Review: Shrek Forever After Blu-ray

Shrek Forever After Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: DreamWorks/Paramount | DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell | CAST: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas
RELEASE DATE: 12/7/2010 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $34.99, Blu-ray/DVD combo $49.99, Shrektacular Double DVD $34.98, Shrek The Whole Story DVD Boxed Set $53.99, Shrek The Whole Story Blu-ray Boxed Set $76.99
BONUSES: featurettes, filmmakers’ commentary, Yule Log, games, recipes
SPECS: PG | 93 min. | animated family | 1.44:1 aspect ratio | 7.1 TrueHD audio | English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Billed as the final movie in the Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After is a great addition to the series. The fun movie is a little darker than the others — as all final movies in a series should be — with the crafty Rumplestiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn) providing a fabulous villain. In the film, Shrek’s family life has lost its once-shiny and new luster, and the ogre is in a rut. He longs for a day when he could just be a regular ogre again, and Rumplestiltskin gives him the chance. But when the trickster takes away all of Shrek’s life and family, Shrek realizes how good he had it. Now, with the kingdom of Far Far Away under Rumplestiltskin’s tyrannical rule, the only way Shrek can make things right again is to get a true love’s kiss from Fiona. Too bad Fiona is now a warrior princess who doesn’t know Shrek exists.

Shrek Forever After movie sceneAll the voice stars from the previous three movies are back — Mike Myers as Shrek, Cameron Diaz as Fiona, Eddie Murphy as Donkey and Antonio Banderas as a fat Puss in Boots, plus newcomers Jon Hamm (TV’s Mad Men), Craig Robinson (TV’s The Office), Jane Lynch (TV’s Glee) and the Today show’s Meredith Viera.

Most of the stars are seen in the “Conversation With the Cast” featurette, with the actors on a panel in front of a live audience. During the program, Hamm admits he would have played any role the director wanted him to; he just wanted to be a part of a Shrek movie because he has been a fan since the original was released in 2001. Comedian Murphy gets everyone laughing when he demonstrates how he makes Donkey into a hand puppet to do commentary when he’s watching bad movies in his home theater.

Myers also is interviewed in various featurettes that look at the series of Shrek movies as a whole, and he’s praised for what he brought to the role. And Diaz hosts a featurette on how the story of Shrek was brought to the stage for the Broadway musical.

The Blu-ray disc also offers a handful of deleted scenes, one hilarious segment that’s a do-not-miss: Rumplestiltskin makes a contract with the Emperor from “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Too bad it’s only in storyboard form, but it’s still a funny scene.

And for fans who enjoy learning about the more technical side of animation, the “Animators Corner” video commentary gives a glimpse into the making of the movie, as animators tell secrets about the film’s production, mixed with concept art and storyboards.

With the release of this disc so close to Christmas, DreamWorks has included lots of special features for the holiday, including “Shrek’s Yule Log,” which will turn your TV into a burning fireplace with the sound of the Shrek family Christmas party in the background; “Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular,” with Donkey, Puss and others performing their own funny versions of various Christmas songs; the “Deck the Swamp” game, in which viewers help Donkey fix broken ornaments to decorate the tree (this is more for younger viewers); and recipes by Cookie (Robinson), including the chimichangas from the movie.

Shrek Forever After also is available in the Shrek The Whole Story boxed sets, which contain all four Shrek movies plus special features.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.