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The Kid Who Would Be King

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Rich audio and video enhance 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' a fun, nostalgic family adventure.

    The Kid Who Would Be King 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Kid Who Would Be King shines in 4K UHD, offering vibrant colors, enhanced detail and CGI, with HDR enriching both visuals and contrasts for a captivating viewing experience.

  • Audio
  • Dolby Atmos mixes provide an immersive, engaging experience, enhancing scenes with precise, dynamic audio. The Kid Who Would Be King benefits significantly, with exceptional clarity and depth.

  • Extra
  • The Kid Who Would Be King Blu-ray includes extras like deleted scenes and featurettes, but the 4K UHD disc lacks supplements, offering a glimpse into the making without deep insights.

  • Movie
  • In 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' young Alex discovers Excalibur and, with Merlin, unites friends and foes to battle Morgana, embodying a magical adventure echoing the genuine charm of '80s kids' films and Arthurian legends.

    Video: 89

    The Kid Who Would Be King" makes a noticeable splash in the realm of 4K UHD Blu-ray presentations, primarily courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Despite its upscale from a 2K Digital Intermediate, originally shot in 3.4K/2.8K, the 2160p transfer in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio boasts an exceptional level of clarity and detail that distinctly surpasses its 1080p counterpart. The increased resolution enriches the film with vibrant colors and fine details that are particularly evident in textures—whether it be the intricate backgrounds of animated sequences, the fabrics of costumes, or the nuanced CGI elements, such as Morgana's venal roots, which appear more tangible and convincing. An improvement in shadow detail also enhances darker scenes, though occasional murkiness may still linger. Notable too is the palette enhancement under HDR; colors like the blues of school uniforms and the reds of Alex’s parka display a newfound vitality, while interior scenes adopt a warmer, buttery yellow ambiance.

    The implementation of HDR10+ (notwithstanding this review touches only on the standard HDR10 grading) significantly contributes to the visual feast. It amplifies the vibrancy and depth of colors, making scenes pop with life and dimensionality that previously lacked in SDR presentations. Especially striking are the fiery hues and smoky shadows of Morgana's skeleton minions, which now exhibit a more substantial presence on screen. The detailed rendering extends to facial features, presenting skin tones that appear more natural and expressive, alongside landscapes and London locations that come alive with picturesque detail.

    Contrast and black levels are commendably managed, ensuring whites remain crisp without blooming and blacks deep and inky, adding a three-dimensional quality to the image. Throughout the film, special effects integrate seamlessly into the live-action, maintaining the magical illusion. This 4K UHD release does not merely offer incremental upgrades but marks a significant leap in overall image quality—a testament to the prowess of HDR technology in enlivening this vibrant fantasy adventure.

    Audio: 91

    The Dolby Atmos mix of "The Kid Who Would Be King" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray release presents an engaging auditory experience, one that fully leverages the advanced capabilities of this audio format to immerse the listener in the movie's fantastical world. Unlike more aggressive mixes, this Atmos track employs a judicious use of overhead and surround channels to enhance the film’s atmospherics and discrete sound effects without overwhelming the core audio experience. The mix's precision in placing sounds and effects across the soundstage excels at drawing the listener into the scenes, effectively complementing the on-screen action with audio cues that mirror movements, locations, and environmental factors, thereby enriching the storytelling with a tangible sense of place and moment.

    Significant is the track's elevation of the auditory scope through its nuanced handling of vertical sound staging, especially evident in scenes featuring the ethereal presence of Morgana and her demonic acolytes; their chants seem to waft from below, showcasing a sophisticated use of verticality that adds a new layer of immersion. Similarly, the LFE channel receives a noticeable boost during action sequences, providing a robust low-end that underpins the film’s more dynamic moments without sacrificing clarity or balance. This is combined with consistently crisp and clear dialogue, which ensures that every word is intelligible against the backdrop of an expansive and complex audio mix. Additionally, the score benefits from this treatment, its enveloping presence heightening emotional beats and accentuating the film's pacing.

    The Atmos track not only retains but enhances the strengths of its predecessor, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix, especially in scenes rich in acoustics, such as tall interiors or crowded city streets where extra echoes add depth. Voices project from precise locations within the soundscape, particularly enhancing the creepiness of Morgana's underworld. This meticulous sound placement, alongside improved dynamics and an effective low-frequency extension, contributes to a soundtrack that is both playful and majestic. The added dimensionality provided by the careful use of height channels and a strong LFE presence ensures that "The Kid Who Would Be King" sounds as grand as its narrative aspirations, making the Dolby Atmos mix a vital component of the home entertainment experience for this film.

    Extra: 80

    The extra features of "The Kid Who Would Be King" 4K UHD Blu-ray, while housed entirely on the accompanying Blu-ray disc, present a basic yet enjoyable exploration into the film's making, without delving deeply into the technical artistry or narrative depth potential fans might crave. Across the features, viewers are treated to a glimpse behind the scenes with “Origins of a King,” which provides insights into the conceptual genesis of the film, and “Knight School,” highlighting the rigorous preparation the young cast underwent. More lighthearted extras such as “Hair, Makeup & Costume Tests” add a personal touch to the production's visual aspects. However, the collection notably lacks in-depth commentary or a broader look at the film's impressive creature and character designs, leaving those intrigued by the movie's real-world fantasy elements wanting more. The added four minutes of deleted scenes offer little in terms of narrative expansion or deeper insight, underscoring a missed opportunity to enrich fans' understanding and appreciation of this cinematic work.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Deleted Scenes: Additional scenes not featured in the film.
    • Origins of a King: A look into the conceptualization of the film.
    • Young Knights: Insights into casting and preparing the young actors.
    • Hair, Makeup & Costume Tests: Behind-the-scenes on creating the film's visual style.
    • Merlin’s Magic (x4): Focuses on the magical elements within the film.
    • Knight School: Details on training the actors for their roles.
    • The Two Merlins: Comparing and contrasting different representations of Merlin.
    • Meet Morgana: Introduction to the film's antagonist.
    • Movie Magic: An overview of the special effects used in the film.
    • “Be the King”, Lay Lay Music Video: A music video related to the film.

    Movie: 83

    Drawing on the youthful spirit and modern retelling of Arthurian legend, "The Kid Who Would Be King" presents a refreshing narrative that pits a young British schoolboy, Alex Elliot, against the daunting threats of an ancient evil. From the onset, the film pays homage to the rich lore of King Arthur through a cleverly animated sequence, signaling that while it draws from time-honored tales, it is set to carve out its own unique identity within the genre. Unlike the more subdued entries of Arthurian adaptations, Joe Cornish’s directorial effort juxtaposes the bleakness of contemporary challenges faced by kids today with the enchanting allure of mythical quests and magic. Alex's discovery of Excalibur serves as a catalyst for transformation, not only for himself but for his assembled band of knights, comprised of friends and foes alike, blending life's modern tribulations with the timeless call to heroism.

    The film adeptly navigates through the development of its characters, grounding their fantastical journey in relatable personal growth and friendships that defy initial antagonisms. Amidst battling the malevolent Morgana, portrayed with fervent malice by Rebecca Ferguson, and guided by the whimsical Merlin (Angus Imrie with Patrick Stewart's notable yet brief appearances), "The Kid Who Would Be King" thrives on its ability to be earnestly heartfelt without succumbing to clichés. Its narrative is as much about self-discovery and camaraderie as it is about saving the world, striking a clever balance between lighthearted moments and the impending doom heralded by Morgana’s escape. The inclusion of modern-day dilemmas cleverly juxtaposed with Arthurian elements ensures that the adventure feels both epic in scale and intimately personal.

    However, the film is not without its pacing issues, often grappling with striking the right balance between exposition and action. While it ambitly aims to cater to a younger audience with a complex narrative, it sometimes risks alienating viewers through dense explanatory segments that hinder its momentum. Despite this, once "The Kid Who Would Be King" finds its stride, it delivers a rousing adventure that is both a homage and a reinvention of the Arthurian legends. Its visual effects and the practical magic of Merlin's spells exemplify Cornish's commitment to a tangible magic that doesn't wholly rely on CGI-heavy spectacles. This film, with its spirited young cast and a mesh of cinematic nostalgia tempered with modern sensibilities, ultimately emerges as an underappreciated gem that reinvigorates the lore for a new generation, reminding us of the enduring appeal of coming-of-age stories framed against the backdrop of good versus evil.

    Total: 82

    The Kid Who Would Be King" arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray with an exceptional technical presentation that elevates the film beyond its initial, somewhat lukewarm box office reception. The 2160p HDR10 video transfer dazzles with clarity, depth, and color richness, offering a viewing experience that far surpasses its SDR counterpart. Accompanied by a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, the audio is immersive and robust, boasting a solid dynamic range and making full use of the surround sound setup to enhance the film's adventurous spirit. Dialogues are crisp and distinct in the mix, ensuring that every line delivered is heard with clarity. The low frequency effects add a palpable sense of depth to the action sequences, making every moment feel impactful.

    Despite its initial stumble in theaters, partly due to a title that perhaps didn't quite capture the essence of its heart and spirit as much as it could, "The Kid Who Would Be King" presents itself as a highly enjoyable piece of family entertainment on home release. Its Arthurian theme, combined with the adventurous tone reminiscent of '80s classics, provides a delightful experience that gets close to being a perfect throwback adventure movie for kids. However, it's worth noting the pacing issues and the continuous exposition of Arthurian legend, which may momentarily hinder momentum but ultimately contribute to a rewarding conclusion. The inclusion of bonus features, although not groundbreaking, are appreciated and round off the package nicely on the accompanying 1080p Blu-ray disc.

    In conclusion, "The Kid Who Would Be King" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a commendable release that deserves attention from families seeking quality entertainment with lasting appeal. Despite its initial box office disappointment, this release underscores the film's strengths: a visually stunning presentation, engaging audio experience, and a storyline that captures the adventurous spirit akin to beloved classics. It's a recommended addition to any collection, promising fun and exciting family movie nights.