Avatar (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

2023 is the year we are supposed to see majority of the remainder for James Cameron’s catalog to be out on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. Thanks to the help of his latest megabuster sequel, the original Avatar has made its way to the format. Sporting a new Dolby Atmos track and updated restoration, transfer, the disc hit the stores on June 20th. Its a 3-Disc set with 1 4K UHD disc and 2 accompanying Blu-rays. The second disc of said standard Blu-rays contains the extras. You’ll also get a digital code for redemption as well as a load of the original extras (and a couple new). This is an event film certainly worthy of most film collections, and you can make it yours with the ease of clicking the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.



On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na’vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet’s environment is poisonous, human/Na’vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na’vi woman (Zoe Saldana). As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world.

This past winter, I took part in a commentary for the film done by Out Now with Aaron and Abe. A feature length discussion with all my thoughts on the film reside here.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: Avatar sadly arrives as a 4K upscale title. However, you probably won’t even notice that when watching it with what good skills have been crafted in creating this transfer. This is a wildly impressive image that has stunning scale and depth with beautiful colors. Its very crisp with loads of information. And thankfully, the visual effects hold up very well to the 4K upscale scrutiny.

Depth: Depth of field is strong with great three dimensional zeal and as mentioned, very impressive scale. Movements are fluid, smooth and natural with no issues coming from any motion distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and rich. There’s a natural appeal to them and a tremendous work on shadow and nighttime scenes as well as keeping texture, pattern and fine information visible in even the darkest corners of the frame. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Of course blue is quite rampant and handled amazingly. But there are also purples, greens, yellows and more colors that just burst right off the screen. Great contrast brings some pop and Pandora is a planet that is begging for HDR for a nice glow and to bring the world to life.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural (or blue) and consistent from start to finish. Event the shrewdest points of facial definition, information and texture are visible from any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, English Family Audio Track, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese

Dynamics: For a second, I got scared that Avatar’s Dolby Atmos track would be full on Disney-fied. However, its not. Its default is just a couple ticks lower than most discs. Once up a couple notches, this is a loud, airy and spacious mix that really fills out the room with crafting an environment or placing you right in the action

Height: From above you get things flying, debris falling, mechanism running, characters moving over camera and much more.

Low Frequency Extension: Mechs boom with their steps, creatures roar, things explode, guns blast, engines hum and your subwoofer hits the beat in all the right places with just the right power.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This mix is quite immersive as it builds every room or exterior with ambient sounds from the sides and rear channels. They also help facilitate traveling characters/objects or track off screen activity. Its very impressive and very engaging.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Avatar is 3-Disc set and comes with 2-Disc standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus materials are found on Disc 3.

Memories from Avatar (HD; 21:20) – Producer Jon Landau sits with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang to reminisce on the original film. Features some interesting audition footage and behind the scenes footage.

Avatar: A Look Back (HD; 10:03) – A nostalgic featurette with James Cameron, Jon Landau and cast looking back on the film.

Capturing Avatar (HD; 1:38:25)

Featurettes (HD; 1:31:51)

  • Sculpting Avatar
  • Creating The Banshee
  • Creating The Thanator
  • The Amp Suit
  • Flying Vehicles
  • Na’vi Costumes
  • Speaking Na’vi
  • Pandora Flora
  • Stunts
  • Performance Capture
  • Virtual Camera
  • The 3D Fusion Camera
  • The Simul-Cam
  • Editing Avatar
  • Scoring Avatar
  • Sound Design
  • The Haka: The Spirit of New Zealand


Avatar was one of the most fantastical theatrical experiences I’ve had and one that I was afraid to return to for years, for fear that my opinion of it would lesson without an IMAX 3D screen in my home. Alas, when I finally chose to revisit it over 10 years later, my thoughts only improved and appreciated for different reasons. I’m happy to now own this wonderful 4K UHD of the film with its terrific presentation and loads and loads of extras. A no-brainer pick up.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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