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Babylon 5: The Road Home

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    55
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • B5's The Road Home reunites original cast in a Straczynski multiverse tale, promising for fans & newcomers, ahead of Blu-ray release.

    Babylon 5: The Road Home 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    70
  • Babylon 5: The Road Home features smooth, detailed animation and backgrounds, with a 4K transfer that offers subtle but clear improvements over Blu-ray, fitting well into Warner Bros.' quality aesthetic.

  • Audio
    75
  • The Road Home's DTS-HD 5.1 Audio impresses with crisp voices, effects, and a score by McCuistion, Ritmanis, and Carter; it’s a well-rounded mix that complements visuals and welcomes all viewers, with optional subtitles.

  • Extra
    75
  • This 2-disc release features an engaging audio commentary and the tribute 'Babylon 5 Forever', celebrating the team's collaboration and honoring lost cast members, amidst special packaging.

  • Movie
    70
  • The Road Home, a 4K direct-to-video animated homage marking Babylon 5's 30th anniversary, reunites original talent for a new multiverse adventure, pleasing long-time fans and newcomers alike.

    Video: 70

    Warner Bros. presents "Babylon 5: The Road Home" in a 4K UHD Blu-ray release that demonstrates the prowess of modern video enhancement technologies while respecting the aesthetic roots of the original series. The 2160p, HDR-enhanced transfer showcases a significant improvement in visual fidelity over its Blu-ray counterpart, especially notable in the realm of color representation, contrast levels, and disc encoding efficiency. Despite being an upscale, the video presentation manages to bring fresh life to the beloved universe, with clear-cut advantages offered by the high dynamic range enhancing the depth and vibrancy of the scenes. While the enhancements are apparent, it's essential to note that the differences may not be as pronounced on smaller screens, suggesting that owners of larger displays will reap the most benefit from this upgrade.

    The animation style employed for "The Road Home" does justice to the series' legacy, applying a smooth, semi-rotoscoped approach for character movements and expressions that harmonizes well with meticulously crafted backgrounds and crisp line work. This choice in design and animation ensures that both character interactions and action sequences maintain a fluid and recognizable consistency, further enriched by the heightened visual effects used to illustrate the series' signature multiverse jumps. These elements combined establish an immersive atmosphere that is both comforting in its familiarity while still delivering surprises.

    Detailed background artistry and a conscientious application of visual effects work in tandem to complement the upgraded video quality, ensuring that each scene, from casual conversations to dynamic action sequences, benefits from the 4K treatment. While the upgrade from the Blu-ray version, described as dual-layered and already impressive in its right, might not seem revolutionary for some viewers, there is an undeniable enhancement in picture quality that aficionados with the appropriate home theater setup will appreciate. The effort to maintain and elevate the visual experience of "Babylon 5: The Road Home" pays off, delivering a product that admirably balances technical improvements with aesthetic fidelity to its source material.

    Audio: 75

    The audio presentation of "Babylon 5: The Road Home" on 4K UHD Blu-ray showcases a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix that truly stands out, demonstrating a level of sound design that engages both long-standing fans and newcomers alike. The clarity of dialogue is remarkable, ensuring that every line from the familiar and new characters is heard in pristine quality. This is complemented by an expert blend of background effects and a memorable score, attributed to the combined efforts of Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, and Kristopher Carter. Despite the absence of Christopher Franke, the original series' primary composer, the audio mix does not suffer; it maintains a high standard, immersing viewers in the expansive universe of "Babylon 5."

    The mix, while predominantly front-loaded, skillfully utilizes the surround channels to enhance dramatic tension, action sequences, and scenes heavy with special effects. This choice ensures a rich and enveloping audio experience that mirrors the visual spectacle of the series, striking a balance that will satisfy both seasoned aficionados and those new to the Babylon universe. Additionally, the inclusion of optional subtitles, notably English SDH, and an accompanying featurette adds a layer of accessibility and depth to the viewing experience.

    In essence, the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix of "The Road Home" excels in delivering an audio experience that respects and revitalizes the legacy of "Babylon 5." It achieves a harmonious blend of dialogue clarity, robust scoring by its trio of composers, and dynamic use of the soundstage to create an inviting yet thrilling atmosphere. Whether engaging in the thick of interstellar conflict or navigating the complex relationships among its characters, this mix ensures every moment is both audibly distinct and emotionally resonant.

    Extra: 75

    The "Babylon 5: The Road Home" 4K UHD Blu-ray release sets a high standard for multimedia packages, balancing nostalgia with technical prowess. Housed in a dual-hubbed keepcase, the presentation benefits from attractive cover artwork complemented by a metallic slipcover, alongside a convenient Digital Copy code. The extras, spread across two discs, deliver a mix of insights and reminiscences from the cast and crew. A notable highlight is the feature-length audio commentary on the 4K disc, providing an intimate look into the production through the eyes of writer-producer J. Michael Straczynski, actor Bruce Boxleitner, and supervising producer Rick Morales. Despite occasional gaps, their discussion offers valuable insights into the series' enduring appeal. Additionally, the "Babylon 5 Forever" featurette on the Blu-ray disc presents a heartfelt reunion of voices and visions, serving both as a tribute to the late cast members and an exploration of the show's lasting legacy.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary (4K Disc & Blu-Ray Disc): Feature-length commentary with writer-producer J. Michael Straczynski, actor Bruce Boxleitner, and supervising producer Rick Morales.
    • Babylon 5 Forever: A behind-the-scenes tribute featuring interviews with cast and crew, vintage photos, and conceptual artwork.

    Movie: 70

    Babylon 5: The Road Home" capitalizes on the rich legacy of the Babylon 5 universe, bringing a fresh, animated chapter that resonates with both long-time fans and newcomers. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the much-beloved series, this direct-to-video release not only honors past narratives but also extends an inviting hand to those unacquainted with the Babylon 5 cosmos. Featuring a stellar voice cast that includes revered series veterans like Bruce Boxleitner and Claudia Christian, alongside adept stand-ins for the sadly missed originals, this project thrives on the nostalgic and the novel. The seamless transition of these familiar voices into their animated avatars provides a comforting bridge for fans, easing them into a new yet undeniably authentic Babylon 5 experience.

    The narrative ambition of "The Road Home" is evident, bridging decades of anticipation with a story that captivates and respects its audience. Crafted under the vigilant eye of series creator J. Michael Straczynski, the tale delicately balances the expectations of die-hard followers with the accessibility needed for casual viewers. Set near season five's conclusion, it embarks on an adventurous storyline revolving around captain John Sheridan and a groundbreaking alien technology which propels him across parallel universes. This narrative not only serves as an intriguing standalone story but also as a potential prologue to more animated ventures within the Babylon 5 universe, contingent on the success of this release and its upcoming Blu-ray revival.

    Warner Bros.' presentation of "The Road Home" in 4K UHD Blu-ray exemplifies a commitment to quality that will surely gratify aficionados of superior A/V experiences. Both the stand-alone Blu-ray and the 4K combo pack boast commendable audio-visual finesse, complemented by a suite of enjoyable extras. As it stands, "The Road Home" is not just a remarkable addition to the Babylon 5 saga but also a testament to the enduring allure and relevance of the franchise in the realm of science fiction storytelling.

    Total: 55

    Warner Bros' latest foray into the rich universe of Babylon 5 with "The Road Home" presents a unique treat for both long-time aficionados and newcomers, encapsulated in a brilliant 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation. With most of the surviving original cast members returning to lend their voices, this direct-to-video animated feature penned by J. Michael Straczynski himself boasts an authenticity and continuity rarely found in franchise extensions. The narrative, hinging on multiverse exploration, enriches the Babylon 5 lore over a concise, yet deeply engaging 79 minutes. This effort not only serves as a nostalgia trip for veteran fans but also as an inviting gateway for potential new followers, providing a stylish acquaintance with the series’ intricate universe ahead of its anticipated Blu-ray launch.

    Technically, the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "The Road Home" stands out with its meticulous restoration and upscaling, assuring viewers are treated to unparalleled visual and auditory quality. The attention to detail in the conversion process respects the original materials while enhancing them for contemporary audiences. Features such as HDR10 provide a broader color spectrum, yielding richer, more dynamic visuals that elevate the animated sequences to new heights. The DTS-HD Master Audio track complements this with crystal-clear sound that captures the essence of Babylon 5's iconic soundscape, from the subtle nuances in dialogue to the sweeping orchestral scores that have become synonymous with the franchise.

    In conclusion, "Babylon 5: The Road Home" in 4K UHD Blu-ray serves not just as a commendable addition to the series' storied legacy but also as a technical marvel in home media presentation. It beautifully bridges the gap between past and future fans of the franchise, ensuring that Babylon 5’s journey continues with the same pioneering spirit it started with. Whether for the seasoned follower eager to revisit cherished memories in unmatched quality or for the curious newcomer ready to dive into the galaxy-spanning saga, this release comes highly recommended.