‘Shrek’ short pumps sequel

Two-disc release of toon due in May

Having kept “Shrek” alive with consumers in a theme park attraction while completing work on this summer’s “Shrek 2,” DreamWorks will use the 15-minute 3-D program to promote the sequel to an even broader audience by releasing “Shrek 3-D” on DVD May 11.

The short, which picks up where the original movie left off — shortly after the ogre gets married — will be included on a two-disc rerelease of the original movie, which ranks as one of the all-time top-selling titles with 24 million VHS and DVD copies sold.

The double-disc set will carry a low “minimum advertised price” of $16.95 and include a promo for “Shrek 2,” which opens in theaters 10 days later on May 21.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment domestic head Kelly Sooter said the studio expects strong sales because 30 million more homes have DVD players than had them in late 2001, when the movie was originally released on homevideo.

Four pairs of 3-D glasses will be included, but viewers may also choose to view the short in a standard 2-D version included on the disc.

The short, part of an attraction at Universal Studios called “Shrek 4-D,” features the original voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow in a new adventure in which Shrek must rescue his new wife, Princess Fiona, with the help of Donkey.

Studios are increasingly using DVD to push promotional programming to consumers in advance of theatrical sequels and franchise films.

Last year Warner Home Video released a collection of original shorts on DVD called “Animatrix” that were timed to the theatrical release of “The Matrix Reloaded.”

This summer DreamWorks distributor Universal Studios Home Video will release DVD premiere programs tied to two of its summer theatrical releases:

“Van Helsing: The London Assignment,” an animated prequel featuring the voice of “Van Helsing” star Hugh Jackman, is coming to DVD on May 11, the Tuesday following the theatrical debut of the live-action sci-fi thriller.

The animated “The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury,” featuring the voice of “The Chronicles of Riddick” star Vin Diesel, is coming to DVD June 15, the Tuesday following the theatrical debut of the live-action sci-fi adventure.

Both DVDs will be priced at $14.98.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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