Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

National Lampoon's Animal House

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Animal House dazzles with crude humor and a stellar 4K UHD release, remaining unmatched in frat comedy.

    National Lampoon's Animal House 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Animal House's UHD release, shot on 35mm and remastered in 4K, showcases stunning details, natural colors, and improved contrast with HDR, making it visually superior to previous versions.

  • Audio
  • The DTS:X upgrade of 'Animal House' impressively enhances the soundstage with natural, cleaner audio, and selective yet impactful use of height channels, especially in music and chaotic scenes, while keeping its original charm.

  • Extra
  • Universal's Animal House UHD retains the 2011 Blu-ray's extras except for Blu-ray-only U-Control features, while offering in-depth making-of details and fun updates.

  • Movie
  • Animal House remains a timeless classic, blending crude humor and a rebellious spirit with technical and visual upgrades in its UHD release.

    Video: 92

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray presentation of "National Lampoon's Animal House" marks a remarkable improvement over previous releases, showcasing a meticulous remaster that respects the original 35mm film's aesthetic while elevating the visual experience to modern standards. Shot using Panavision Panaflex cameras and finished on film in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this 2021 remaster benefits from a pristine 4K DI, offering viewers a native 3840 x 2160p resolution. The utilization of 10-bit video depth, coupled with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), enriches the movie's visual presentation, breathing new life into its iconic scenes. Details once lost in older versions now stand out with incredible clarity, from the nuanced textures of skin and clothing to the vibrant landscapes and interiors that serve as a backdrop to the vibrant, chaotic life at the frat house. The organic and filmic image rendered by this release is free from the digital processing flaws that marred prior releases, allowing the film's inherent qualities to shine through.

    Color reproduction has received a substantial enhancement, with HDR contributing significantly to the depth and vibrancy of the palette. This improvement is evident in various scenes, whether in brightly lit exteriors or more subdued interior settings, where the color spectrum's full breadth is impressively displayed. Warm interior tones, lush greens outdoors, and striking white and black levels demonstrate the transfer's superior depth and accuracy without succumbing to any form of crush. Noteworthy is the natural appearance of skin tones and the meticulous attention to detail in preserving the filmic grain structure, ensuring a presentation that remains true to its cinematic origins.

    The restoration efforts evidently prioritize fidelity to the source material, stripping away years of digital noise reduction and artificial sharpening that had previously detracted from the film's natural charm. This new 4K scan eradicates those past imperfections, offering a gorgeously textured and organic visual feast that honors Charles Correll's cinematography with depth-enhanced blacks and delicate color gradients that underscore the film's aesthetic without overemphasis. The absence of print blemishes or encoding issues further underscores the care taken in this release, resulting in a definitive viewing experience that not only surpasses previous versions but also sets a new benchmark for how "National Lampoon's Animal House" should be appreciated in its visual splendor.

    Audio: 80

    The upgrade of "National Lampoon's Animal House" to 4K UHD Blu Ray is complemented by a fresh DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack, which serves as a significant leap from the previous 5.1 lossless track found on the decade-old Blu-ray. This new audio landscape offers listeners a more enriched experience, providing an impressively capable presentation that, despite the original sound design's limitations, showcases a robust and lively ambiance. Notable audio moments, such as orchestral details in the score and the encompassing vibrancy of frat house parties, display the sound design's breadth. However, it's crucial to note that the transition to DTS:X doesn’t dramatically transform the film’s foundational audio elements. The soundtrack excels in delivering clear dialogue anchored in the central channel and a broader musical scope, bolstered by Elmer Bernstein’s iconic score now receiving deserved low-end prominence.

    Further detailing the soundtrack's capabilities, ambient effects are tactfully subtle with a focus predominantly on the front channels, yet the added height channels introduce noteworthy moments that punctuate the viewing experience. Instances like the infamous ‘Shout’ scene at the toga party vividly illustrate this, with audio dynamics playing significantly into the immersive experience—quieting down and then booming louder to encapsulate the chaos of the moment perfectly. Similarly, details such as D-Day's Harley and parade finale chaos demonstrate the DTS:X mix’s capacity to extend the soundstage from front to rear when necessary, offering a slight but meaningful expansion over its 5.1 counterpart.

    Despite these enhancements, it's important for aficionados to temper expectations regarding a revolutionary sound redesign; the upgrade enhances without overhauling. Noteworthy omissions, such as specific sound effects from previous mixes, might disappoint purists, but overall, the new mix maintains the film’s original aural character while fine-tuning its presence in a modern home theater setup. Consequently, while not pushing into demo-worthy territory due to its inherent limitations, this DTS:X soundtrack presents a commendable effort in updating a classic, respecting its legacy while offering auditory nuances previously unexplored.

    Extra: 80

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "National Lampoon's Animal House" offers a commendable compilation of extras, though it mirrors the content found in the 2011 Blu-ray version without adding new materials. Highlighting its collection is "The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion," a 45-minute deep dive into the making of the film, enriched by numerous interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. "Where Are They Now? A Delta Alumni Update" presents a whimsical mockumentary-style catch-up with the characters, and "SceneIt? Animal House" challenges fans with trivia. Crucially, the U-Control features—Scene Companion and The Music of Animal House—which give insightful scene-by-scene commentaries and music track identifications, are only accessible on the Blu-ray disc. This release comes bundled with a Movies Anywhere digital copy code, ensuring fans can enjoy the timeless comedy and its supplementary content across multiple platforms.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • U-Control: Scene Companion (Blu-ray only): Picture-in-Picture track with interviews.
    • U-Control: The Music of Animal House (Blu-ray only): Identifies songs used in the film.
    • The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion (Blu-ray/UHD): A making-of featurette.
    • Where Are They Now? A Delta Alumni Update (Blu-ray/UHD): A mockumentary feature.
    • SceneIt? Animal House (Blu-ray/UHD): A trivia game.
    • Theatrical Trailer (Blu-ray/UHD): Original movie trailer.

    Movie: 86

    Presenting "National Lampoon's Animal House" in 4K UHD Blu-ray breathes new technical life into the classic 1978 comedy, enhancing it with a 2160p/HDR video quality and a DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack. This update, exclusive to the UHD format, significantly improves the visual and auditory experience of the film, with no new extras added and the bundled Blu-ray being the same as the one released in 2011. Despite the age of the film, these technical enhancements make revisiting the raucous world of Delta Tau Chi fraternity more immersive than ever before.

    "Animal House" itself remains a seminal piece of comedic cinema, both reflecting and shaping cultural attitudes of its time. Its depiction of a misfit fraternity at war with their college's administration captures the spirit of rebellion and irreverence that defined late '70s youth culture. The movie's humor, while undeniably crude and at times objectionable by today's standards, remains effective thanks to a combination of sharp scriptwriting, John Landis's inspired direction, and a cast whose chemistry is palpable. Despite some outdated attitudes, “Animal House” endures as a landmark in American comedy, its legacy undimmed by the passage of time.

    Key to its enduring appeal is the movie's unapologetic embrace of its era's raunchy, ribald humor, coupled with a deep undercurrent of social commentary. It candidly captures a tumultuous period in American history, serving both as a time capsule and a reminder of the evolving dynamics of college life and broader societal values. Coupled with the improved visual and auditory quality of the 4K UHD presentation, “Animal House” not only stands as an iconic film but also as a testament to the lasting impact of well-conceived comedy on American culture.

    Total: 82

    For enthusiasts of classic comedy and aficionados of high-definition cinema, the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "National Lampoon's Animal House" offers a compelling upgrade to a beloved piece of film history. This comedy, iconic for its raucous humor and irreverent take on college life, comes alive with a native 4K picture that impresses with its vivid detailing, rich coloring, and deep blacks, preserving the film's original cinematic texture. While the movie itself is a relic of its time—a barefaced, anti-establishment narrative filled with crude humor—its transition to 4K UHD has been handled with finesse. The addition of a DTS:X soundtrack may seem like an extravagance for a film of this vintage, but this audio upgrade provides a broadened soundstage that, while not revolutionizing the film’s soundscape, enhances its viewing experience without distorting its authentic essence.

    However, this release is not without its drawbacks. The conspicuous absence of new extras in the package might leave some collectors feeling slightly underwhelmed, as opportunities for deeper insights into the film's production and legacy have been overlooked. Despite this, the existing supplementary materials remain a reliable source of entertainment and context, ensuring that the overall package remains attractive. Particularly appealing to collectors will be the availability of a SteelBook packaging variant, which underscores the allure of this release as not only a significant visual upgrade but also a collector's item.

    In conclusion, "National Lampoon's Animal House" on 4K UHD Blu-ray stands as a testament to Universal's commitment to preserving and enhancing classic cinema for new generations of viewers and longtime fans alike. Despite the missed opportunity to expand its offering of extras, this edition is a must-have for anyone seeking to experience the unabashed humor and chaotic energy of the Delta Tau Chi boys with unparalleled clarity and depth. The 4K presentation elevates a film known for its straightforward comedic appeal into an immersive visual and auditory experience. For those looking to revisit the hallowed halls of Faber College or discover its anarchic charms for the first time, this release is unequivocally recommended.