Shrek 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 3D Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the movie looked solid.
Across the board, sharpness seemed strong. No real signs of softness materialized at any point during the movie, so instead, the flick appeared distinctive and well-defined.
No problems with shimmering or jagged edges popped up, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. The movie lacked any source flaws.
Shrek 2 offered a lively palette that befit a fairytale story. The film displayed a wide variety of hues and always imbued them with great life and vivacity.
Blacks were deep and firm, while low-light shots displayed solid definition and clarity. The image lacked a certain sparkle that would have made it among the all-time best, but it remained good enough for an “A-”.
As for the 3D imaging of Shrek 2, it added a little pep to the proceedings. Most of the material tended toward general depth, so the movie lacked much in the way of “pop-out” elements.
As far as 3D presentations go, this one felt mediocre. While the 3D imagery gave the story a little oomph, it didn’t do much that I’d term significant/. There’s no reason not to watch the 3D version, but I can’t think of a compelling reason to prefer it to the original 2D.
Note that unlike most 3D releases, this package fails to include a 2D Blu-ray version of the film.
Compared to the visuals, the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack of Shrek 2 was less stellar. Some of this stemmed from the generally lackluster soundfield.
The movie didn’t make great use of the surrounds and mainly focused on the front spectrum. In that domain, music showed good imaging and I also heard pretty positive localization and melding of environment effects.
The surrounds added general reinforcement for the most part. They kicked into moderately higher gear with a few scenes, especially during the climax.
However, they didn’t act as strong partners in the mix. Not that this was a particularly ambitious track in general, as it usually stayed with a lot of music and only mild effects.
Ironically, music presented the weakest aspects of the mix in regard to quality. The score sounded reasonably dynamic, but the many pop tunes came across with less flair. They tended to lack low-end material, which made them sound thin.
Effects demonstrated the best bass, as a few louder scenes offered good rumble and boom. Those elements also sounded clean and distinctive.
Speech was good, with consistently natural and intelligible tones. I almost gave the audio a “B-“ because of its general lack of scope and the moderately weak music, but the climax packed just enough punch to earn the mix a “B”.
The 3D disc opens with an ad for Puss in Boots.
All the other extras appear on the included DVD copy, and we find two audio commentaries. The first comes from directors Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon, both of whom sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. A chatty affair, the pair cover a mix of subjects, though most of them relate to story elements.
We get a little information about visuals and animation, but mainly we hear about character issues, working out the plot and other areas, and keeping things on the right foot. The pair joke with each other - their frequent use of incorrect words becomes a running gag - and make this an informative and likable piece.
Next we get a commentary with producer Aron Warner and editor Mike Andrews. They also sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. As with the directors’ track, this one focuses on storytelling, but in a different way. Here the chat concentrates on pacing, editing, and melding the different elements.
Whereas the first commentary went over how they came up with the various story pieces, this one lets us know how they combined the parts into the coherent final. We learn about cut sequences as well as some music and a few technical issues.
As with the prior commentary, this one displays a wry humor that allows it to remain consistently engaging. I like both commentaries, especially since they nicely complement each other.
Far Far Away Idol is a piece of animation originally created for the DVD. In the nine-minute short, we see various characters sing appropriate pop tunes for a judging panel of Shrek, Fiona, and Simon Cowell. It’s cute and enjoyable.
With Spotlight on Puss in Boots, we get a 10-minute, 46-second featurette. It presents notes from Warner, Adamson, Vernon, Myers, Diaz, Banderas, Murphy, Shrek Forever After director Mike Mitchell, producer Gina Shay, visual effects supervisor Doug Cooper, character technical director Sandy Kao, and actor Walt Dohrn.
“Spotlight” looks at the character’s development and design as well as Banderas’s casting and performance. The program gives us a tight, interesting take on Puss.
Next comes Secrets of Shrek 2, a four-minute, three-second piece. It identifies cameos and movie details that otherwise might go unnoticed. It’s a fun little bonus.
Within “Shrek, Rattle and Roll”, a few elements appear. We find music videos for Counting Crows’ “Accidentally in Love” and Puss in Boots’ “These Boots Were Made for Walking”.
The former is a bland video, and the latter isn’t much better, though we do get some fun shots of Banderas in the recording studio. We also find “I Know It’s Today” from Shrek: The Musical. It doesn’t make me want to see the show.
The disc opens with ads for Megamind and Kung Fu Panda 2. These also appear under Previews along with clips for The Penguins of Madagascar, the Kung Fu Panda World game, and Shrek: The Musical. No trailer for Shrek 2 shows up here.
If you liked Shrek, you’ll probably enjoy Shrek 2. Actually, the sequel’s probably a little better than the original, but both are similar overall. Though Shrek 2 offers some fun, it doesn’t ever really take flight. The 3D Blu-ray presents solid visuals and audio and a nice roster of bonus materials. The 3D version doesn’t damage the film, but it doesn’t add much, either.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of SHREK 2