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Encanto (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Disney’s latest animated effort, Encanto, has been available in homes since December 24th on Disney+, but physcial ownership is just now around the corner. On February 8th, they’ll be releasing their latest animated musical on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a nice host of extras and Atmos surround. While box office numbers weren’t up to snuff with what they may have liked, the legacy of the film surely will carry with its popularity readily apparent if you check social media or talk to any parent. It’ll come with a digital copy to give you more options that Disney plus in the streaming land. You can order yourself a copy using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review. Remember to tell them Bruno sent you. Or wait. On second thought, we don’t talk about Bruno. Tell them Brandon sent you.

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Film

The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.

Disney’ Encanto is a cultural supernatural epic that easily engages and sweeps one up into its lore. Essentially this is a sort of version of the X-Men refurbished into a sweet and endearing tale. The film swoops around and really does a lot more for you as a viewer than you take for granted as you see it. The film really pries into your brain and has you thinking and appreciating so many aspects of it that you didn’t fully realize as it was happening.

The songs in the film, I originally thought were pretty fun and nice. Stuff seemed catchy in the moment of the film but I wasn’t sure how it would be after. Thankfully(?), I have small children and upon hearing it throughout my house, it came to light that this is a film full of bangers and not just one hit number. They have had one with this many in one film since Frozen II. And the biggest song in the film, I’m not so sure even Disney would have thought was going to be the seminal number the film would come to be known for (“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”).

Encanto may not have stormed the box office like Disney would have hoped, but thanks to their generosity of putting it on Disney+ pretty early, many were able to see it and it appears to have resonated greatly. Children have really taken to it strongly. And it if my social media (And no, I’m not counting the Film Twitter or film buff crowd) is any indication, many a parent have children obsessed with the film. While money may not have been right there up front, the film is going to have a very strong legacy in the Disney vault.

Video

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

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Encanto debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a gorgeous, native 4K image. This things is a blast of beautiful, well saturated and boldly display colors. There’s a terrific sharpness and clarity to the image with all the finer details showing through. The film is enchanting to look at and intoxicating on your eyes as you can really take in what a lovely animation this is from the folks at Disney. It had looked pretty good on Disney+, but this is a pretty significant step up from that (imo).

Depth: Depth of field is quite strong here in the image. Being an animated film of this type, it lends itself to a rather easy three dimensional appeal. Movements are smooth and natural with no issues handling rapid motions so no jitter or blurring distort the image at all during the feature’s playback.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep, and really help to define these images and add lovely shadow work. No issues occur with any lost information as patterns, textures and detail all come through on darker surfaces/fabrics/etc with good ease. No crushing witnessed during this viewing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are absolutely stunning with fantastic saturation. There’s no focal one, as they all pop and showcase a bold flavor be there yellow, orange, blue, red, purple and others. There’s a great glow from magical qualities and displays in the film that get a good assist from the HDR applied to the frame.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese

Dynamics: Encanto has proven to be the exception to the Disney Atmos rule. Perhaps you may bump your set volume up a hair, but they’ve actually produced a sound mix with good volume and better force from the low end frequencies traveling through. I’ve seen reported that this is a subpar track, but I cannot agree or our system setups/calibrations are somehow different. The design of the action and sound swirls and charges all around the room, wall-to-wall-to-ceiling. The musical numbers feature some wondering dynamics and bump as well. Why can’t all Disney Atmos tracks aim for this?

Height: There is some awesome stuff that comes with good force and presence from up top. When cracks form around the room they travel up top and across. Unique sounds and music float around above as well. It very lively, fun, and more loud and interesting an inclusion of the ceiling channel that you’d hope for in these mixes.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer has a lot more power than Disney tracks that have come before. You get a good feel for the rumble, especially in bigger action moments with magic, quaking and destruction. The music features some good bump as well. There are intermittent moments to nit pick that something could have some more force to it, but its pretty minimal.

Surround Sound Presentation: As mentioned, this is a rather playful and creatively construction soundscape. The sound has a good power an rolls around the room with feeling. Every possible little offscreen action/movement/sound is accounted for and the 360 degree vision of the sound is pretty impressive.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Encanto comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All extras are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Far From The Tree: Theatrical Short Film

  • An Introduction (HD, 2:09) – Writer and director of the short, Natalie Nourigat, tells us of the inspiration for the film as well as the software used to create the look of the film.
  • Far From The Tree (HD, 7:21)

Familia Lo Es Todo (HD, 23:53) – A 3-part documentary chronicling the creation of the story and focus on family experience and culture which leads into the creation of the characters and their roles in others’ lives and the story. It takes to some casting and wraps around back to family culture again to close out.

Discover Columbia (HD, 17:27) – This goes over using Columbia for the setting, building that setting, doing on site research and how it all influenced and came together blending a lot of experience and beliefs.

A Journey Through Music (HD, 24:11) – A featurette that focuses on the music for the film and how it was concocted and fully utilized the cultural influence into it. There was a goal to make every song sound like something you’d enjoy on the radio outside of its movie context while still being of the storytelling process.

Let’s Talk About Bruno (HD, 8:18) – In this piece we focus on “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, working with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the creation and process on pulling out the showstopper from the movie.

Our Casita (HD, 10:37) – Here we have the featurette that is all about the house in the film. A house that they find Walt Disney would have created and loved.

Outtakes (HD, 2:59)

Journey To Columbia (HD, 2:24) – Some video of the crews’ trip to Columbia to scout and research for the film.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 20:34) – Includes an introduction by heads of story Nancy Kruse and Jason Head.

Song Selection (HD, 30:21) – Jump directly to the songs with the ability to “Play All”.

Summary

Encanto is not just another win for Disney, but a big surge into the Frozen territory of being instantly iconic and popular. It comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a lovely looking image, with the rare Disney Atmos track that compliments it. Extras are rather really well done a carrying some good weight despite being a bit fluffy. Overall, this is a pretty terrific little package to offer for the home video release of Encanto.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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