Pan’s Labyrinth Criterion Blu-ray Review
“Pan’s Labyrinth” gets the Criterion treatment.
Set in Spain in the year 1944, “Pan’s Labyrinth” revolves around a shy young girl named Ofelia who adores fairy tale books. At the start of the film, Ofelia (and her ill pregnant mother) are en route to start living with her new “father”- a ruthless murderous fascist Captain (Vidal) that is on a mission to destroy a resistance group. Upon arrival at her new home, Ofelia escapes into a twisted fantasy land where she meets all sorts of creatures (including fairies, a shady Faun, and the uber creepy Pale Man) and is believed to be the Princess Moanna from a fairy tale. In the real world, Ofelia must deal with the horrors around her such as her sick mother, the crazed Captain, and the bloody battles with the resistance group (who have some spies in the fascist camp).
10 years after its release, the award-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” still holds up…for the most part. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s dark (and I mean dark) tribute to fairy tales of old is an original and interesting blend of fantasy and reality that is filled with imaginative practical and CGI creations, strange characters (two of which are wonderfully played by Doug Jones), heartbreaking drama, and stylish trademark del Toro touches. It’s easily one of del Toro’s best and most accomplished films to date.
On the downside, the film’s pacing hasn’t quite aged as well. When I previously saw the film, I didn’t remember having any issues with the pacing, but on this rewatch, it felt a bit clunky. Guillermo del Toro takes a little bit too much time telling the story, and, as a result, it feels a bit sluggish at times to be sure. That might seem like nitpicking to some, but it did hold the film back a little bit for me.
Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This new 2K digital transfer really shows off the film’s stylish color palette.
Audio Tracks: Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA and a Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The 5.1 track is a bit on the soft side while the 7.1 track is much more dynamic.
* A booklet featuring an essay by author Michael Atkinson.
* A teaser, trailer, and 7 TV spots.
* 4 prequel motion comics about the Giant Toad, the Fairies, the Faun and the Pale Man.
* Audition footage of actress Ivana Baquero.
* An intro by Guillermo Del Toro from 2007.
* A newly shot 25 minute interview with actor Doug Jones where he talks about his filming experiences, the characters he plays, working with Del Toro, and more. Behind-the-scenes footage is also included here.
* A notebook gallery featuring drawings, writings, and concept art. A Del Toro introduction is also included.
* A piece that shows the various incarnations of the Lullaby theme music, a comparison between the green screen and final scene of the Green Fairy sequence, and thumbnails/storyboards.
* A 39 minute 2016 interview with Guillermo Del Toro by author Cornelia Funke. Conversations include fairy tales, art, storytelling, and more.
* 4 2007 documentaries titled “The Power Of Myth,” “Pan And The Fairies,” “The Color And The Shape,” and “The Melody Echoes The Fairy Tale.”
* A 2007 commentary by Guillermo Del Toro.
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