After Shrek The Third, the series pretty much hit bottom. Very few fans thought a fourth movie would be a good idea, but since it had already been greenlighted, there nothing to be done. And then, a minor miracle happened – Shrek: The Final Chapter backed off the ubiquitous pop references and went back to what made the first two movies popular – the characters!
Now, in a time when bonus features for the Blu-ray release are frequently omitted from the DVD release, Paramount/DreamWorks have not forgotten us, the low-def-bound who must settle for the DVD release of Shrek: The Final Chapter.
In Shrek: The Final Chapter, everyone’s favorite oversized green ogre [Mike Myers] has it all – a loving family; the respect of his friends and neighbors, and even a certain amount of fame [unfortunately, making him victim of a sightseeing tour]. In fact, he is the center of so much love, respect and attention that he feeling very put upon – to the point of wishing he could go back to the way things were before his good fortune made him so popular. A deal with the conniving Rumpelstiltskin [Walt Dohrn] returns him to the time when just the sight of him could incite riots of townsfolk with torches and pitchforks. The problem is, a quirk of the deal gives him only one day to find and win the heart of his once and future wife, Princess Fiona [Cameron Diaz], or he will be able to undo his deal.
With the emphasis firmly on character once again, Shrek: The Final Chapter is a satisfying finale to a franchise that could have ended very, very badly. The film is smart, funny and has regained the heart that so endeared the characters to us in the first place. The animation is excellent – it’s pretty much equal to Pixar. Even in 2D, on a TV screen, it is a solid end to the quirky, fun franchise that made DreamWorks animation a legitimate power.
Although the DVD doesn’t sport the masses of bonus features to be found on the Blu-ray, it does contain some choice extras: an informative and insightful Audio Commentary by Director Mike Mitchell, Head of Story Walt Dohrn and Producers Gina Shay and Teresa Cheng; Spotlight on Shrek [a ‘the story so far…’ featurette]; Secrets of Shrek Forever After; three Deleted Scenes, and From Swamp To Stage: The Making Of Shrek: The Musical [which doesn’t tell about the cast, but is otherwise okay].
Grade: Shrek: The Final Chapter – B
Grade: Features – A-
Final Grade: B+