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Shrek Forever After (Blu-ray Review)

4 Dec, 2010 By: John Latchem

Street 12/7/10
Box Office $238.4 million
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 two-DVD set, $34.99 Blu-ray, $49.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo
Shrek: The Whole Story $53.99 four-DVD set, $79.99 four-disc Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for mild action, some rude humor and brief language.
Voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Jon Hamm, Walt Dohrn.

The fourth “Shrek” film ably wraps up a saga that has been losing steam since the second installment. In terms of quality, Pixar’s “Toy Story” films still set the standard, but the “Shrek” films have still been hugely impactful on animation.

Shrek Forever After represents a return to basics for the franchise with an It’s a Wonderful Life homage. After the events of the third film, Shrek is married with children and settling into a routine in his home in the swamp. But he’s now the most famous ogre in the land, a big huggable lug whom the residents of the kingdom no longer fear. This annoys Shrek to no end, as he misses his former life of quiet solitude. Enter Rumpelstiltskin, the devious dealmaker who offers Shrek a day of unbridled mischief to relive his old life.

Of course, Rumpelstiltskin manages to use the deal to change history and take over the kingdom, leaving Shrek in an alternate reality in which he was never born and where the only escape is to make Fiona fall in love with him all over again.

Blu-ray extras are plentiful, led by “Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular,” a short musical review. This leads into “Shrek’s Yule Log,” a half-hour virtual fireplace interrupted every few minutes by some mischief from the characters. “Spotlight on Shrek” chronicles the history of the character, while “Secrets of Shrek Forever After” reveals some hidden details in the film. There are also three deleted scenes, a filmmaker commentary (with an optional picture-in-picture mode), music videos, behind-the-scenes featurettes and a preview of the Shrek Broadway musical.

Those looking to grab all four films on Blu-ray can pick up the Shrek: The Whole Story boxed set (available as either a DVD or Blu-ray set, but not both in the same box). As for that “Whole Story” label, the set does not include the previously released Shrek 3D (the ride film for the Universal Studios Shrek 4D attraction) or the Shrek the Halls Christmas special, not to mention the recent Scared Shrekless Halloween special. Still, as a collection of films the set is pretty impressive.

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