directed by Chris Miller
USA 2007

 

For all I know, there may be an endless supply of Shrek sequels in the pipeline. That DreamWorks ogre’s skin is the color of money after all. But there is nonetheless a feeling of finality about Shrek the Third, a sense that the tale has at last reached a state of completion. In the first movie, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) met and wooed his lady love, Fiona (Cameron Diaz); in the second, he got to know the in-laws. The current installment finds him faced with impending fatherhood and something of a career crisis. Will he take over his father-in-law’s business or remain true to his vocation of bellowing and smashing things?

Unless the Shrek team wants to follow its hero into the dangerous swamps of mid-life, thus shifting his literary pedigree away from William Steig and in the direction of John Updike or Philip Roth, it may want to leave him in a condition of more-or-less happily ever after. Which is only to say that Shrek the Third, directed by Chris Miller and Raman Hui from a script with a half-dozen credited begetters, already feels less like a children’s movie than either of its predecessors. (This may be why I liked it better than the others. But then again, so did my kids.)

It isn’t that there’s anything inappropriate--no smoking or swearing and only the sex implied by Fiona’s pregnancy and the brood of Donkey-Dragon offspring--but rather that the movie’s liveliest humor and sharpest drama take root in decidedly grown-up situations. Shrek’s anxious, less-than-overjoyed reaction to the prospect of becoming a parent is not something most youngsters will relate to. (In one brilliantly executed sequence he has a nightmare of being besieged by hundreds of gurgling, saucer-eyed ogre babies.) And the depiction of Cinderella (Amy Sedaris), Rapunzel (Maya Rudolph), and Snow White (Amy Poehler) as bored, catty moms is likely to tickle fans of Little Children, a group that I hope doesn’t include any actual little children.

Whether these bits would seem as fresh or incisive if they were not embedded in a noisy cartoon remotely based on a beloved picture book is an open question. The strategy of the Shrek movies has always been to appeal to the easy, smirky cynicism of the parents while whetting their children’s appetite for crude humor and plush merchandise. Shrek 2 pulled off the trick in a way that struck me as coarse and overdone, turning travestied fairy tales into the stuff of hackneyed Hollywood satire. But Shrek the Third seems at once more energetic and more relaxed, less desperate to prove its cleverness and therefore to some extent smarter.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott, The New York Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 17 May 2007, Russia

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: DreamWorks Animation - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

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Distribution

DreamWorks Animation

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 92 mins
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio DD 5.1 English, DD 2.0 surround English, DD 5.1 French, DD 2.0 surround Spanish
Subtitles Optional English, Spanish, French
Features Release Information:
Studio: DreamWorks Animation

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Worcestershire Academy Yearbook
• Big Green Goofs
• Lost Scenes
• Donkey Dance
• Meet the Cast
• Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood
• Tech of Shrek
• DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox
• Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball
• How to Be Green
• previews of other movies

DVD Release Date: 13 November 2007
keepcase with cardboard slipcover

Chapters 18

 

 

Comments:

Video:
This SD DVD release does a great job of exhibiting the movie’s cartoony atmosphere. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen image is bright and vivid (as far as standard definition goes), but surprisingly, many shots are very soft (to the point of being blurry). Also, Shrek the Third was rendered in a flat style that is not as breathtaking as what you get with Ratatouille or The Incredibles. Then again, this movie is a cartoon with no ambitions about being appreciated as Art.

Audio:
The movie is filled with loud, boisterous, shrill, loony characters, and the same adjectives can be used to describe the wildly active sound mix. The DD 5.1 English track is a riot of audio gags that race around the room. DreamWorks must’ve paid top dollar for the list of big-name voices, so the center channel is always the boss--the better to let viewers hear the expensive talent.

Those of you without 5.1 sound systems should watch Shrek the Third with the DD 2.0 surround English track. You can also watch the movie with DD 5.1 French and DD 2.0 surround Spanish dubs. Optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles support the audio.

Extras:
Upon loading, the disc plays several previews for other movies.

The “Worcestershire Academy Yearbook” offers an interactive guide to Prince Arthur’s buddies.

“Big Green Goofs” are intentional animation flubs.

In “Lost Scenes”, you can see video footage of pitches and sketches for discarded sequences.

“Donkey Dance” is basically a music video featuring Donkey.

“Meet the Cast” parades the voice actors.

“Shrek’s Guide to Parenthood” is a collection of parenting tips from some of the movie’s characters.

“Tech of Shrek” showcases the computer-animation technology and functions as a commercial for Hewlett-Packard and AMD (the microchip company).

“DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox” presents song-and-dance clips from other DreamWorks Animation movies.

“Merlin’s Magic Crystal Ball” is a video version of the Magic 8 Ball.

“How to Be Green” teaches viewers how to be environmentally-conscious.

--DVD-ROM--
There are some DVD-ROM applications, such as a computer game and computer print-outs, but they are targeted at the very young.

--Miscellaneous--
An insert promotes the HD DVD format and provides a coupon for other “Shrek” DVDs. You also get a cardboard slipcover.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 



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Distribution

DreamWorks Animation

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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