Wonka 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 271, January/February 2024

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.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Some violence, mild language and thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Paul King
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Wonka" is the tale of a young chocolatier Willy Wonka armed with nothing but a hatful of dreams, who manages to change the world, one delectable bite at a time. This will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonks, as he becomes the world's greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker. (Gary Reber)

Special features include six featurettes: "Unwrapping Wonka: Paul King’s Vision" HD 12:28), "The Whimsical Music Of Wonka" (HD 06:01), "Welcome To Wonka Land" (HD 10:51), "Hats Off To Wonka" (HD 06:47), "Wonka’s Chocolatier" (HD 08:51) and "Musical Moments" (30:40) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic /i Scope using the Arri Alexa LF and Arri Alexa Mini LF camera systems and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. The picture is wonderfully colorful and visually dynamic. Hues are vibrantly rich and warm with strong primaries within a wide color spectrum that exhibits finely nuanced hue shadings. Wonka's trademark maroon suit jacket is nicely saturated. Flesh tones are perfectly natural. HDR contrast is excellent. Black levels are deep and nicely defined. Shadow delineation reveals superb depth, White levels light up the screen with beautiful dynamic intensity. Resolution is superb with the production design exhibiting fine object and structural textural detail. Costumes are colorful with excellent fabric detail. Facial features exhibit fine detail such as skin pores, lines, hair and mustaches. This is a vivid picture with a wonderful color palette and excellent contrast. Reference quality. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers superb fidelity and dynamics. As a musical fantasy, the music is a major sound element. The orchestral/choral score is forward sounding and whimsically lively. The singing is terrific as well as the dance numbers, The recording extends wide and deep across the soundstage and the side channels. The music extends aggressively to the surrounds and creates an enveloping soundfield with excellent dimension. Foley sound effects are perfectly synced to picture. Atmospherics sound realistic as do sound effects, which play a major element in the proceedings from nuances to loud sounds. Deep bass sounds natural, whether at the low end of the orchestral arrangements or as an enhancement to the sound effects. The most dramatic example is a ship explosion. Dialogue is intelligible throughout though a bit forward sounding at times, which has become the norm in sound design to enhance dialogue impact.

The Immersive Sound element is disappointing as it is essentially limited to a sporadic extension of the orchestral score and choral elements, which range from extremely nuanced to strong. No singing though. No atmospherics except for spots of nuanced din. No sound effects except for: the loud breath of a giraffe, squawks and wing flappings of flamingos, and a pool of bubbling chocolate. The height layer was sadly underdeveloped given that the sound elements lent themselves to so much more spherical spatial treatment.

This is an absolutely compelling ear-level holosonic® soundtrack that delivers great musical numbers and orchestrations as well as superb fidelity. (Gary Reber)