Pan’s Labyrinth is Still The Gold Standard for All Dark Fairy Tales (4K Blu-ray Review)

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Pan’s Labyrinth, the highly-acclaimed 2006 modern day dark fairy tale written and directed by Academy Award-winner Guillermo del Toro, is available now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Written and directed by del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, The Shape of Water), Pan’s Labyrinth premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival where it received a 22-minute standing ovation, followed by its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.  The critically-acclaimed film won multiple awards, including three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, the Ariel Award for Best Picture, the Saturn Award for Best International Film, and the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.  The film also appeared on more than 20 critic’s top ten lists for 2006.

pans_labyrinth_4k_blurayFollowing a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer.  Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother.  But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.


Review:

I find it crazy that Pan’s Labyrinth came out 13 years ago already. I still consider it to be Guillermo del Toro’s finest work to this day and if ever you needed to splurge on a 4K UHD Blu-ray upgrade – then this is the one that you should consider. The movie looks absolutely stunningly beautiful in this format and I appreciate that they added Del Toro’s audio commentary to the 4K disc, because typically special features are limited to the standard Blu-ray.

The movie won three Academy Awards but it probably should have done even better – I swear if this film was released today for the first time, it would put so many other fantasy films to shame. Whenever I use the term fairy tale for adults, because yes there is the occasional film that fits this bill — I consider Pan’s Labyrinth to be the gold standard for all dark fairy tales. There is not a better movie in the genre – period. Seeing Doug Jones in all his vivid and morbidly fascinating glory as he becomes not just one but TWO iconic cinematic creatures, never gets old. He’s the very best at what he does and this will always be my very favorite film that the actor has ever been a part of.

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The special features have been seen before, but they’re all really fascinating and just getting to peak through Del Toro’s sketchbook of monsters is a joy to behold every time. I honestly never upgraded from my DVD until now with this release and I found the jump to be MORE than worth the price of admission. If you already own Pan’s Labyrinth on Blu-ray – you may be on the fence, but please consider WHY you own Pan’s Labyrinth to begin with and I bet the visuals are a big aspect of that love and admiration. This is a film that deserves to be shown in the best format possible and here it is. Buy it.

Rating:

Special Features:

Pan’s Labyrinth Ultra HD disc contains the following special features:

  • Audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro

Pan’s Labyrinth Blu-ray disc contains the following special features:

  • Audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro
  • Video prologue by Guillermo del Toro
  • The Power of Myth
  • The Faun and the Fairies
  • The Color and the Shape
  • The Director’s Notebook

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