated much more hype for Third.

In a summer packed with big-name sequels, though, Third got a little lost in the shuffle. Not that it did poorly, of course. With a $320 million US gross, it became inevitable that we’d get a fourth chapter in the Shrek series. The movie simply failed to garner as much attention as you’d anticipate from a third chapter in such a hugely successful series.

At the film’s start, we saw what happened to Prince Charming (voiced by Rupert Everett), the defeated baddie of the second movie. Humiliated and left in exile, he dreams of revenge upon Shrek, and he decides on a new plan.

In the meantime, Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) do their best to fill in for Far Far Away’s ailing king (John Cleese). When the ruler dies, he wants Shrek to take over as the new leader, but our ogre hero resists this call.

Instead, he prefers to find Arthur (Justin Timberlake), an awkward teen who also has a place in the royal lineage. This sets Shrek on a quest to find Arthur and place him on the throne – and also to deal with Fiona’s announcement that she’s pregnant.

While this occurs, Charming becomes the leader of all the various fairy tale villains. He appeals to them to create their own “happily ever after” and they take over Far Far Away. The movie follows these two main stories.

The first Shrek wasn’t great, but at least it managed to offer something different via its skewed take on famous fairy tales. Shrek 2 lacked the same sense of originality, and I still can’t quite account for its success. The movie presented some amusement but wasn’t anything particularly dynamic or inventive.

Against that backdrop, you should expect more of the same from Third. For better or for worse, this chapter falls into the same realm as its predecessors. We get more lampooning of fairy tale characters and scenarios, though Third branches out into slightly different territory. The King Arthur legend may be mythological, but it feels like an odd piece to link to the world of ogres and talking animals.

Even if we accept that – and we probably should, since we’re willing to swallow so much - Third only intermittently succeeds. Actually, I think we find at least as many laughs as usual, and probably more.

Granted, the first two never amused me too much, but this one offers a decent number of chuckles. I particularly like two bits during the scene when Charming tries to find Shrek and Fiona. We see Gingy’s life flash before his eyes in amusing fashion, and Pinocchio’s obfuscation is a hoot. A few other sequences also stand out as among the series’ funniest.

But plenty fall flat as well. We get too many of the usual bodily function jokes, and the attempts to show modern life in a fantasy setting get a little old. Yeah, these are inevitable and part of the series’ tendencies, but they start to sag after three movies.

One problem with a third chapter in a cinematic series comes from all the characters they amass. Third wants to give us most of the personalities from the first two flicks and add new ones as well. This means some of our old favorites get a bit lost in the shuffle and don’t have much to do. Actually, the film balances them about as well as it could, but it would’ve worked better with fewer participants on display.

At least Third manages a reasonably concise and efficient story. With so many characters, it could’ve indulged in 47 different plot threads, but it really concentrates pretty heavily on the two I mentioned. The issues with the heir and Charming’s revenge take the forefront, while Shrek’s family anxieties act more as a subtext. The movie blends the sides pretty well and ties them together semi-neatly in the end.

I must admit I could live without the parental aspects of Third, though. I think it would’ve been enough for Shrek to battle a sense of responsibility versus his natural inclination toward sloth and self-centeredness. I guess the Arthur elements meant the filmmakers needed some payoff for Shrek other than as king, but I think the parental side of things feels forced – like it exists more as fodder for another sequel than as a natural story point.

I suppose if I directly compared the animation of Third with the original Shrek, I’d notice growth. However, it continues to feature the same look, for good and for bad. On one hand, it’s positive that the series maintains a sense of continuity; we wouldn’t want a Shrek film that doesn’t fit in with the others.

Unfortunately, this means that many of the characters continue to look off-putting and odd. The human renderings still fare poorly. They try too hard to be photo-real, and they just don’t work. Poor Artie often looks like clay-mation more than anything else, and the moderate ugliness of the figures makes it tough to get into the story at times. I prefer the Pixar approach, which uses the advantages of CG animation but still manages to make its work look like cartoons.

If you read my reviews for the first two films, you’ll see that I thought both offered moderate entertainment but not much more. My feelings remain the same in regard to Shrek the Third. This is a perfectly enjoyable film, though one that seems rather hit or miss much of the time. For every funny bit, there are plenty more than go nowhere. Third offers an amusing but forgettable 90 minutes.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Shrek the Third appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No notable problems appeared here, but the image fell a bit short of greatness.

Most of the time, sharpness was strong. The vast majority of the flick showed tight, accurate delineation. However, a few wider shots could be a smidgen soft. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws also remained absent.

With its fantasy setting, Third boasted a broad palette, and it demonstrated very good color reproduction. The hues looked bright and dynamic throughout the film. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows seemed decent. They tended to be a little thick at times, unfortunately, and weren’t as consistent as I’d like. This was a very good transfer; it just didn’t dazzle.

As for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, it also worked well. Most of the material stayed in the ambient realm, as the elements usually just supported the settings in a general way. A few action scenes managed to add activity from the sides and surrounds, and the entire track offered a good sense of place. The action sequences used all five channels in a satisfying manner and created a broad, involving sense of the material.

Audio quality was solid. Music sounded dynamic and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared tight and accurate. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. All in all, this was a very nice soundtrack.

How does the Blu-ray compare to the original 2007 DVD? Visuals came across as more vibrant and concise, while audio showed surprising improvements. I found the DVD’s soundtrack to seem flat and lackluster, but the Blu-ray’s TrueHD mix was notably more involving and dynamic. The Blu-ray was a clear step up in quality over the DVD.

When we head to the set’s extras, we get a mix of components from the DVD as well as Blu-ray exclusives. In the latter category, we locate Shrek’s Trivia Track. Throughout the film, text blurbs pop up and inform us about cast and crew, filmmaking elements, and related materials. The presentation is a little intrusive, as the comments fill more of the screen than I’d like, but the material offers decent information.

With the Animators Corner, we get another feature that runs during the film. Activate this and you’ll see storyboards for the entire film placed in the lower right corner of the screen. This is a nice addition to the set.

Finally, The World of Shrek gives us info about 23 movie roles. It covers nine “lead characters” and 14 members of the “supporting cast”. Examine these and find biographies and “fun facts”. None of this seems special, but it’s enjoyable.

Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood gives you “advice” from four characters: Donkey, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio and Gingy. They offer parenting ideas from their own perspectives. This turns into a fairly cute little feature.

A featurette called Meet the Cast runs 10 minutes, 42 seconds. It presents comments from producer/writer Aron Warner, co-producer Denis Nolan Cascino, co-director Raman Hui, director/writer Chris Miller, John Burroughs HS musical director Paul Vessiland, music arranger Kaz Boyle, head of character animation Tim Cheung, and actors Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Eric Idle, Julie Andrews, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, Cheri Oteri and Amy Poehler.

Don’t expect a lot of information from this promotional piece. It’s fun to see the actors at work, and they tell us a little about the characters and capturing high school, but most of the piece sticks with fluff.

Three Lost Scenes run a total of 18 minutes, 24 seconds. These include “The Fauxly Grail” (9:23), “Hot Lunch” (4:36), “Cyrano De Artie” (4:26) and “Doppelgangers” (7:27). All three involve Artie at the fore. “Grail” offers a big action scene in which Artie must battle a dragon, while the second and third focus more on his love for Guinevere. “Doppelgangers” shows the gang on a missoin during which they encounter Gingy and Pinocchio imposters.

We don’t see these as fully-rendered animation – or even as storyreels. Instead, we watch the filmmakers’ pitch sessions during which they point to storyboards and act out the sequences. Of course, it’d be nice to see the scenes in a more finished form, but this format works fine. All fun to see.

Note that if you activate “Animators’ Corner”, a Shrek icon will pop up four times during the movie. This lets you hit “enter” and access the “Lost Scenes” where they would’ve appeared in the film. It’s a distraction to watch them that way – they don’t blend well – but at least this lets to see them where they belong.

For some animation errors, we go to Big Green Goofs. The one-minute and 58-second reel shows a mix of computer errors. Many are quite creepy.

For a simple music video, we find Donkey Dance. This odd clip lasts a mere 33 seconds and shows Donkey as he sings his own rendition of “The Safety Dance”. It’s odd and only moderately amusing.

Another featurette appears next. Tech of Shrek goes for nine minutes, 57 seconds and offers notes from Miller, Hui, Cheung, Cascino, Warner, chief technology officer Ed Leonard, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, supervising animator Anthony Hodgson, visual effects supervisor Philippe Gluckman, technology executive Kate Swanberg, effects supervisor Matt Baer, research and development manager Andrew Pearce, effects supervisor Arnauld Lamorlette, art director Peter Zaslav, production designer Guillaume Aretos, and head of digital operations Derek Chan.

The program looks at how the computer technology has improved over the three movies and how that growth affected the rendering of hair, clothes, natural elements, lighting, crowd shots, and different settings. As with the cast featurette, this one includes some decent details, but most of the time it feels promotional. “Tech” seems like it exists to tell us how great Third looks and also to tout some computer vendors. It proves only sporadically useful.

For material from other films, we can move to the DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox. This allows you to watch clips from Bee Movie, Flushed Away, the three Shrek flicks, Shark Tale, Flushed Away, Madagascar and Over the Hedge. This lets us hear some musical numbers from the films. It feels like advertising to me, honestly, as it serves little real purpose.

Under the “DreamWorks Kids” banner, we get three components. Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball offers a video spin on the Magic 8-Ball. You ask a yes or no question and Merlin gives you an answer. It maintains your attention for about half a minute.

How to Be Green runs four minutes as it teaches us how to help the environment. It tells us tips over the top of movie clips. It’s harmless propaganda but not particularly interesting.

Finally, Learn the Donkey Dance refers back to the mini-music video found earlier. The one-minute and 42-second clip gives us a tutorial to show us how to do Donkey’s dance. Though not very interesting, at least it’s short!

The disc opens with an ad for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. No trailer for Third pops up here.

If you liked the first two flicks, will you like Shrek the Third? Probably, as this chapter does little to alter the pre-established template. Will Third possibly create new fans for the series? Probably not, as it suffers from the same ups and downs as its predecessors. This is an amusing enough movie at times but not one that ever threatens to become especially memorable. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio along with a fairly nice selection of supplements. Third doesn’t do much for me as a movie, but the Blu-ray brings it home in a satisfying enough manner.

To rate this film visit the original review review of SHREK THE THIRD

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main