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SHREK: DVD

The evil lord Farquaad (voice of John Lithgow) decrees that all fantasy characters be banished from the land. Shrek (Mike Myers) the green ogre, lives in a shack by the swamp, and befriended by the talkative Donkey (Eddie Murphy), Shrek visits Farquaad's castle to complain about the disruption of his solitude. He finds himself enlisted as Farquaad's champion in an heroic quest. His mission is to slay a dragon and rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from her lava-surrounded prison so he can marry her. With Donkey in tow, Shrek enters the fray, but things (and Princesses) don’t turn out as expected.

The star attraction on this excellent DVD is of course the Re-Voice Studio, where you can dub your own voice – or voices – over the characters. You’ll need a microphone to plug into your computer which has a DVD drive, and you’ll need lots of time because once you’ve set it up (doesn’t take long) you and your fellow cast members will be tempted to remake Shrek in your own voice image. The most entertaining results will come after you’ve stopped mimicking the actors and develop a whole new voice persona of your own. You can cast your version with a whole new slew on the film. For example, if you had a mother in law, she could play Lord Farquaad; you will probably keep the title role, but how about grandma for Princess Fiona; as for the Donkey, the possibilities are endless. And it’s all repeatable.

The feature is remarkable for not just the interactivity but the lip-synching that it undertakes for you. I can see this feature as a must on all animation releases: and maybe even live action !

The Tech of Shrek feature reminds us of the leaps and bounds taken in animation arts & crafts to make Shrek the exceptional movie that it is. The complexity of the animation is 10 times what it was in the making of Antz, and when this is applied to the human-like characters, it is clear why they are so credible for an audience. This above average doco is an excellent introduction to an understanding of the process that created the film. It includes detail (like the facts that it took three years of work to make, uses 1291 individual shots, 63 characters and nearly 40 location) as well technical information that explains why and how things were done.

There are sound bites from the cast and Cameron Diaz explains how bizarre she felt watching herself as he screen character. Australian director Andrew Adamson (whose time in New Zealand at Peter Jackson’s facility has left its mark on his accent) talks about the great performances from the voice actors as well as the animators who had to match it on screen.

The animated character interviews is a fun idea; we see Princess Fiona doing a sound bite, and Shrek bemoaning the star tasks of press junkets. But for the most fun, turn to the Swamp Dance Party, with Pinocchio as the DJ. Very cool.

In the games, you can morph different characters’ body parts together; so for example, you can create a Princess Fiona with Donkey’s legs… You can also play a droll game of decorating the gingerbread man – variously as a hippy, a sailor, a dog, etc.

The international dubbing feature is a great idea – ideal for a film which relies more than live action films, on voice actors for character. My only quibble is that it’s too short and perfunctory.

In the audio commentary by producer Aron Warner and the two directors, we get easy-to-digest information and making of information as the trio chat and quip through the film. They provide insights into how scenes and elements evolved, and do so in an entertaining way.

The extras are great, but it is still the film itself that makes this DVD such a pleasure; we can tell it was made with great dedication and talent – and we can enjoy it with matching zeal.
Andrew L. Urban

Published November 8, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

REVIEWS

SHREK (PG)
(US)

VOICES: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

DIRECTORS: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes (feature only)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: DreamWorks Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 7, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES: Animated Menus, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Cast/Crew Bios, Deleted Scenes, DVD-ROM Features, Interactive Games, Interviews, Making of Multiple Angles, Outtakes, Production Notes, Story Boards, Teaser, Trailer, Theatrical Trailer

**Shreks Re-Voice Studio: "never before used" technology that enables viewers to voice their favourite character (DVD ROM)

** The Tech of Shrek (22:00)
** Character interviews with Shrek, Fiona, Lord Farquaad and Donkey (2:20)
** Production Notes
** 5.1 Dolby Digital Soundtrack
** Cast and Crew Bios
** Filmmakers Audio Commentary

** International Dubbing Featurette (2:00)

** Swamp Karaoke Dance Party [extended ending] (2:30)
** DVD Player based games:
- Trivia Game
- Decorate the Gingerbread Man
- Character Morph (mix and match character body parts)






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