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Dreamworks Spooky Stories(2003-2011)
A compilation of Halloween-themed shorts:
Shrek's Thrilling Tales:
- Shrek: The Pig Who Cried Wolf
- Shrek: The Ghost of Lord Farquaad
- Monsters vs Aliens: Night of the Living Carrots
Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space
For more about Dreamworks Spooky Stories and the Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray release, see the Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray Review
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen
» See full cast & crew
Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 18, 2012
Now this is Halloween!
DreamWorks' Spooky Stories collection offers four new Shrek-themed shorts as well as a a pair of Monsters vs. Aliens-inspired Halloween tales that are actually one continuous story broken up into two individual titles. In true DreamWorks animated fashion, each one is a stellar little adventure, absolutely hilarious in the tradition of their respective series/films, and both enjoy the same high-yield execution, animation, voice talent (all the main players from both series return) and attention to detail. In other words, no corners have been cut even if the runtimes are far from feature length. The films all have a lot of fun with Halloween cliché and borrow liberally -- but hilariously -- from the likes of Frankenstein, Psycho, The Exorcist, Rear Window, and Night of the Living Dead. Of course, there's plenty of original content; this is not simply a mashup of things that have been done before but rather very well thought-out scenarios that will please fans of both series and that shouldn't prove too frightening for any but the very youngest of audiences.
The following six films comprise the DreamWorks Spooky Stories collection:
Shrek and the gang have just attended a screening of The Music Doth Sound. The group enjoyed the experience, but grumpy old Shrek isn't too happy. It is Halloween, and Shrek just isn't in the mood for happy feel-good music. Instead, he's craving something edgier and spookier. In other words, he wants Horror and nothing else. Puss wonders why the group cannot have both. He and Donkey put on their own version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" for their depressed friend. Suddenly, all of the Shrek villains rise from the dead, everyone gets in on the act, and one villain in particular makes it impossible for Shrek to resist the dance. But even that may not save him from the true terror that awaits on this fateful All Hallows' Eve.
The Ghost of Lord Farquaad (12:32)
Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona are lost. Shrek has found a shortcut on the map, but it leads through a haunted forrest from which comes Fiona's kidnapper. Shrek and Donkey give pursuit in the onion carriage and find themselves crashed and on foot in a graveyard. There, they come across the magnificent tomb of Lord Farquaad, and its resident ghost is out for revenge.
Scared Shrekless (25:32)
Shrek's thee children are celebrating their first Halloween. They are learning to chase trick-or-treaters, scare kids, and take their candy. When the family returns home from a Halloween evening out in the forrest, they find Donkey and gang inside. The visistors fail to scare Shrek and Fiona. After all, they are ogres; they don't get scared, they do the scaring. Donkey wants to scare Shrek in any way possible, and he suggests a night of scary stories. They travel to Lord Farquaad's former castle for a night of verbal terror that only the strongest-willed amongst them can survive.
The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (6:48)
Heinrich has just been released from the hospital, and he and the other two Three Little Pigs are going home. Heinrich's something of a conspiracy theorist/worry wort sort. He called the police when he believed his neighbor was enslaving children. He also made Jack and Jill fall down the hill and believed a cow jumping the moon was a UFO. When the three return home, they see they have a new neighbor, the wolf, on whom Heinrich spies from the safety of his room, the comfort of his wheelchair, and the magnification of his telescope. Is he finally right that all is not well with his new neighbor?
Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space (27:07)
A UFO crew dumps its waste on a pumpkin patch, and the effects are going to be downright frightening. Meanwhile, the monsters are wondering what to do with Halloween. Just as they are about to go out and have some holiday fun, they are alerted to the arrival of a UFO over Modesto, Ginormica's hometown. The monsters go trick-or-treating in an effort to flush out the aliens. They get caught up in the moment but soon come face-to-face with living pumpkins terrorizing the neighborhood and in search of life-sustaining candy.
Night of the Living Carrots (12:30)
Bob introduces the terrible story of the mutated carrots, following on the footsteps of the mutated pumpkins. Unfortunately, the carrots are multiplying fast, and they're turning everyone into zombies. Time is running short and it seems that only Bob can save the day. Unfortunately for Bob, "saving the day" means braving the night and reliving a traumatic childhood experience that may prevent him from stopping the spread of angry carrots and zombified people.
Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray, Video Quality
DreamWorks Spooky Stories features a dazzling 1080p transfer. All of the films are presented with the sort of care and precision that DreamWorks animation fans expect. The image is dazzling, reference-grade all the way. Whether the intricate details of Shrek's shirt or the texture of the bubbles in Bob's blue body, the image delivers startlingly accurate details within a frame that's as crisp and well-defined as any of the feature films. Colors are equally brilliant, even considering most of the shorts take place in lower light or at night. The palette sparkles under any lighting condition, and it's perhaps the two Monsters vs. Aliens films that fare best, particularly in the midst of the overdone Halloween lights, orange pumpkins and carrots, and Bob's blueness. There's also a brilliant display of vibrant hues during the Gingerbread Man's tale in Scared Shrekless. Black levels are superb, too. There's no evidence of banding, blocking, or other unwanted issues. This is a brilliant transfer; all six shorts look fantastic and represent DreamWorks animation at its best.
Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray, Audio Quality
DreamWorks Spooky Stories features a magnificent, all-encompassing Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack. The stage fills with song and energy in Thriller, with the beats precise, the spacing seamless, and the clarity unbeatable. Small sonic details spring to life in every short, and there's a sense of reality as minor ambience and aggressive effects alike intermix into a perfectly-developed sound field. The track features plenty of discrete sound effects and seamless motion, dynamic surround support, and true sonic depth and space. Bass is potent, deep and rich but not rattly or excessive. Dialogue is clear and precise. There are some wonderful tracks in here. All of them are aggressive but natural and all real treats, not tricks, for the ears.
Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
DreamWorks Spooky Stories contains the following trio of extras:
Dreamworks Spooky Stories Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
DreamWorks Spooky Stories is an excellent Halloween value. All six shorts are superb, each one true to the spirit of their respective series and characters, and every one made with the same care and polish as the feature films. Packed with great humor, some wonderful references, and unforgettable moments, the Dreamworks Spooky Stories might be the best family-friendly Halloween value on Blu-ray. DreamWorks Spooky Stories features reference-grade video and audio, right on par with all of the movies. The extras are light, but this is nevertheless a must-own family holiday-themed release. Very highly recommended.
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