Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

Pan's Labyrinth

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Pan's Labyrinth shines in 4K, marrying Del Toro's masterpiece with vivid visuals & immersive audio, a must for fans.

    Pan's Labyrinth 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Pan's Labyrinth's 4K UHD Blu-ray presents a visually enriched and darker upgrade with improved clarity and depth, handling colors and blacks notably better than prior versions, despite being a 2K upscale.

  • Audio
  • Despite its downgrade to 5.1 DTS-HD MA from 7.1, Pan's Labyrinth's audio mix impresses with clear dialog, immersive ambience, and dynamic sound effects, maintaining its enchanting aura.

  • Extra
  • Pan's Labyrinth 4K release includes director Guillermo del Toro's comprehensive commentary, enriched Blu-ray features from visual to marketing content, maintaining the film's mystique and depth through various mediums.

  • Movie
  • Guillermo del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrinth' merges grim reality with dark fantasy, showcasing brutal fascism and a girl's escape into a mythical realm, a masterful blend that leaves audiences questioning reality.

    Video: 89

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Pan's Labyrinth" elevates Guillermo Del Toro's masterpiece through an up-scaled 3840 x 2160p resolution image, maintaining its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Utilizing Arriflex 435 ES and Moviecam Compact cameras, the film was originally shot on 35mm before undergoing a 2K Digital Intermediate process. This transfer boasts a notable enhancement in picture quality despite the inherent softness due to its 2K finish and the occasionally visible seams of the VFX. The utilization of HEVC encoding, HDR10, and a Wide Colour Gamut enriches the visual experience, presenting a spectrum where greens and blues dominate yet allowing moments of vibrant red to stand out strikingly, particularly in the Pale Man’s lair.

    The blacks and shadow details are significantly improved, adding depth to the already atmospheric cinematography. Dark scenes, a prevalent aspect of "Pan's Labyrinth," benefit from deeper black levels and refined shadow details without falling victim to crush or excessive noise. However, some darker scenes display minor compression issues and artifacts, noticeable by the discerning eye. Colors are deeper and more saturated across the board, enhancing the film's stylized aesthetic without overwhelming Guillermo Navarro’s intentional cinematography. This balance maintains the film's original moody ambiance while providing a fresh visual depth.

    This release compared to previous Blu-ray iterations illustrates a remarkable step up in video quality. The lack of digital noise reduction (DNR) and higher resolution contribute to an overall crisper and more detailed picture. Outdoor scenes, in particular, showcase improved detail in foliage and textures. While this 4K upgrade may not represent a quantum leap forward due to its original 2K finish, it certainly offers a sharper and more engrossing viewing experience. The HDR grading importantly does not override director-approved color tweaks from earlier releases but complements them by enhancing depth and saturation where it counts most, preserving the film’s grim fairy-tale ambiance alongside technical improvements.

    Audio: 86

    The audio presentation of the "Pan's Labyrinth" 4K UHD Blu-ray edition has sparked an intriguing debate among enthusiasts mainly due to its choice of sound format. Rather than elevating the experience with a new Dolby Atmos mix, or even including the DTS-HD MA 7.1 track found on earlier Blu-ray releases, this edition presents a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Despite this seemingly technical setback, the 5.1 mix is executed with precision, showcasing a detailed and immersive soundscape. The separation and dynamic range are commendable, enhancing the atmospheric elements of the film like the continuous rain, the flutter of fairies, and the natural ambiance captured within the toad's cave or during intense moments such as forest shootouts.

    This soundtrack serves more than just background; it acts as an enveloping layer enhancing the cinematic experience, with detailed sound effects and music taking center stage. Every channel is utilized efficiently, from the articulate sound effects that immerse viewers in Ofelia’s journey to the thunderous low-end dynamics that punctuate the film’s more intense sequences. Dialogue remains crystal clear and balanced, ensuring that every word is discerned amidst the action, complemented by a well-timed subtitle presentation. Vocal reproduction is crisp, preserving intonations and character nuances, which adds to the overall storytelling excellence.

    While the omission of a 7.1 mix or an Atmos track might be seen as a missed opportunity for audibly expanding this captivating fantasy world, the 5.1 mix does not falter in delivering a robust and engaging audio experience. It meticulously cultivates an immersive environment, enveloping listeners in Guillermo del Toro's meticulously crafted universe. The detailed sound design and impactful low-frequency effects are testament to a sound mix that, despite its channel limitations, refuses to compromise on depth and clarity. Thus, although it may not boast technical superiority by numbers, the audio presentation on this 4K UHD release of "Pan's Labyrinth" impresses with its meticulous sound design and operational precision.

    Extra: 83

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" not only enhances the visual and auditory experience but also comes packed with a treasure trove of extras catered to both cinephiles and fans of Del Toro's unique vision. The additional content is primarily housed on the included Blu-ray disc, featuring the insightful audio commentary from Del Toro himself, bridging the connection between the filmmaker and the audience. A highlight is the collection of featurettes, including "The Power of Myth" and "Pan and the Fairies", which delve into the film’s rich thematic elements and visual storytelling. "The Director's Notebook" offers an intimate glimpse into Del Toro's creative process through sketches and storyboards. Additionally, the inclusion of animated comics and a segment from "The Charlie Rose Show" featuring a conversation with Del Toro adds depth to the understanding of the narrative and its creation. The marketing campaign materials round out the package, providing a look at how the film was presented to audiences worldwide.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • UHD Audio Commentary: With director Guillermo del Toro
    • Director's Prologue: Guillermo del Toro provides an introduction
    • Enhanced Visual Commentary: Picture in Picture feature
    • Featurettes: Including "The Power of Myth", "Pan and the Fairies", "The Color and the Shape", and "The Lullaby - The Melody Echoes The Fairy Tale"
    • The Director's Notebook: Featuring Del Toro's notes and sketches, storyboard/thumbnail comparisons, VFX plate comparison, and galleries
    • The Charlie Rose Show: Interview with Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Iñárritu
    • Comics: Animated stories like "The Giant Toad", "The Fairies", "Pan", and "The Pale Man"
    • Marketing Campaign: Comprising the theatrical teaser, trailer, and TV spots

    Movie: 92

    Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" (El laberinto del fauno) has remained a cinematic tour de force since its release in 2006, a testament to del Toro's passion and dedication to storytelling. The film weaves two narratives—one of a tyrannical Spanish army captain obsessed with his legacy amid the Francoist repression, and the other of young Ofelia, who escapes the cruelties of her reality into a mesmerizing but harrowing mythical realm. This duality of stories, set against the backdrop of post-Civil War Spain in 1944, showcases del Toro's masterly fusion of historical context with fairy tale elements, creating a rich tapestry of allegory and symbolism. The enigmatic ending invites audiences to ponder the realness of Ofelia’s fantastical journey, blurring the lines between harsh reality and escapism and leaving a lasting impact through its narrative and visual brilliance.

    Del Toro's unyielding vision for "Pan's Labyrinth" is evident in every aspect of its production. Opting to forego a higher budget and potential earnings to maintain artistic integrity, del Toro presents the film in its intended Spanish language, enhancing its authenticity and emotional gravity. His hands-on approach extends to personal oversight of subtitles to avoid dilution of the film’s thematic and emotional essence. The movie's craftsmanship is further highlighted through its use of practical effects over CGI wherever possible, enhancing the tangibility of its world and the immediateness of its violence, which, though graphic, serves a deliberate narrative purpose. These elements contribute to a viewing experience that is as visceral as it is visually captivating.

    The film's antagonistic forces, led by the despicable Capitan Vidal, personify the brutalities of fascism, encapsulating the era's societal decay. Vidal’s obsession with time and control underscores the regime's oppressive mechanisms, against which the innocence and defiance of Ofelia stand in stark contrast. Through mesmerizing performances and del Toro's keen directorial eye, "Pan's Labyrinth" morphs into a profound exploration of innocence, brutality, and rebellion. It employs captivatingly eerie creatures like the Pale Man to symbolize the pervasive horrors faced by the characters, while also commenting on themes of sacrifice and resistance. Despite its dark undertones, Ofelia’s unwavering belief in magic against all odds offers a poignant commentary on faith and resilience amidst despair, making "Pan's Labyrinth" not only a narrative of fantasy and fear but also a resonant tale of human spirit and defiance.

    Total: 87

    Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" stands as a monumental achievement in filmmaking, intricately weaving an anti-fascist parable with the threads of a haunting fairy tale. Presented on 4K UHD Blu-ray by Warner Bros., this release enhances the film's visual splendor and auditory atmosphere like never before. The upgraded 4K transfer provides an image that is noticeably sharper than its Blu-ray counterpart, boasting robust coloration and an enhanced black level that vividly brings to life del Toro’s darkly enchanting world. Alongside the visual upgrade, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix delivers a refined auditory experience, enveloping the viewer in a richly immersive sound field. Though it must be acknowledged that the absence of a 7.1 audio option, as well as the Dolby Atmos format, is a curious omission given the film's dense soundscapes and del Toro's known proficiency with object-based sound mixing in other projects.

    The critique leveled against this release pertains mainly to the extras and the choice of audio tracks; veterans of previous editions might find the lack of new supplementary material and the preference for a 5.1 over a 7.1 mix somewhat disappointing. Nonetheless, the clarity, detail, and vocal reproduction of the included audio track cannot be understated, offering a compelling listening experience that captures the nuanced subtleties of del Toro's meticulously crafted sound design. For those seeking the quintessential viewing experience of "Pan's Labyrinth," this 4K release undoubtedly sets a new standard. However, aficionados may still value the Criterion edition for its superior packaging and extensive collection of extras.

    Conclusively, while this 4K UHD Blu-ray iteration of "Pan's Labyrinth" may not suffice as a definitive version due to the shortcomings in extras and audio options, it stands as a must-have for die-hard fans and those yet to explore del Toro’s masterpiece. The visual enhancements alone provide ample justification for an upgrade or first-time purchase, offering an unparalleled immersion into the fairy tale's eerie beauty and horror. It's a solid investment for enthusiasts primed to experience this cinematic gem in its most breathtaking form yet.