The first-ever Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Feature, SHREK, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The incredibly original and unique blockbuster film that launched three sequels, a spin-off, TV series, holiday specials, theme park attraction and more has stayed a fan favorite and a must own for all ages! Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray 20th Anniversary Edition from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.


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The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2001
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow
Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Music by: John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger S.H. Schulam
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 11, 2021


"The Greatest Fairytale Never Told "


Synopsis:

The first-ever Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Feature, SHREK, celebrates its 20th anniversary. The incredibly original and unique blockbuster film that launched three sequels, a spin-off, TV series, holiday specials, theme park attraction and more has stayed a fan favorite and a must own for all ages! – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

My Take:

Once upon a time, in a far-away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Determined to save their home -- not to mention his -- Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and, along with his new found partner in crime “Donkey” (Eddie Murphy), sets out to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to be Farquaad's bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret.

It seems insane to me that Shrek was released 20 years ago! I believe we took our kids to see it in the theater and have owned it on home video in its various iterations. I could wax poetic about how well-done Shrek is but, I will forgo that in favor of simply saying that the story is nicely developed and carries a positive message about acceptance, friendship, and family while supporting the adage about not judging a book by its cover.

The actors who lend their voices to the characters are perfectly placed but, what makes Shrek fire on all cylinders are the performances by Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers. Their “chemistry” combined with the superb writing make for the film’s funniest and evocative moments. The mix of music and contemporary pop culture references also add an enriching element to the proceedings. Shrek has lost none of its luster and can be shared across generations. I am thrilled that it has been released on Ultra HD Blu-ray.


Replay Value:



Parental Guide:

The rating is for mild language and some crude humor.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.



UHD Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



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    • Resolution:
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DTS:X Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



    • Level of immersion:
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Shrek: 20th Anniversary Edition comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio sound.

Shrek in Ultra HD is rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Let me begin by pointing out Shrek, while being digitally animated, shows it age when placed alongside today’s digitally animated creations. This isn’t a shortcoming however it won’t have the deep dimension and rich textural nuance we have become accustomed to. Luckily that doesn’t prevent its Ultra HD rendering from making the most of its visual elements.

In terms of resolution the differences between this and the 1080p version are appreciable as there is a noticeably finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the animated characters. This also applied to the various sets/backgrounds which emphasized depth of field and detail. This isn’t a boldly colorful film. It makes use of grays, black, blue and crimson, with the occasional interjection of secondary hues. Whites are gradational and bright and the monochromatic grays, blues and blacks are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance.

The use of HDR is spot on, empowering the brilliance of dragon fire, moonlight, magical transformations and emboldening interstitial blacks, and depth of field in low lighting. Overall, I found the Ultra HD rendering superior to the 1080p version, adding another layer to its digitally crafted imagery.


DTS:X:

In listening to the DTS:X sound mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of sounds placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done well and creates an engaging listening experience. Over the course of the film there are various sequences where environmental sounds, music cues and discrete objects are mixed to differing locations in the sound field, adding an entertaining element to the viewing experience.

The scene in the swamp when Shrek encounters all of the fairytale characters outside his door followed later by the rescue of Princess Fiona at the castle, is lots of fun as atmospherics and, near field objects rotate around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. I enjoyed this immersive sound mix and think that it complimented the source material.


For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray
  • Disc 3: Bonus Features Blu-ray Disc
    • TEN SHORT FILMS:
    O SHREK IN THE SWAMP KARAOKE PARTY
    O FAR FAR AWAY IDOL
    O PUSS IN BOOTS: THE THREE DIABLOS
    O THE GHOST OF LORD FARQUAAD
    O SCARED SHREKLESS
    O THRILLER NIGHT
    O THE PIG WHO CRIED WEREWOLF
    O SHREK THE HALLS
    O DONKEY'S CAROLING CHRISTMAS-TACULAR
    O SHREK'S YULE LOG
    • FIVE EPISODES FROM “THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS” TV SERIES:
    O EPISODE 1: HIDDEN
    O EPISODE 2: SPHINX
    O EPISODE 3: BROTHERS
    O EPISODE 4: DUCHESS
    O EPISODE 5: ADVENTURE
    • SHREK'S INTERACTIVE JOURNEY: I
    • SPOTLIGHT ON DONKEY
    • SECRETS OF SHREK
    • DELETED SCENES
    • SHREK IN THE SWAMP KARAOKE DANCE PARTY
    • MUSIC VIDEOS
    • COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR ANDREW ADAMSON AND VICKY JENSON AND PRODUCER ARON WARNER
  • Digital Code






Final Thoughts:

Shrek is most definitely a classic animated family film that can be enjoyed by one generation to the next. It celebrates its 20th anniversary with this Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall video quality, a complimentary DTS:X immersive listening track and a host of supplemental material. Shrek: 20th Anniversary Edition is a must have for fans, plain and simple.








Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7706 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems