“We can stay up late trading manly stories and in the morning…I’m making waffles!”
We here at Verdict have reviewed the original Shrek movie a couple of times, once in its initial DVD release and then most recently when it was released as part of the four movie Shrek: The Whole Story (Blu-ray) package back in 2010. So for me to go through all of the backstory and whatnot will be a waste of time for you, good reader, who surely is here to get one question answered: Is it worth buying the Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)?
While I may or may not call you Shirley again I will get straight to the point. The difference in this release is in the special features department. So I’ll go ahead and break with the standard format of our reviews and list what’s included as well as what’s missing from Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) and then go into the rest of the details such as the technical specs and whatnot.
What’s here and ported over from a previous release:
Shrek, Rattle & Roll
Shrek’s Interactive Journey
The Animators’ Corner
Karaoke Dance Party
Secrets of Shrek
Spotlight on Donkey
From what I can tell the “Shrek Revoicer” as well as any and all of the DVD-ROM options which were once offered:
The Tech of Shrek
The HBO First Look: The Making of Shrek
The International Dubbing Featurette
The Hidden Fun Facts Feature
Shrek Xbox Video Game Hints
Learn to Draw Shrek
Fairy Tale Lanes
Bugs and Slugs
Pin the Tail on Donkey
Color a Scene
Also missing are all of the holiday-themed extras which were included in the “The Whole Story” release such as “Shrek’s Yule Log” and “Shrek the Halls.”
You’re given a code which you input at shrekextras.com which grants you access to a commercial for DreamWorks’ Create products as well as four Shrek shorts, listed here:
“A Tale of Two Friends: The Art of the Quest”
“Far Far Away Idol”
“Lord Faquaad’s Ghost”
“Puss in Boots and The Three Diablos”
There are two key bits of information you need to have for these new features:
1) You need to enter the code each time you return to the site
2) The streaming will end on June 7, 2018. So it is not an indefinite option.
The summary of Shrek is as follows: when an ogre finds his swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures he must venture on a quest to rescue a princess for a count, who will then remove all of the creatures and properly deed Shrek his land. It pokes fun (sometimes darkly so) at stereotypical fairy tale tropes only to have its satiric message at least partially undercut by a SPOILER ALERT traditional happy ending.
In terms of technical specs of Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) the video is a 1.78:1 anamorphic 1080p widescreen edition. The video holds up with crisp colors and the animation is lovely yet there is one problem. In certain scenes it’s obvious that Shrek in particular is not part of the environment. I don’t know if the layer mask just wasn’t rendered correctly but it’s an issue. A small one but an issue nonetheless. I won’t tell you which scenes because once you notice it you will never see it the same way again. The audio is strong, with a TrueHD 7.1 track leading the charge. It’s free without glitches and it sounds great with all channels coming through clear. However it does sound dated. I mean all of these songs just scream “a product of their time.” Again it’s not necessarily an issue per se.
So should you buy Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)? Not from my point of view. If you don’t already own a Blu-ray of the film I’d say get “The Whole Story” set. It’s not that much more to own all four movies and it includes all the holiday-themed special features. I personally don’t feel as though Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) warrants a purchase. The technical issue bums me out as does the expiration date for some of the bonus features. How likely am I to remember when my access expires not to mention the high likelihood I will at some point lose the leaflet that tells me which website to go to along with the aforementioned expiration date?
I can’t help but feel like DreamWorks is trying to compensate for something.