Kung Fu Panda 4 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score5
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Martial arts action/mild violence, scary images and some mild rude humor
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Mike Mitchell & Stephanie Ma Stine
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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The search for the new Dragon Warrior is on! Panda Po (Jack Black) learns he must face his biggest villain yet and embarks on a hilarious mission with his new team of misfits in "Kung Fu Panda 4" from DreamWorks Animation. After learning he must find a new hero to take over as Dragon Warrior so that he may fulfill his destiny as the next spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace, Po decides to take one last adventurous mission. He teams up with a quick-witted thief named Zhen (Awkwafina), a corsac fox, to discover the truth about recent sightings of villains he’s defeated in the past. In a journey that puts both to the test, it will take a wicked, powerful sorceress, The Chameleon (Viola Davis), to bring them together and remind Po that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Mike Mitchell, Co-Director Stephanie Ma Stine, Production Designer Paul Duncan, Head of Story Calvin Tsang and Head of Character Animation Sean Sexton; the short "Dueling Dumplings" (HD 03:13); six featurettes: "Mastering The Dumpling" (HD 06:16), "Kung Fu Talking" (HD 02:26), "Meet The Cast" (HD 13:46), "Kung Fu Panda 4 All!!" (HD 08:05), "How to Draw" (HD 25:03) and "Shadow Puppet Theater" (HD 08:06); two deleted scenes (HD 01:51) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra Dolby Vision/HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was animated digitally in 3D and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. The picture is stunning and gorgeous and retains all of the exquisite textures and vivid colors of past releases. What stands out about the picture is the incredible depth and dimensionality of the imagery, the color fidelity, and the amazing textural resolution. As rendered in 3D this 2D presentation benefits from a sense of dimensionality. The color palette exhibits nicely saturated hues with nuanced shadings that are warm and rich in character. Colors are vibrant, yet not overly so, for a more natural color palette. Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited throughout whether the animal furs or the environmental settings. Detail is remarkable and revealing of the finest nuances. HDR contrast is superb with deep black levels, fantastic shadow delineation, and a dynamic white level range. This a beautifully crafted reference-quality animated picture with imagery that always fascinates. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is generally well crafted with dynamic attributes. The faults are the orchestral/choral score sounds veiled though dimensionality is excellent with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to envelop the surrounds. Dialogue, of course, is ADR produced but there is a deficient integrated sound to it, though intelligible throughout. Atmospherics sound realistic and sound effects deliver excellent dynamics often supported with deep, sub-25 Hz bass. The LFE .1 effects are solid and aggressive and sound effects and Foley, whether nuanced or in full force are precise elements. Spatial dimensionality is excellent.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of an extension of the orchestral/choral score, various atmospherics, such as wind and din and the occasional sound effect and occasional creature voicing. While effective, still far more height layer sonics could have been created to further the sense of dimensionality.

The soundtrack continuously projects a holosonic® presence, with aggressive enveloping split surrounds and soundstage and soundfield dimensionality, with effective directionality. (Gary Reber)