Shrek the Third appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No notable problems appeared here, but the image fell a bit short of greatness.
Most of the time, sharpness was strong. The vast majority of the flick showed tight, accurate delineation. However, a few wider shots could be a smidgen soft. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws also remained absent.
With its fantasy setting, Third boasted a broad palette, and it demonstrated very good color reproduction. The hues looked bright and dynamic throughout the film. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows seemed decent. They tended to be a little thick at times, unfortunately, and weren’t as consistent as I’d like. This was a very good transfer; it just didn’t dazzle.
As for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, it also worked well. Most of the material stayed in the ambient realm, as the elements usually just supported the settings in a general way. A few action scenes managed to add activity from the sides and surrounds, and the entire track offered a good sense of place. The action sequences used all five channels in a satisfying manner and created a broad, involving sense of the material.
Audio quality was solid. Music sounded dynamic and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared tight and accurate. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. All in all, this was a very nice soundtrack.
How does the Blu-ray compare to the original 2007 DVD? Visuals came across as more vibrant and concise, while audio showed surprising improvements. I found the DVD’s soundtrack to seem flat and lackluster, but the Blu-ray’s TrueHD mix was notably more involving and dynamic. The Blu-ray was a clear step up in quality over the DVD.
When we head to the set’s extras, we get a mix of components from the DVD as well as Blu-ray exclusives. In the latter category, we locate Shrek’s Trivia Track. Throughout the film, text blurbs pop up and inform us about cast and crew, filmmaking elements, and related materials. The presentation is a little intrusive, as the comments fill more of the screen than I’d like, but the material offers decent information.
With the Animators Corner, we get another feature that runs during the film. Activate this and you’ll see storyboards for the entire film placed in the lower right corner of the screen. This is a nice addition to the set.
Finally, The World of Shrek gives us info about 23 movie roles. It covers nine “lead characters” and 14 members of the “supporting cast”. Examine these and find biographies and “fun facts”. None of this seems special, but it’s enjoyable.
Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood gives you “advice” from four characters: Donkey, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio and Gingy. They offer parenting ideas from their own perspectives. This turns into a fairly cute little feature.
A featurette called Meet the Cast runs 10 minutes, 42 seconds. It presents comments from producer/writer Aron Warner, co-producer Denis Nolan Cascino, co-director Raman Hui, director/writer Chris Miller, John Burroughs HS musical director Paul Vessiland, music arranger Kaz Boyle, head of character animation Tim Cheung, and actors Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Eric Idle, Julie Andrews, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, Cheri Oteri and Amy Poehler.
Don’t expect a lot of information from this promotional piece. It’s fun to see the actors at work, and they tell us a little about the characters and capturing high school, but most of the piece sticks with fluff.
Three Lost Scenes run a total of 18 minutes, 24 seconds. These include “The Fauxly Grail” (9:23), “Hot Lunch” (4:36), “Cyrano De Artie” (4:26) and “Doppelgangers” (7:27). All three involve Artie at the fore. “Grail” offers a big action scene in which Artie must battle a dragon, while the second and third focus more on his love for Guinevere. “Doppelgangers” shows the gang on a missoin during which they encounter Gingy and Pinocchio imposters.
We don’t see these as fully-rendered animation – or even as storyreels. Instead, we watch the filmmakers’ pitch sessions during which they point to storyboards and act out the sequences. Of course, it’d be nice to see the scenes in a more finished form, but this format works fine. All fun to see.
Note that if you activate “Animators’ Corner”, a Shrek icon will pop up four times during the movie. This lets you hit “enter” and access the “Lost Scenes” where they would’ve appeared in the film. It’s a distraction to watch them that way – they don’t blend well – but at least this lets to see them where they belong.
For some animation errors, we go to Big Green Goofs. The one-minute and 58-second reel shows a mix of computer errors. Many are quite creepy.
For a simple music video, we find Donkey Dance. This odd clip lasts a mere 33 seconds and shows Donkey as he sings his own rendition of “The Safety Dance”. It’s odd and only moderately amusing.
Another featurette appears next. Tech of Shrek goes for nine minutes, 57 seconds and offers notes from Miller, Hui, Cheung, Cascino, Warner, chief technology officer Ed Leonard, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, supervising animator Anthony Hodgson, visual effects supervisor Philippe Gluckman, technology executive Kate Swanberg, effects supervisor Matt Baer, research and development manager Andrew Pearce, effects supervisor Arnauld Lamorlette, art director Peter Zaslav, production designer Guillaume Aretos, and head of digital operations Derek Chan.
The program looks at how the computer technology has improved over the three movies and how that growth affected the rendering of hair, clothes, natural elements, lighting, crowd shots, and different settings. As with the cast featurette, this one includes some decent details, but most of the time it feels promotional. “Tech” seems like it exists to tell us how great Third looks and also to tout some computer vendors. It proves only sporadically useful.
For material from other films, we can move to the DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox. This allows you to watch clips from Bee Movie, Flushed Away, the three Shrek flicks, Shark Tale, Flushed Away, Madagascar and
Over the Hedge. This lets us hear some musical numbers from the films. It feels like advertising to me, honestly, as it serves little real purpose.
Under the “DreamWorks Kids” banner, we get three components. Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball offers a video spin on the Magic 8-Ball. You ask a yes or no question and Merlin gives you an answer. It maintains your attention for about half a minute.
How to Be Green runs four minutes as it teaches us how to help the environment. It tells us tips over the top of movie clips. It’s harmless propaganda but not particularly interesting.
Finally, Learn the Donkey Dance refers back to the mini-music video found earlier. The one-minute and 42-second clip gives us a tutorial to show us how to do Donkey’s dance. Though not very interesting, at least it’s short!
The disc opens with an ad for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. No trailer for Third pops up here.
If you liked the first two flicks, will you like Shrek the Third? Probably, as this chapter does little to alter the pre-established template. Will Third possibly create new fans for the series? Probably not, as it suffers from the same ups and downs as its predecessors. This is an amusing enough movie at times but not one that ever threatens to become especially memorable. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio along with a fairly nice selection of supplements. Third doesn’t do much for me as a movie, but the Blu-ray brings it home in a satisfying enough manner.
To rate this film visit the original review review of SHREK THE THIRD