Cruella is the best live-action Disney film based on an animated property. This character is now a fully fledged-out amazing anti-hero with some excellent performances, new amazing characters, and one iconic song list, and exquisite fashion sense that is all punk-rock. The new 4K transfer and HDR color palette are amazing and the Dolby Atmos track is explosive. The bonus features are all stand-out extras as well. MUST-OWN.
There hasn't been a fantastic or even mildly good Disney live-action feature film that is based on a vintage animated Disney property. Most are shot-for-shot remakes that are void of any emotion, intrigue, magic, or value and simply exist to make a quick, cheap dollar. This has been the case since Cinderella back in 2015 with mistake after mistake despite box office numbers. That is until Cruella, which flips the whole Disney model on its face with a punk-rock, wildly funny, emotional, good-time of a film.
Telling the origin story of Cruella was something different and furthered the story of this character as someone to root for and not just a flamboyant villain. Each character here is important in Cruella and the music of the film is simply remarkable. Both Emma's turn in award-worthy performances and deliver the best live-action Disney film to date.
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Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Cruella designs her way to 4K Ultra HD with a 4K Disc + a Blu-ray Disc + a digital code from Disney. The discs are housed inside a fantastic hard, red plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features Cruella herself with graffiti artwork in the back. It looks amazing. There is an insert for the digital copy and an insert for other Disney promo material.
Cruella stands out with a 2160p 4K UHD transfer and HDR10 with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 that is an excellent upgrade from the already wonderful 1080p HD version. The detail is sharper and the colors are richer on this 4K Disc.
The color palette is a fantastic rainbow of colors throughout the film with different styles and filters. The first sequence takes place on a stormy evening in the English countryside with some excellent shades of blues, blacks, and grays that light up the vicious sky. Inside the castle though, there are varying shades of dark reds, browns, and pink that look exquisite. After this, the muted old London town reveals a ton of great vague colors that cover the brick and stone buildings in more oranges, browns, and silver. The greens in the tree leaves are different variations of green and the sky is mostly gray.
However on Cruella herself, her outfits and hair pop with vigorous colors of blues, turquoise, purple, and more thanks to the HDR10 ability. As the film progresses, the entire color spectrum is in. full force at parties, the fashion studio, and outdoor punk-rock soirees. The gold fabrics look excellent where most colors on props and clothing have a great shine to them, making them luxurious. The duality of Cruella's black and white hair and outfits are phenomenal, with insanely good white balances and deep inky black levels that coincide perfectly. Even the black and white dalmatians in all their CGI glory look excellent with their color palette. But when her red hair is on display, it accentuates the many shades of red and black in her hair.
The detail is extremely vivid in each scene, reveal all of the facial pores, practical makeup effects, and individual hairs on the actor's heads and faces. Since this is a story about fashion, the costumes are wonderfully revealing in their fine and intimate stitching, where separate threads can be seen in the heavier clothing and the sheer textures in the metal and leather fabrics look astonishing in all lighting conditions. The hairs on the CGI dogs look great here as well, which never runs into a soft-looking image. Wider shots of the city or fashion studio look excellent as well, providing some amazing depth. This video presentation is demo-worthy and is one of Disney's best recent 4K releases.
This release comes with an impressive Dolby Atmos track that sounds like a big-budget action blockbuster. Its sound design is nuanced, well-balanced, and full of energetic life from start to finish. The sound effects are always robust and incendiary with realistic and life-life sounds. Vehicles driving, dogs running, and fabric being cut, sewn, and ripped all sound excellent. Metal clanks in pens and other metal objects sound fantastic as well. The low end brings in a powerful rumbling bass where scenes with fireworks and vehicles pop up. The bass is never rocky and brings the audio soundscape a ton of depth and ferocity.
Ambient noises of people talking, laughing, screaming, dogs barking, and people walking around in the city all sound excellent in the surround speakers during parties and at the clothing studio. The music score and excellent song cues engulf the soundstage here and give a concert-like feel with pitch-perfect musical instruments and lyrics. The height speakers come to life with rain pouring down, people talking from higher floors, a fire burning from above, and more. The dialogue is clean and clear, free of any audio issues. This audio presentation is a demo-worthy Dolby Atmos track for sure.
There are about 48 minutes of bonus material here with some fascinating and entertaining content that gives some insightful and fun information about the making of the film. All of these bonus features are worthwhile.
Cruella is the first live-action Disney movie of late to tell a compelling story, have excellent characters, and be a genuine five-star film. The performances, direction, and music are all top-notch. Disney's 4K with HDR presentation is simply outstanding, and the remarkable demo-worthy Dolby atmos track is simply wonderful. The bonus features are all worth watching as well. MUST-OWN!