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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Computer Animation > Shrek The Third (HD-DVD + DVD-Video)

Shrek The Third (HD-DVD + DVD-Video)


Picture: B+/C+     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C     Animated Feature: C-



The Shrek franchise is built on a one-joke premise of sending up the literary history of fairytale literature, and though several recent productions have badly tried to do the same thing, this is the first and (by default) the best of the animated features to do so.  However, Shrek The Third (2007) may be stretching it a good bit thin and despite some amusing moments, this third and surprisingly commercial success is just the same thing all over again, including a logical conclusion showing off its unique brand of “family values” and semi-dysfunctional silliness.


One thing the DreamWorks/PDI team has to its advantage is that their animation continues to improve and in the swiftly, rapidly changing world of CG, keeping your stable of successful characters looking better and better is half the battle won.  Unfortunately, the screenplay has boxed the narrative inward and unless you really liked the previous installment(s) enough, you will find this a disappointment.  Keeping Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy was key, for if either had left, this might have been a straight-to-HD/DVD affair.  The bottom line, the tale built on the “unthinkable” premise that Shrek could be a king is for diehard fans only.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is really good, even more so than expected, as PDI is undoubtedly in a solid second place behind Disney/Pixar for computer animation.  This is the first PDI product on an HD format and the richer color and detail as compared to the rest of the competition (Open Season, Happily N’Ever After, et al) is more obvious than ever here with better color range and detail you have to see as compared to the non-Pixar releases.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD version is a big disappointment by comparison, with poor color, weak Video Black and detail issues that make it hard to watch.  The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 on the HD-DVD is also very good, but it also makes you realize that this HD called for Dolby TrueHD and/or DTS MA.  Paramount/DreamWorks needs to use the higher formats more often.  The standard DVD’s standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix not bad either, but no match for the Plus on the HD.


Extras include HD exclusive customizable character menus and picture in picture Animator’s Corner look at the production, while both versions include “bloopers” section, “lost” scenes, Tech of Shrek piece, Artie’s Yearbook, Tournament Games, Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball, Shmash Ups make you own Video section, Shrek’s Guide To Parenthood, Learn The Donkey Dance, web-enhanced World Of Shrek, web-enhanced trivia track, hidden trailers for the first two films and other little bits you’ll have to find for yourself.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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