Dream Works and Pixar have been locked in a computer-animated battle royal the past few years, and to many, the studios’ buddy-film formulas are remarkably similar. But there are differences, too. While Pixar’s Finding Nemo showcased a clever story line in an underwater playground setting, Shrek 2 is basically a carefully strung-together collection of movie spoofs (from Flashdance to Frankenstein) and pop-culture parodies (making fun of Starbucks comes across as so five years ago). That doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, just a little less imaginative.
It’s not surprising, then, that Shrek 2‘s main bonus feature has the characters competing in a singing competition called ”Far Far Away Idol,” complete with an animated Simon Cowell. (What is surprising is that they didn’t crash an Apprentice skit on here as well. Maybe they’re saving it for Shrek 3.) The clip is fun enough, but also pretty predictable. Of course, the kids won’t care that it’s unoriginal, and this is, after all, a kids’ movie. (At least ostensibly.) They’ll laugh at Donkey’s version of ”Disco Inferno,” giggle when Prince Charming croons ”I’m Too Sexy,” and most likely express confusion over Pinocchio going on about a certain Mr. Roboto.
Unfortunately, outside of this and a creepy compilation of animation goofs (whoops, there goes ogre Fiona’s skirt!), there isn’t a whole lot of extra material worth checking out on this single-disc release, as the kiddie games and the collection of back-patting featurettes are pretty disposable. Now what would Mr. Cowell have to say about that?