The “Shrek” DVD is one instance where there isn”t too much of a good thing. With excellent picture and sound quality and more extras than you can shake a stick at (whatever the hell that means) this double disc set provides hours of entertainment and lets you look at every aspect of Dreamworks” animated fairy tale.
Shrek, (Mike Myers) is a simple ogre who likes his solitude, where he can bathe in mud and use his earwax deposits as candles in peace. Unfortunately for Shrek, Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) has exiled all the fairy tale/enchanted creatures,including a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), to Shrek”s swamp. In an effort to rid his home of these interlopers, Shrek strikes a deal with the smarmy Farquaad: the creatures will be removed if Shrek will rescue the Princess Fiona from the tower in which she is kept prisoner so that Farquaad can marry her and become a true king.
The first disc of the set features Shrek”s Revoice Studio (make sure you have the program “DirectX” and a microphone for this), in which you can dub your own voice over the characters in certain scenes and then watch them play out with the altered dialogue. Legitimate dubbing gets boring quickly, and most people will resort to less sophisticated dialogue centering on the word “poop” and ridiculing roommates or anyone within earshot.
The other major feature on the first disc is a game room, featuring Shrek themed pinball, pin the tail on the donkey and several others. Most of these won”t be fun unless you are six years old or stoned, but they”re worth a look.
The second disc focuses on the technical aspects of the film. A documentary on the animation process shows how unbelievably hard it is to show texture and subtle movement in an animated character, and some footage of Mike Myers and John Lithgow in the recording studio is a treat.
There is also a section that shows technical goofs during the animation process. Basically, if equations are off by even a little bit or if the animators tell the computer to make a shape that doesn”t exist, it will turn shapes inside out or otherwise distort them. This yields effects like Shrek”s lips being stretched over his head or Donkey covered in 2 feet of hair over his entire body.
There are several small featurettes, including one that shows the conceptual artwork of some of the characters and settings as well as one showing how the film was dubbed into over 20 different languages using foreign actors.
One bizarre addition is the Shrek”s Swamp Karaoke Party, which features characters from the movie singing and dancing, including Donkey singing “Baby Got Back” and a wolf in grandma”s clothes singing “Who let the dogs out.” Somebody apparently got bored in the sound studio.
The commentary track is also on the second disc, and it features the directors as well as the producer. Unfortunately, their comments on the film are mostly repeats from the animation documentary or just plain boring. There are only so many times you can hear “this part was really difficult.”