Shrek the Third (2007) [HD-DVD]

Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy
DreamWorks || PG - 92 minutes - $39.99 || November 13, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-11-23


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Chris Miller
Writer(s): William Steig (book); Andrew Adamson (story), Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman and Chris Miller & Aron Warner (screenplay)
Cast: Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake, Larry King, John Krasinski, Ian McShane, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler


Theatrical Release Date: May 18, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • The Animators' Corner
  • Big Green Goofs
  • Lost Scenes
  • Donkey Dance
  • Meet the Cast
  • Shrek's Guide to Parenthood
  • Tech of Shrek
  • DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox
  • My Menus
  • The World of Shrek (Web)
  • Shrek's Trivia Track (Web)


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital Plus), French (Dolby Digital Plus), French (Dolby Digital Plus)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Note: Images not from HD-DVD, but are from SD-DVD.

Shrek has never been my favorite series or anything but if anything Shrek and Shrek 2 were both cute and funny. What makes the franchise interesting to me is the fact it is not a Disney property and has managed to be a big moneymaker for DreamWorks Animation. What does any good studio do to make some money? Why not dip into the well again and what we get is the bare bottom of a well that was becoming dry to begin with. Shrek the Third has its moments and is funny... at times, but where Mike Meyers’ and the rest of the cast voices were original and clever, is now all merely has a "been there, done that" feeling.

Shrek the Third tells the story of Prince Charming (Everett), feeling slighted for not being the royal leader he believes he is, plotting a plan to take over the kingdom of Far Far Away whose king, Harold (Cleese), has taken ill and our favorite ogre and his wife are in charge. Shrek (Meyers) misses his old swamp and wants nothing to do with the royal duties, so he enlists the help of Donkey (Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Banderas) to set sail and find the only living heir to the throne in Arthur (Timberlake), aka Artie, a high school loser.

Meanwhile, back in Far Far Away, Fiona (Diaz) must fend off coup by Charming with the help of her fellow fairy tale maidens: her mother Queen Lillian (Andrews), Doris (King), Belle (Oteri), Snow White (Poehler), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph) and Cinderella (Amy Sedaris).

Shrek the Third features a myriad of voice talents from the great Larry King and Regis Philbin (reprising their roles), John Krasinski (TV’s “The Office”), Ian McShane (various movies and TV), Cheri Oteri, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Julie Andrews -- as well as Seth Rogan with a cameo voice appearance.

So there’s not a lack of talent here but instead a lack of material. Sure, kids will enjoy this just as they did with the first two and even though the technology has advanced to amazing levels in only 6 years since the original, it’s not enough to recommend this third and hopefully final outing. It’s OK entertainment and there are certainly worse ways to pass 90-minutes, but that doesn’t mean one should shell out the money for it.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The HD-DVD boasts some good extras and a couple exclusives, which I will point out when the time comes.

Big Green Goofs (1:56) – Very short “gag reel” with the animators had a little fun with Shrek and the gang. Not all that funny since it’s not as spontaneous as real life actors but it’s still alright.

Lost Scenes (26:00) – 4 deleted storyboard/sequences are presented in front of other collaborators. Personally, although interesting to watch, these could’ve stayed lost, (IMO). I should note that the HD-DVD includes an extra lost scene the SD version lacks.

Meet the Cast (10:45) – Nice featurette that gives the cast a chance to talk about Shrek the Third and also introduces us to the new additions like Krasinski, Timberlake and others.

Tech of Shrek (9:54) – One of the more fascinating featurettes shows the advancement made on the animation from the original, the sequel to now and how much more the animators could do. Things like hair styles and costumes could be expanded and made much easier to animate.

Other features include Donkey Dance (0:32), a simple video of Donkey dancing to the "Safety Dance" song, Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood where supporting cast gives their advice to raising children and DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox allows you to watch the music videos from other animated features (Shrek, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, Flushed Away and Madagascar).


** HD-DVD Exclusive Material **

The Animators’ Corner – This picture-in-picture feature merely displays the storyboard of what’s on screen with the occasional icon that, when clicked, will take you to a lost scene. Useless.

My Menus – Allows you to select your favorite Shrek character for your menu.

Shrek’s Trivia Track – Trivia track that you download off the Net (using your HD-DVD player) and gives the viewer bits of trivia about the movie, though most are obvious. I’m not sure why this couldn’t have been included as a subtitle track like it has been done on SD discs.

The World of Shrek – This is another web-enabled feature that gives a rundown on the characters.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Shrek the Third has a 1.85 OAR and this transfer looks quite good, though without seeing the original film, I’m not sure how good it really is. My issue comes from the fact the film has a gold-ish tint at times. Outside of that, details are crisp and the colors are well done. The HD-DVD is encoded in MPEG-4, 1080p resolution. That said, nothing is overly saturated and the textures are well defined. ****½ / *****

A Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 track is offered up and is serviceable, though nothing outstanding. Maybe it could’ve been better but for an animated film, I guess I didn’t expect much. Voices are clear and any background noises come through speakers very nicely. Of course, this shouldn’t be a showcase for one’s home theater, but it’s not bad either. Spanish and French DD+ tracks are also available. ***¾ / *****



.::OVERALL::.

Shrek the Third is a perfectly fine movie for kids and it’ll keep the adults semi-entertained, but this is a far cry of the creativity of the original and even doesn’t match its much (Net) maligned sequel. On the technical front, the HD-DVD is great despite my objection of the gold tint certain scenes contained. It boasts some nice features worth at least a look; however these aren’t things that you will want to see again.

I’m hesitant to completely recommend this HD-DVD primarily because it is a kids movie and with such a high price tag ($25-30), if you have kids, you might want to just get the SD version as a lower cost since somehow these discs can get damaged when kids are around. But taking that out of the equation and judging this as another HD-DVD, it’s a solid release, though one that could’ve added something more like a commentary or an in-depth featurette.