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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Computer Animation > Fantasy > Fairy Tale > Shrek The Halls (DreamWorks/Paramount DVD)

Shrek The Halls (DreamWorks/Paramount DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Main Program: C+



Shrek the halls with bails of Ogres! Fee Fey Foe Fum, La La La!  Just in time to stuff your stockings and bring holiday joy to everyone, Shrek the Halls hits DVD shelves everywhere with a shade of green that only one loveable Ogre could bring.  The short and to the point feature was originally broadcast on television in November of 2007 as a half hour Christmas special.  The “tele-film” features Shrek and Fiona as they are about to celebrate their first Christmas together as a family, babies and all.  The only problem is, Ogres, Shrek in particular, do not know how to celebrate Christmas.  To help him on his journey of Christmas enlightenment, Shrek ventures to the nearest book store and gets a book entitled “Christmas: For Village Idiots.”  At first Shrek had some real trouble, understanding what Christmas was all about; but once his family joined in to help with the decorating and such, things seemed to get much better.  A second snag arises in the tale when all of Shrek’s fairytale “friends” all come to join in the holiday festivities.  Shrek does not enjoy the fact that all his friends are loitering and “ruining” his Christmas; but maybe, just maybe there is more that this Ogre has yet to learn about this thing called Christmas?


All in all the film was cute and well played, but the pace was horrible.  The events seemed to jump across the screen wildly and there was little too no consistency.  The “tele-film” could have well been a half hour longer and would have made it much better.  All the original voice cast returned in full steam with the scenery and site gags being as good as ever.  If the film was longer it would have made for a better holiday classic.


The technical features on this Ogre of a holiday tale were not outstanding, but far, far away from bad.  The picture is presented with the option of viewing the feature in either widescreen or full screen; both of which are extremely crisp and clean in their presentation.  Dreamworks has always done an excellent job with their image presentation, so that was no surprise here; though since the film was set mostly at night there were times when the image was overly dark, but a minor gripe to pick out.  The sound is a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround that projects nicely from all speakers and seems to ‘boom’ even more when the multitude of ‘Christmas relate’ pop songs hit the screen.


The extras on this release seem a bit ‘slapped together’ or ‘rushed’ without too much substance.  The content is maybe tolerable for one run through, but there was little holiday joy to be found here.  Extras included both a “12 Days of Christmas” and “Deck the Halls” sing along track that used recycled animation from Madagascar, featuring mainly those odd but loveable penguins.  As previously stated it is nice for a one time listen and look, but little else.  Other special features included a Video Game Demo, “Gingy’s Dunking Game,” and some other additionally slapped-on recycled Dreamworks musical numbers.  The extras overall left this reviewer with the feeling of Bah-Humbug!


In the end, Shrek the Halls maintained the same amount of creative and loveable charm as the previous big screen features; and to some extent was even better than Shrek the Third.  The flow overall was hindered by time constraints and with the feature running just under a half hour left it feeling rushed and overly blasé.  Shrek the Halls can be referred to as a nice Christmas time tale, but it will not go down in the fairytale books among the best like The Grinch or Charlie Brown’s Christmas.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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