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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Labyrinth shines in UHD, blending nostalgia with top-notch audiovisuals, though choices between editions challenge fans.

    Labyrinth 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The 'Labyrinth' Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD releases enhance visual detail and color vibrancy, with varied opinions on the film's grain presentation and improved resolution, offering unique packaging and a behind-the-scenes look.

  • Audio
  • Labyrinth's new Dolby Atmos track enhances immersion with selective overhead audio, clear dialogue, and dynamic sound, maintaining balance without overcrowding.

  • Extra
  • Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Edition features a 4K UHD and Blu-ray with archival and new extras exploring the film's legacy, puppetry art, tributes to Jim Henson and David Bowie, propelled by interviews and a restoration insert by Brian Henson.

  • Movie
  • Labyrinth captivates with a magical universe and Bowie's charm, while its 4K reissue with new features celebrates its enduring appeal as a cult classic.

    Video: 84

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Labyrinth" marks a significant milestone in the preservation and enhancement of this cult classic, capitalizing on the original 35mm camera negatives to achieve a restoration that breathes life into the film’s fantastical elements with unprecedented clarity. The transition to 4K is particularly notable for its enhancement of detail, color fidelity, and overall vibrancy, allowing for a more immersive viewing experience. Brian Henson’s direction, leveraging both the original negatives and his father's personal print, ensures that the visual restoration respects the film’s initial creative vision while introducing a modernized aesthetic that enhances rather than overhauls. This meticulous approach is evident in the textures of characters’ costumes, the intricate design of the goblin-inhabited labyrinth, and the nuanced portrayal of Jareth’s mesmerizing domain.

    However, the leap to 4K does not come without its caveats. The enhanced resolution brings to light a more pronounced grain structure, which, while preserving the filmic quality of the original, may distract certain viewers accustomed to cleaner digital presentations. The grain, interpreted by some as bordering on digital noise, becomes a point of contention that reflects broader debates within home cinema circles regarding the balance between authenticity and visual cleanliness. On one hand, this graininess underscores the tangible, tactile reality of Henson’s puppetry and the ethereal ambiance of the labyrinth; on the other, it challenges contemporary expectations of 4K sharpness and clarity. Despite these debates, both the 4K and Blu-ray editions offer significant improvements over previous home video releases, with removed print imperfections and a color palette that has been meticulously refined for greater depth and naturalism.

    In summary, the 4K UHD release of "Labyrinth" represents a substantial upgrade in terms of visual fidelity, color range, and detail, making it a compelling option for fans eager to experience the film with a new level of immersion. The inclusion of HDR enriches the visual tapestry with nuanced shades and heightened contrasts that showcase the unique blend of fantasy and reality. Yet, the presence of pronounced grain illustrates a commitment to preserving the film's original character, offering a restoration that is both a tribute to its analogue origins and a testament to modern restoration technologies. Whether this grain is viewed as a flaw or feature, it undeniably contributes to the ongoing conversation about the role of texture in cinema's transition to the digital age.

    Audio: 85

    The audio presentation of "Labyrinth" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray edition, featuring a newly minted Dolby Atmos track, garners noteworthy appreciation for its technical prowess and thoughtful integration. The Dolby Atmos mix, somewhat constrained by the original sound design's limitations, is nonetheless a significant improvement over the prior Dolby TrueHD 5.1 setup. It exhibits a judicious application of overhead audio elements to enhance the atmospheric and musical components, without overburdening the soundscape. Particularly commendable moments include the thunderstorm at the film's onset and Ludo's roars, where the overhead channels contribute to a fully immersive audio experience, complemented by substantial low-frequency effects that lend a palpable weight to the onscreen action.

    Despite the inherent challenges in retrofitting a film like "Labyrinth" with Atmos technology, given its vintage sound design, the effort pays off in discrete moments that see effective use of the additional speakers. These instances, though not aggressively plentiful, are strategic and meaningful—ranging from environmental sounds like rain to more dynamic sequences involving the Cleaners mechanism chase. The balanced mix further shines in musical numbers, where David Bowie's iconic tracks receive a revitalizing clarity and depth, making it one of the most compelling aspects of this audio upgrade. The surround sound presentation is further enhanced by a natural extension into the added side speakers, creating a concert-like atmosphere during musical segments that feels expansive and engaging.

    The dialogue reproduction remains crisp and clear throughout, ensuring that voices are consistently intelligible against the backdrop of the improved score and sound effects. This clarity is maintained even during the more complex musical numbers, showcasing an impressive seamless transition between dialogue and music. Additionally, the 4K disc offers a plethora of audio options beyond English Dolby Atmos, including multiple Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in various languages, catering to a diverse audience. This meticulous attention to detail in the audio presentation not only elevates the overall viewing experience of "Labyrinth" but also underscores the dedication to preserving and enhancing the film's legacy for new generations and enthusiasts alike.

    Extra: 87

    The 30th Anniversary Edition of "Labyrinth" on 4K UHD is a must-have for fans, offering not only an Ultra HD movie experience but also a treasure trove of extras on the accompanying Blu-ray disc. The package includes both a 4K disc, which features character-centric Moments in stunning 2160p resolution and Dolby Atmos sound, and a Blu-ray disc loaded with an array of bonus materials. Noteworthy additions include new high-definition featurettes like "The Henson Legacy" and "Reordering Time: Looking Back at 'Labyrinth'", which delve into the creativity of Jim Henson and memories from the set, alongside tributes to David Bowie and a comprehensive 25th Anniversary Q&A session. While the 4K disc itself is light on exclusive extras, the extensive collection provided on the Blu-ray more than compensates, ensuring that this edition offers substantial value and insight into the making of this beloved film.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Brian Froud: Insights from the conceptual designer.
    • The Henson Legacy: Tribute to Jim Henson's creativity and family contributions.
    • Reordering Time: Looking Back at 'Labyrinth': Cast and crew reminisce about the filming experience.
    • Remembering The Goblin King: Tribute to David Bowie's performance and impact.
    • Anniversary Q&A: An engaging panel discussion with key puppeteers and creators.
    • Inside the Labyrinth: A comprehensive making-of documentary.
    • Journey Through the Labyrinth: Kingdom of Characters: Exploration of the movie's puppet characters.
    • Journey Through the Labyrinth: The Quest for Goblin City: Discusses the development and production challenges.
    • The Storytellers – Picture in Picture: Offers commentary and insights in parallel with the film.
    • Theatrical Trailers: Compilation of original promotional trailers.
    • Moments: Character-focused scenes in 4K quality.

    Movie: 76

    Sony's 30th anniversary reissue of "Labyrinth" on 4K UHD Blu-ray revitalizes the enchanting and whimsical world inhabited by Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, and an array of spectacular creatures brought to life by Jim Henson's unparalleled puppetry. Launched originally in the summer of 1986 to an underwhelming box office response, this imaginative film has, over the decades, garnered a cult status, deserving of the celebration that this new release brings. The movie introduces Sarah (Connelly), a teenager who, in a fit of frustration, wishes her crying baby brother Toby away to the Goblin King Jareth (Bowie). Regretting her wish, she then has to navigate through an intricate maze to rescue him, challenging audiences of all ages with its rich narrative and innovative visuals.

    This edition boasts a meticulously restored 2160p transfer from a 4K scan, complemented by a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack, enhancing both the visual and auditory experiences. The notable absence of the cherished Digibook packaging from the 1080p release is overshadowed by the inclusion of several new supplements and archival materials that enrich the backstory and production intricacies of "Labyrinth". The film's transition to 4K UHD not only heightens its visual allure but also accentuates the intricacies of its world - from the vast, sprawling maze to the minutiae of Henson's creature designs, ensuring that Bowie's iconic musical performances resonate with even greater depth.

    At its core, "Labyrinth" is more than just a children's movie; it's a sophisticated fantasy that appeals to a broad audience with its themes of growth, bravery, and self-discovery. Its success lies not in its initial box office numbers but in its enduring legacy and the impact it has had on multiple generations. The performances, particularly Bowie's multifaceted portrayal of Jareth and Connelly's determined Sarah, anchor the film's charm, presenting a tale that is timeless in its appeal. With this 4K UHD release, Sony not only pays tribute to the film's lasting influence but also ensures its magic captivates new audiences, solidifying "Labyrinth" as a standout fantasy film of its era.

    Total: 82

    The 30th Anniversary 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Labyrinth" serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Jim Henson's enchanting fantasy adventure. This release by Sony not only satisfies long-standing fans keen on revisiting the whimsical world with their children but also stands as a beacon for newcomers intrigued by this visually captivating tale. The package's stellar Ultra HD and high definition presentation extensively accentuates the film's intricate visuals, delivering a substantive improvement over the already excellent 1080p rendition. Complimented by a high-quality lossless audio track, the movie's auditory experience is immersive, providing clarity and depth to its enchanting soundtrack and vibrant soundscapes. Adding value, the inclusion of both new and legacy supplementary content forms a compendious offering that enriches the viewing experience, making it a must-have for devotees of the film.

    However, potential buyers face a conundrum over which version to procure. The 4K UHD version introduces a noticeable boost in detail and HDR coloring, albeit with an increase in visible grain that some may find detracts from the overall experience. Contrarily, the Blu-ray version offers a slightly less detailed image that retains a more traditional film-like texture. This dichotomy in visual fidelity underscores a critical decision for collectors and aficionados, further complicated by the absence of the exclusive Digibook packaging in the UHD edition—a feature highly prized in the Blu-ray release.

    In conclusion, despite minor setbacks related to visual grain and packaging decisions, the 30th Anniversary 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Labyrinth" is a remarkable addition to any collection. It successfully balances enhanced technical specifications with nostalgic charm, ensuring that Jim Henson's masterpiece shines brighter for both seasoned fans and those new to its magical allure. Whether opting for the sharper UHD version or the more cinematic Blu-ray, viewers are guaranteed an enriching experience that faithfully celebrates the film's legacy.