DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Symon Parsons's film review of Shrek

Stunning, flawless and impossibly detailed, this DVD picture (measuring 1.78:1 anamorphic) will astonish you and prove what the format is capable of. The reason it's so good is that it is straight digital-to-digital source. The eventual release of Final Fantasy will also look as perfect as this and the best way to enjoy it is on a massive TV. So go buy one if you don't have one already.

Not really an effects heavy film in terms of audio, Shrek still delivers a decent DD 5.1 soundtrack. Bursts of dragon fire are rendered nicely as are other, more subtle effects, such as the blowing wind and trees. As with most animated movies, the main audio ingredient is dialogue, which is in the front speakers and music being in the surrounds. Nonetheless the audio quality is still pleasing.

Copy picture

The commentary by the directors and producer starts off slowly but soon picks up the pace as they reveal trivia, anecdotes and discuss the films origin and production.

The HBO first-look featurette is boring. Almost every animated movie these days has a documentary such as this, with flickery shots of wire-frame model characters on computer screens. "This is how the characters start out" the animators say. Yeah, we know, we've seen it a hundred times. Because this wasn't an actual movie, there ain't a lot to show us apart from the actors talking about their roles and the animators showing us how it's done. It would bore a stone to death.

The Deleted Scenes segment is different from the usual, it shows us the animators "pitch" the scenes to audiences and we witness their, mostly passive, reactions. The first angle is the storyboards and the second is the animator acting the scene out for the audiences.

The Tech of Shrek is better than the HBO documentary but is still a bit boring and once again features the wire-frame models of the characters. But it discusses the film's three year production a bit more and how the technology differs from Dreamworks' "Antz". Some animation goofs are mentioned but they are elaborated more on the Technical Goofs feature.

The Progression Reel shows us pics of how the characters evolved from their first drawings to how they look when perfected and finalized.

If you like to sing then go to the Extended Karaoke Jam. Just click on the little note logo on the main menu to access this Easter egg.

The Sneak Peak is for a movie from Dreamworks called "Spirit". The trailer is in 5.1.

There are also two trivia games that will challenge you on your knowledge of the movie.

Obviously such a big hit demands a huge DVD release, but I would rather see such releases for REAL classics and contemporary movies. The only reason Shrek and modern movies get loaded DVDs is because the extras are more readily available.

Reviewed on: 05 Jan 2002
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Shrek packshot
The story of Shrek the Ogre, a creature that looks like a cross between Danny de Vito and something that just fell out of your nose...
Amazon link

Product Code: 6882442

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentary; HBO First Look; Multi-Angle Storyboard Pitch Of Deleted Scenes; Tech of Shrek; Progression Reel; Technical Goofs; Extended Karaeke Jam; Sneak Peek; Games

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