Oct 032019

Pan’s Labyrinth is an amazingly creative movie from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and while I’m not totally in love with it, the visuals combined with a deeply tragic setting, the film does resonate.



Pan’s Labyrinth

Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, War
Warner Bros. | R – 119 min. – $41.99 | October 1, 2019

Date Published: 10/03/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Writer(s): Guillermo del Toro (written by)
Cast: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Álex Angulo

Features: Commentary, Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

Plot Synopsis: It’s 1944 and the Allies have invaded Nazi-held Europe. In Spain, a troop of soldiers are sent to a remote forest to flush out the rebels. They are led by Capitan Vidal (SERGI LOPEZ), a murdering sadist, and with him are his new wife Carmen (ARIADNA GIL)) and her daughter from a previous marriage, 11-year-old Ofelia (IVANA BAQUERO). Ofelia witnesses her stepfather’s sadistic brutality and is drawn into Pan’s Labyrinth, a magical world of mythical beings.

Quick Hit Review: No doubt Guillermo del Toro is a visionary filmmaker as demonstrated with Mimic, Blade II and Hellboy, 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth was perhaps his best looking feature (and won the Academy Award for Cinematography, along with Art Direction and Makeup) and while I never was over-the-moon for the movie when I first saw it some years ago, this second viewing… my feelings were pretty much the same, though this go around I do appreciate some of the risks taken.

Pan’s Labyrinth is certainly a darkly toned film with a fairy tale woven in, a tale set inside a young girl’s mind amidst the trauma experienced in the Nazi-aligned Spanish-locale set within the height of World War II. It’s a brutal film though unexpectedly not unrelenting either. The few times we get a glimpse of this fairy tale, fantasy world where we meet a character only named the faun (portrayed by Doug Jones), is both creepy yet also creatively beautiful.

Acting wise, the (then) young Ivana Baquero was tremendous, Maribel Verdú gives a heartfelt performance and Sergi López was effectively frighteningly evil without really going over the top, at least until the end when he gets a Joker-like cut on his mouth… The direction from del Toro was slow but deliberate and avoids many of the horror tropes and clichés, and didn’t have to rely on the jump scare respecting the audience to be focused on the story and characters.

In the end, Pan’s Labyrinth is a film that I never quite loved yet still respect Guillermo del Toro as a great filmmaker and years later, this still holds up quite well.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features from previous Warner releases have been ported over. For obvious reasons, the new interviews on the Criterion Collection were not.

Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Guillermo del Toro has the filmmaker breaking down the film’s production. Available on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs.

Enhanced Visual Commentary  is the option to watch the film with behind-the-scenes pics and commentary via picture-in-picture.


  • The Power of Myth (14:23) – This featurette examines how de Toro came up with the creatures using fairy tales as a basis.
  • Pan and the Fairies (30:27) is a lengthy featurette with a focus on the creatures and their development using sculptures and such.
  • The Color and the Shape (4:01) delves into the importance of colors in the film.
  • The Lullaby is split into two parts: The Melody Echoes the Fairy Tale (2:47) and Mercedes Lullaby Progression (2:15).


  • Introduction (0:34)
  • Del Toro’s Notes and Sketches allows viewers to select different parts of his notes, launching short featurettes with behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Storyboard/Thumnail Compares on four scenes: ‘Ofelia Enters the Labyrinth’, ‘Ofelia, the Fig Tree & The Giant Toad’, ‘Ofelia’s Death’ and ‘Death of the Doctor’
  • VFX Plate Comparison (1:17)
  • Galleries: ‘DDT Creature Design’, ‘Production Design’ and ‘Production Scrapbook’

The Charlie Rose Show (49:25) is an episode of the former series as Rose interviews Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro G. Iñárritu about their respective films out at the time, Babel, Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men.

Comics is a series of four short visual comics.


  • Poster Gallery (1:20)
  • Theatrical Teaser (1:05)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:32)
  • TV Spots (3:39)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Pan’s Labyrinth comes to 4K Ultra HD presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. I haven’t compared this with the Criterion Collection release from 2017, but doubtful it was taken from the same source, even so, the picture here does look great, detail is nicely sharp, particularly on the close-up objects and the black levels, for which there is plenty of, was stark yet you can still discern what is going on in the scene. Colors as you can imagine is toned down quite a bit but is vibrant during one of the last shots.

AUDIO – 4.275/5

The disc comes with a standard but efficient enough DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which does output crisp and clear dialogue out of the center speaker but the depth isn’t anything incredible, but we do get some decent audio such as some ambient noises, like the sounds of nature, or gunfire, from the rear channels. This is still a fine lossless track but hardly reference quality work, though it’s probably a good thing they didn’t artificially upgrade to an Atmos track.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Pan’s Labyrinth is an amazingly creative movie from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and while I’m not totally in love with it, the visuals combined with a deeply tragic setting, the film does resonate. This 4K Ultra HD combo release offers up fine video/audio transfers alongside some well produced bonus material.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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