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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Pan's Labyrinth' or 'The Labyrinth of the Faun')

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Mexico / Spain / USA 2006

 

An Academy Award–winning dark fable set five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, Pan’s Labyrinth encapsulates the rich visual style and genre-defying craft of Guillermo del Toro. Eleven-year-old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero, in a mature and tender performance) comes face to face with the horrors of fascism when she and her pregnant mother are uprooted to the countryside, where her new stepfather (Sergi López), a sadistic captain in General Francisco Franco’s army, hunts down Republican guerrillas refusing to give up the fight. The violent reality in which Ofelia lives merges seamlessly with her fantastical interior world when she meets a faun in a decaying labyrinth and is set on a strange, mythic journey that is at once terrifying and beautiful. In his revisiting of this bloody period in Spanish history, del Toro creates a vivid depiction of the monstrosities of war infiltrating a child’s imagination and threatening the innocence of youth.)

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: May 27th, 2006 - Cannes Film Festival

Reviews                                                                       More Reviews                                                                  DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Optimum Home Entertainment (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

Distribution Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 838 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Criterion's Blu-ray is also available in their Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro which includes Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth:

    

Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro Blu-ray package CLICK to ENLARGE

Runtime 1:53:52 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:59:22.196  
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.62 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,738,059,702 bytes

Feature: 33,294,919,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.64 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Optimum DVD

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)  

DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 4040 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4040 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 5169 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5169 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Director's commentary
• Introduction by director
• Guardian interview at the National Film Theatre
• Featurettes
• Director's notebook
• Storyboard and notebook video prologue
• Storyboard/thumbnail comparisons
• Trailers
• Galleries

DVD Release Date: March 12th, 2007

Double Standard Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,738,059,702 bytes

Feature: 33,294,919,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.64 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by del Toro from 2007

• Director Introduction from 2007 (0:25)
• New interview with del Toro by novelist Cornelia Funke about fairy tales, fantasy, and Pan’s Labyrinth (39:21)
• New interview with actor Doug Jones (25:38)
• Four 2007 making-of documentaries examining the characters, special effects, themes, and music of the film (The Power of Myth - 14:24, Pan and the Fairies - 30:28, The Colors and the Shape - 4:03 and The Melody Echoes the fairy Tale - 2:48)
• Interactive director’s notebook
• Footage of actor Ivana Baquero’s audition for the film (2:55)
• Animated comics featuring prequel stories for the film’s menagerie of creatures (14:44)
• Programs comparing selected production storyboards and del Toro’s thumbnail sketches with the final film; visual effects work for the Green Fairy; and elements of the film’s score
• Trailers and TV spots
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 18th, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 27

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - October 2016: Firstly, I feel so privileged to have the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro Blu-ray set in my possession. Although, as most are aware, both Cronos and The Devil's Backbone are the same transfers and content from Criterion's previous Blu-rays. Even the liner notes booklet content is now housed in a beautiful 100-page hardback book with many drawing, production sketches and essays for the three films. It's quite spectacular package (see our photo above.) I'll be doing a separate review on the entire boxset soon.

Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth gets the Criterion treatment with an impressive dual-layered transfer in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It states on the final pages of the hardcover book that "For it's theatrical release the film was completed in a 2K digital intermediate finishing process from the 35mm original camera negative. That digital intermediate provides the highest level of faithfulness to director Guillermo del Toro's original vision. For this release further color changes were made throughout the feature to fully realize that vision. The film features a fully digital soundtrack. The 5.1 surround and 7.1 surround audio for this Blu-ray release were remastered from the original digital audio master files using Pro Tools HD. Guillermo del Toro was part of the supervision process."

While the DVD has a beautiful image (more kudos to the film style) the higher resolution adds deeper, richer black levels in a slightly darker presentation. It can tend to look yellow-ish in some sequences but the overall image quality is impressive in-motion. It looks heavy and cinematic - often breathtaking with the various effects. With the lights out the visuals are mesmerizing.

We are given the option of two, very robust, audio tracks - a 5.1 surround track at a healthy 4040 kbps or a similar lossless encode in 7.1 surround at a whopping 5169 kbps - both are 24-bit and in the original Spanish language. The depth seems capable of overpowering the narrative but always stays a close step behind - nudging the film's balance between gentleness and hard reality. The effects are impressive - not so much sneaking up on you - but the score by Javier Navarrete (also worked on del Toro's The Devil's Backbone) - has a very epic, suspense-building and classic feel to it. The music is perfectly suiting the film and sounding full and rich in the lossless tracks. Perhaps the best audio I've heard on a Blu-ray this year. I continue to listen while I write this. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked disc.

There are plenty of new extras as well as supplements from the 2007 DVD releases including the audio commentary and introduction by del Toro. There are other extras repeated like the storyboard/thumbnail comparisons and trailers. Criterion add new interview; 40-minutes with del Toro conducted by novelist Cornelia Funke about Pan’s Labyrinth. She delves into the filmmaker's inspirations and the resonance of fantasy and fairy tales. There is also a new, 26-minute, interview with actor Doug Jones about his iconic dual roles as 'the faun' and the 'Pale Man' in Pan’s Labyrinth. We get four 2007 making-of documentaries, produced by Javier Soto, examining the characters, special effects, themes, and music of the film. They run as follows; The Power of Myth - 14:24, Pan and the Fairies - 30:28, The Colors and the Shape - 4:03 and The Melody Echoes the Fairy Tale - 2:48. We get the Interactive director’s notebook and some short footage of actor Ivana Baquero’s audition for the film. There are keen animated comics featuring prequel stories for the film’s menagerie of creatures. They are pretty cool. The liner notes booklet contains an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson (as mentioned - also in the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro 's hardback.

Wow... powerful stuff - quite the blend of horror, political overtones and childhood innocence. Pan’s Labyrinth is such a visual feast - creating its own universe of characters, environments and adventures. Criterion's Blu-ray is at their usual atmospheric level or quality and the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro Blu-ray package is as sweet as it gets. Brilliant stuff - another 'keeper'. Our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: The Optimum DVD looks just about perfect. The tone of the film shows darkness and warmth and the print used represents that faithfully. The anamorphic, progressive image is tight to the frame and shows solid detail and contrast. It looks as exceptional as you might expect from a modern healthy budgeted film. I suppose I could be picky and find some minor flaws but the grandeur of the film's appearance should not be minimized. No artefacts and the only softness was that inherent in the CGI effects.

There are nicely rendered optional English subtitles and two audio choices pf original Spanish in both 5.1 and stereo. I tested both and the 5.1 sounded quite crisp and intense.

Disc one offers a commentary with Guillermo del Toro. His English is quite good and he talks of Pan's Labyrinth being a companion piece to The Devil's Backbone (2001) but much of the world had changed since then and he dignifies that with an explanation of the multiple permutations of the story and why it was set in 1944. It is always great to listen to someone who confidently knows 'their stuff'. There are no major gaps and he is eloquent throughout the entire film. Disc two offers a multitude of interviews, production explanations, an introduction and storyboards. Luckily del Toro shows the film to have immense depth of construction and these extras add to the appreciation. I think I got the most out of Guardian interview at the National Film Theatre but those keen on the film will gobble up much of the rest with gusto.

I've had the DVD for a while and finally got around to watching it - lots of Brothers Grimm fairy tale fantasy elements and although I won't go overboard about the film it was surely entertaining and can carry quite a fascination in the audience. Innocence and make-believe are strongly represented if that appeals to you. This DVD does Pan's Labyrinth justice and for those interested we strongly recommend. May 15th a Region 1 release will become available and I'm sure we will compare the editions. My guess is that there won't be extravagant differences.   

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

2nd Disc


 

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray



CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum - Region 2 - PAL TOP

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

   

Distribution Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 838 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Criterion's Blu-ray is also available in their Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro which includes Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth:

    



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