Once upon a time in a far away swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek (Myers) whose precious swampy solitude was suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. There are blind mice on his table, a big, bad wolf in his bed, three bedless bears, and three little homeless pigs, not to mention the rest who are banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (Lithgow). Determined to save their home, not to mention his own, Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Diaz) to be Farquaad's bride. Accompanying him on his mission is a wisecracking Donkey (Murphy) who will do anything for Shrek, except shut up. Rescuing the Princess from a fire-breathing dragon may prove the least of their problems when the secret she has been keeping is revealed! No fairy tale character is sacred (nor famous movie lines for that matter)—what a riot! Adults will enjoy all the subtle jokes aimed at them, while flying straight over the kids' heads. Based on the book by William Steig. (Suzanne Hodges)
Special features include the featurettes "Spotlight On Donkey" (HD 11:38) and "Secrets Of Shrek" (HD 03:52); three deleted scenes; commentary with Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner; "Shrek, Rattle & Roll" that includes the "Shrek In The Swamp Karaoke Dance Party" (HD 02:53), "Baha Men 'Best Years Of Our Lives'" (SD 03:08), Smash Mouth's "I'm A Believer" music video, Shrek The Musical "What's Up Duloc?" (HD 03:57), and the DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox; Blu-ray Exclusives: The Animator's Corner and Shrek's Interactive Journey: 1; and up-front previews.
The 1080p AVC 1.78:1 all-digital transfer of Shrek is nothing short of impressive. Originally reviewed as a DVD edition in Issue 54, this newly remastered Blu-ray Disc™ edition exhibits greater detail in the computer animation, which was judged already astounding. Contrast and "shadow delineation" is nearly perfect and quite "natural." From the solid blue sky, vibrant yellow sunflowers, Shrek's green skin, and deep blacks, hues are gorgeously rendered. Detail is excellent, from the threads in Shrek's shirt to the hairs on the Donkey's coat. (Gary Reber/Suzanne Hodges)
As with the previously reviewed DVD, the newly encoded Dolby® TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack offers an enlightening, animated listening experience, along with excellent fidelity. The added two channels are properly positioned to the 90-degree side channels for enhanced dimensional envelopment. The dimensional scope, however, is generally conservative, with a noticeable balance toward the screen. The surrounds are usually engaged subtly to moderately, with a few moments for which they become prominent and bring the soundstage alive (such as the fiery encounter with the dragon) and the occasional outburst of aggressive surround pans. Otherwise, the restrained utilization of surround envelopment seems more than would be expected but still immersive. While the use of deep bass is certainly powerful at times and even system-threatening, with sub-25 Hz extension in the main channels, the use of the .1 LFE is very limited, and in fact, there is little in the way of such activity with the roars and rumbles of the dragon. The music score has been very nicely recorded, and its presence across the screen is sweeping and engaging, and sometimes filling the listening space all around the listener. Voices have remarkably natural fidelity, but the studio-type ambiance from an ADR production is noticeable. The Dolby TrueHD encoding delivers more refinement in terms of midrange tonal detail and low-level resolution. Still the soundstage is somewhat less spatially immersive than expected, but nonetheless should have plenty to satisfy and entertain. (Gary Reber/Perry Sun)