Shrek (2001)

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Released 2-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary
DVD-ROM Extras-Shrek's ReVoice Studio
Featurette-The Tech Of Shrek
Interviews-Cast-Character Interviews
Production Notes
Featurette-International Dubbing Featurette
Featurette-Shrek In The Swamp Karaoke Dance Party
Game-Shrektacular Trivia;
Game-Decorate The Gingerbread Man
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Game-Character Morph
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 86:20 (Case: 133)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (51:11) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Vicky Jenson
Andrew Adamson
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy
Cameron Diaz
John Lithgow
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $39.95 Music John Powell
Harry Gregson-Williams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Portuguese
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Portuguese Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Shreks Dance Party played at end of credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Shrek has a tagline which suits it well - "The Greatest Fairy Tale Never Told!". I would have to agree. Adults and children alike will fall in love with this animated movie. There are so many aspects to Shrek: obvious humour for the kids (and adults) to enjoy, a little more subtle humour for the adults, an involving storyline, a visually stunning world, and a handful of moral lessons. I can't stress enough that this film is not just for kids. I find it truly humorous and enjoyable, although children will love it.

    Produced entirely with computer-generated animation, Shrek is a visually amazing film. The numerous different scenes portrayed give a grand-scale appreciation of the world that Shrek inhabits, as well as mountains of respect for the artists and animators behind the scenes. Shrek was produced by the same company that did Antz, Dreamworks PDI, but they have pushed the envelope again. Character models have up to 800,000 polygons, a fully animated skeletal and muscular system, and life-like facial features. For anyone familiar with computer animation, these are very impressive statistics. For those that aren't, just watch the film to gather an appreciation of the work done. Particle and liquid systems were designed specifically for this film, as well as complex lighting and shading systems. The end result is truly remarkable.

    Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ogre comfortably living a hermit's life in his beloved swamp. Besides the occasional, and very brief, skirmish with pitchfork-wielding humans, he lives a peaceful life. Shrek really likes his privacy. Unfortunately, this all changes when Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) rounds up all the fairy-tale creatures and relocates them right into Shrek's swamp. Here Shrek meets the lovably boisterous Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and, grudgingly, they set off to clear out Shrek's swamp by having words with Farquaad.

    Farquaad agrees to clear the swamp if Shrek rescues the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a terrifying dragon's lair and brings her back to be Farquaad's bride. Shrek agrees and thus begins a wonderfully amusing adventure to free the beautiful princess. Along the way there are numerous encounters with fairy-tale creatures, including the ginger-bread man, Snow White, dwarves, the big bad wolf, and Robin Hood. It is almost a game of "Spotto", recognising all the characters from the tales you heard as a kid. Wonderful stuff!

    Shrek is a wonderful story filled with charming characters, presented on an amazing DVD. If you have kids, you should buy this movie. If you don't have kids, you should buy this movie. You won't regret it!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Wow! There is nothing at all bad to say about this video transfer. It is the most impressive transfer I have ever seen, bar none. The incredible levels of detail achieved throughout are simply stunning and the absence of any artefacts, marks, or problems give this transfer an almost surreal effect.

    Shrek is presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The video was encoded at the impressive average bitrate of 9.8Mbps. An interesting aside - the video was actually produced at 1.66:1 after the animation process, and was then cut back to 1.78:1.

    This DVD has been produced straight from the digital source. For this reason, there are no film artefacts or film-to-video artefacts at all. It is almost disturbing not to see the occasional speck of dust.

    Colour, sharpness and shadow detail are all impeccable. Being an animated feature, colour is very important. This DVD rises to the challenge with perfect saturation throughout. The landscape is simply amazing, drowned in vivid colours, with every leaf, blade of grass, and movable object swaying slightly in the breeze. Another interesting aside - the grass is actually modelled as fur! It was grown onto the landscape. Shadow detail leaves nothing to be desired and is absolutely solid throughout.

    As I mentioned earlier, there are no artefacts whatsoever throughout this transfer. MPEG artefacts are non-existent, and there were no instances of aliasing or edge-enhancement either. This is a truly incredible achievement with all due congratulations going to the team responsible for the DVD mastering.

    I sampled the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles and they were accurate to the spoken word.

    This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change occurring at 51:11. It is not perfectly placed but does not disrupt the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Although not as spectacular as the video transfer, the audio is also very good. Shrek is not a movie requiring an extremely demanding soundtrack as it is mostly dialogue-driven. The action scenes, when they occur, are very well backed by the soundtrack.

    There are five audio tracks available on this DVD. The four main tracks are English, Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks at 448Kbps and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Commentary track at 192Kbps.

    Dialogue is perfectly reproduced throughout the main feature and audio sync is spot on. The "Tech of Shrek" feature suffers from audio sync issues but I will talk more about that in the extras section. The main feature is perfect with all sound effects being timed perfectly with the on-screen action.

    The soundtrack for Shrek combines contemporary music with an original musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell, with a number of favourites thrown in for good measure. The original score is very immersive and emotive, suiting the movie very well. The contemporary soundtrack really gets your feet tapping and comes across very well on this transfer with songs such as "I'm A Believer" (Smash Mouth) and "I'm On My Way" (The Proclaimers). Doesn't everyone love The Proclaimers?.... anyway, moving right along.

    The surround channels are used throughout for ambient noises. Admittedly, the volume of the surrounds could be increased a little, but there is no denying that they are well-used. Action sequences are very well supported by the surrounds, such as the meeting with the dragon while rescuing Fiona.

    The subwoofer is used to good effect during the action sequences (think dragon again) and to accompany the music. The subwoofer does not call too much attention to itself but is well utilised throughout.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are numerous extras on this DVD, many suited to the younger audience, and most are of good quality.

Menu

    The menu is well-themed with various characters from the movie making comic appearances. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

Shrek's ReVoice Studio (DVD ROM)

   A fun little DVD-ROM based feature allowing your to re-voice a number of characters in a few scenes from the movie. The kids will love this feature!

Interactive Games

    A selection of 16x9 enhanced games for the kids.

Character Interviews (2:23)

    Interviews with Shrek, Fiona and Donkey. These are really quite amusing. Presented in 16x9 video with very good audio.

Audio Commentary

    This commentary track features two of the movie's producers and one of the directors. It is a very interesting commentary covering a lot of information about the animation and the use of the voice actors. The commentary highlights much of the human emotion behind the animation of the various characters. Very worthy of a listen.

The Tech of Shrek (22:09)

    A very interesting insight into the production of Shrek. This is a very worthwhile extra that is worth watching to get a feel for the amount of work that was poured into producing Shrek. Presented in full frame with reasonable audio and video. The major problem with this feature is that it suffers from terrible audio sync issues - the sync is truly awful, but in the end, watchable.

International Dubbing (2:01)

    A look into the voices behind the characters around the world. This is quite interesting, explaining aspects of the selection process for the voice actors. Full-frame video with good audio.

Shrek In The Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2:44)

    A hilarious Dance Party with all the fairy-tale creatures making an appearance. A medley of numerous contemporary numbers sung by Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and the Gingerbread man, amongst others. 16x9 enhanced with the same quality as the main feature.

Production Notes

    A few pages of details about the idea behind Shrek and where the story originated.

Cast and Crew Bios

    Many, many pages of information about the cast and crew can be found here. Very extensive.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Well. Looks like we got ripped off. From all accounts, the R1 transfer is equally brilliant with the DTS sound adding a little more depth and body to the experience. Unfortunately, I would have to say that the R4 version is a loser, but nonetheless is by no means a bad choice!

Summary

    Shrek is a wholly entertaining DVD presented on an exceptional quality DVD packed with extras.

    The video transfer is of reference quality.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are excellent, both in quality and quantity.

Also available: Our interview with the co-Director of Shrek, Andrew Adamson.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Sunday, November 11, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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Comments (Add)
new shrek for r4 - DarkEye (This bio says: Death to DNR!)
2 Disc release details - John Maher