Shrek: 20th Anniversary Edition (4K Blu-ray Review)

It’s sort of mind mind-boggling to think that Shrek was released 20 years ago.  I remember it’s DVD release, picking it up at Costco, and loving how much they included in special features, and giving folks without HDTVs the option for a Pan and Scan version too.  The thoughtfulness of that package was why I fell in love with physical media.  The movie itself was also a blast, turning the family animated film on its ear and giving just as much good stuff to the adults as the children. Now the classic comedy celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 4K Blu-ray release.  Will the film still delight, looking better than ever? Find out more below and click the paid link below to order yourself a copy!


In case you didn’t know, here’s the basics on Shrek:

Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ogre of discretion.  He wants to live life in his swamp, simply and quietly. When an evil Lord with a little man complex and a ridiculous name, Farquad (John Lithgow), banishes all magical creatures from his kingdom, they all find solace in Shrek’s swamp.  To get rid of them, Shrek agrees reluctantly to go on a journey with a talking Donkey (Eddie Murphy) to figure out what can be done to get the magical folk out of his safe place.  When Farquad challenges Shrek to save Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and bring her back for a wedding, Shrek does so in high fashion.  Along the way surprises and new friendships are revealed, and Shrek finds that there’s a lot more to him than the simple swamp life.

Shrek changed the animation game in 2001, offering a new perspective on the genre, with hilarious asides for the adults in the audience (The Duloc Welcome song is priceless…) and superb voice acting from everyone involved too.  Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers enliven their cartoon characters beyond the screen and have become icons on the Disney level for their work.  Spawning several sequels (which unfortunately pale in comparison…) and spin-offs too, Shrek truly is a marvel for film, especially in the Comedy, Animation and Family genres.


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: Shrek arrives in 4K with a bang! The bitrates on this disc rise well above 100 Mbps at times, and the digital animation looks sharper than ever.  True though, the film has never been a slouch in any format, this new edition adds an uptick in the sharpness throughout.  New details come out in the swamp, the dragon’s lair and Duloc, and the gingerbread man hasn’t looked this fleshed out before.  The source material now does show its technological limitations now, but that’s to be expected and isn’t a criticism on the look of the disc itself.

Depth: Depth is another place where the 4K disc shines.  Interiors and exteriors have a more three dimensional pop, with some really great looking landscapes showing just how much work went into creating this fantastical animated world.

Black Levels: Blacks are another big place for improvement on the previously released Blu-ray.  There are no moments of crush, no grey-blacks and everything in black or shadowy fashion looks great here.

Color Reproduction: HDR usage helps give this one a candy coated glow, perfect for the subject matter on display.  Fire from the dragon, and gorgeous sunny days delight with brightness and scenes in the dark still carry a gorgeous sense of color too.

Flesh Tones: This is animated, so obviously everything is even, and obviously not real flesh! 😀

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English DTS:X, Spanish DTS 5.1, French (Canadian) DTS 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Right away you are made aware of the new immersion. With sweeping title card music that moves around the listening area you’re already in for a treat. As things progress, we get slam-bang action from all channels in certain moments, and quiet clarity in softer scenes too.  Music and sound effects spread out and dialogue is spot on too!

Height: Height channels are used for sound effects in action sequences, and for ambience at other times.  The sound field doesn’t have a lot of discrete noise up top, but when the channels are used you can definitely hear them working.  The channels are used best during the time in the dragon’s lair, and also in moments of echo throughout.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer puts in work during song cues and action sequences, with a resounding thump when needed.  This isn’t a bass heavy mix, but when bass hits, you will definitely feel it.

Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds work throughout to present noise in the background. Ambience is present throughout as a great deal of the film takes place outside, and small and large crowds also show up there. Off screen voices come into play in these channels at times as well.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is never unintelligible or in need of a volume change.


Extras abound in this 4K Edition of Shrek. Some extras come on the 4K disc while the rest are on the accompanying 2 Blu-rays included. Features are:

Blu-ray Disc One:

  • The Animators’ Corner (1080p).
  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey: 1 (1080p).
  • Spotlight on Donkey (1080i, 11:38).
  • Secrets of Shrek (1080p, 3:52).
  • Deleted Scenes (480i, 8:01).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.
  • Shrek, Rattle & Roll: Musical Shorts: Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (1080p, 2:53), Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (480i, 3:08), Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (480i, 3:15), Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (1080p, 3:57), and DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox (1080p).

Blu-ray Disc Two:

Shrek’s Short Films (1080p): 3 Shorts: Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Party (2:51), Far Far Away Idol (9:00), and Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (13:06)

Shrek’s Halloween Favorites (1080p): 4 Features: The Ghost of Lord Farquaad (12:34), Scared Shrekless (25:30), Thriller Night (6:08), and The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (6:49). Note that these were all previously available on Blu-ray via the DreamWorks Spooky Stories release.

Shrek’s Holiday Favorites (1080p): 3 Features: Shrek the Halls (28:02), Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular (6:39), and Shrek’s Yule Log (30:19).

The Adventures of Puss In Boots TV Episodes (1080p): Five episodes: Hidden (23:04), Sphinx (23:04), Brothers (23:04), Dutchess (23:04), and Adventure (23:02).

4K Disc:

  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey: 1 (1080p).
  • Spotlight on Donkey (1080p, 11:37).
  • Secrets of Shrek (1080p, 3:50):
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p, 8:01).
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (1080p, 2:51).
  • Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (1080p, 3:08).
  • Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (1080p, 3:15).
  • Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (1080p, 3:56).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.


Shrek the story remains timeless, and while the animation style may be dated, there is nothing here that can’t be enjoyed by a new audience. The humor still makes you laugh, the overall story is very sweet, and the message is resounding to this day.  The new 4K edition of Shrek is a no-brainer upgrade for fans of the film, and for those who haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? Get your copy at the paid link below!

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