Aladdin 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 246, December 2019

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Guy Ritchie
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Aladdin" is the tale of the lovable "street rat," Aladdin, self-determined Princess Jasmine, and the all-powerful Genie. The "street rat" (Massoud) frees a genie (Smith) from a lamp, granting all of his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince in order to marry the beautiful princess, Jasmine (Scott). But soon, an evil sorcerer (Kenzari) becomes hell-bent on securing the lamp for his own sinister purposes.(Gary Reber)

Special features include four featurettes: "Aladdin's Video Journal: A New Fantastic Point Of View" (HD 10:39), "Deleted Song –– 'Desert Moon'" (HD 02:20), "Guy Ritchie: A Cinematic Genie" (HD 05:28) and "A Friend Like Genie" (HD 04:31); six deleted scenes (HD 10:44); bloopers (HD 02:07); three music videos: "Speechless" (HD 03:27), "A Whole New World" (HD 04:03 ) and "A Whole New World" ("Un Mundo Ideal") (HD 04:03); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Mini and SXT camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. A 3D conversion was performed by DNEG, but no 3D Blu-ray Disc was provided. The picture's color palette is stunningly rich and warm, as well as strongly saturated with excellent color depth, and retaining a wide, naturally hued gamut. The wide color gamut exhibits an incredible range of subtle hue differentiation. One incredibly saturated and beautiful color after another comes up in many scenes. Deep emerald greens, incredibly luscious yellow piles of saffron in a market, magenta clothing, intense purples and golds. During scenes with "Prince Ali" and Princess Jasmine, an explosion of yellow, pinks, and green colors project off the screen, as well as the Genie's blue skin and shiny jewels that adorn the Princess. Fleshtones are perfect and accurately natural. The golden color of he desert sands are gorgeous. The moon and the moonlight it sheds on the sands of Agrabah is impressive. In the Cave of Wonders, the facades are spectacularly intricate and lined with gold trinkets, and of course the lamp. HDR contrast is superb with deep, solid and textural blacks and excellent shadow delineation, with bright white intensities and flame torches contrasting in the city's night scenes. The visual effects are spectacular and wonderful in their fluidness. Resolution is incredible with superb textural detail. WOW! segments are numerous and include from 13;39 to 16:43, 32:48 to 37:30, 42:46 to 45:58, 01:15:38 to 01:20:38, 01:33:52 to 01:35:41 and 01:50:45 to 01:52:55. This is a very colorfully saturated picture with impressive clarity and sharpness, with numerous reference-quality visual segments. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack orchestral score is exotic sounding and spectacular with nicely resolved instrumentation. The music completely envelops the soundfield, often with a very rhythmic character, and at one point features a drum set played by Adu, the monkey. The music driving the dance segments is especially wonderful. Bass is deep but natural sounding in the orchestrations that accompany the singing. The music is spread wide and deep across the soundstage and aggressively extends to the surrounds and height layer, for a fully enveloping soundfield experience. Both vocals and dialogue are well executed with generally good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is predominantly the orchestral/choral score extension to the height layer plus a few sound effects such as a canopy opening upward, reverberant voices in the Agrabah palace, Aladdin screaming and rock movement sounds in the Cave of Wonders, the deep-throated voice of the cave, flying carpet swoops, a sorcerer's scream, the genie's voice, wind, film projector sounds and burn out, brief thunder and rain, a genie yell out, an underwater rumble, swirling swoops, snowy icy winds, thunder, swirling sounds and other minor sound effects.

In Disney fashion, the set volume is lower than calibrated theatrical reference level and should be ticked up. The musical engagement is soundfield enveloping with a large front-end presence and ear-level and spherical surround integration for a captivating holosonic® experience. (Gary Reber)