Jumanji Ultra HD Review

Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD debut of this fun fantasy adventure that tells the story of what happens when two kids find and play a magical board game, and release a man trapped for decades in it, and the host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

92

Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures – 1995
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 104
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC @ 4000 NITS
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s):English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
Starring: Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, Jonathan Hyde, David Alan Grier, Bebe Neuwirth
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Music by: James Horner
Written by: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: December 5, 2017

“Imagination and adventure”



My Take:

Jumanji is the big screen adaptation of the award-winning book by author Chris Van Allsburg. It tells the story of young Alan Parrish who discovers a mysterious board game, and doesn’t realize its unimaginable powers, until he is magically transported before the startled eyes of his friend, Sarah, into the untamed jungles of Jumanji! There he remains for 26 years until he is freed from the game’s spell by two unsuspecting children. Now a grown man, Alan reunites with Sarah and together with Judy and Peter tries to outwit the game’s powerful forces in this imaginative adventure that combines breathtaking special effects with an enchanting mixture of comedy, magic and thrills.

I never did read Chris Van Allsburg’s book “Jumanji” so my introduction to the story was through the film. I really enjoy fantasy/adventure stories, especially those as seen through the eyes of children, and Jumanji was an immediate hit with me and eventually my kids. I can’t recall the number of times I have seen it but it never gets old and I tend to find myself laughing aloud at the same points throughout. Seeing Robin Williams onscreen, especially in a role like this, is tough it reminds me of how much I enjoyed him. Luckily his legacy and body of work remains alive through films like Jumanji.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for fantasy action and peril, and some language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to online-shashki Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Jumanji comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.

According to the press documentation Sony remastered Jumanji from the original 35mm film elements, and I believe Its presentation in Ultra HD is derived from the 4K Digital Intermediate.

It’s important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. A film like Jumanji has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won’t result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn’t a problem and shouldn’t be seen as such.

I have seen Jumanji countless times in standard and high definition. Looking at the film’s opening moments in 1969, the improvement in depth and delineation was immediately noticeable. The increase in resolution isn’t always on display, especially in wide angle effects shots, although I believe that this is innate to the photography. In many respects, the image is emboldened with a discernible boost to definition. Color reproduction benefited from the wider color gamut, especially blues, and reds which pop nicely. The close-up of Billy the bully as he peers around the statue, followed by the chase through town to the shoe factory reveled lots of textures and wonderfully rendered earth tones. I was struck by the finer details present in the factory, as well as the richness of the color in Alan’s bike, Billy’s jacket/eyes, and the various items in the factory’s assembly area.

In most cases close-ups looked terrific, delivering excellent nuance and lifelike rendering. Interior shots held up well, but it’s the exterior shots of the town and its surrounding areas that looked the best. High dynamic range added a tangible visual element that enriched both natural and artificial light. Bright highlights, such as flashes of lightning during the “storm” in Alan’s house, appeared vibrant, while dark highlights were rendered with excellent dimension, especially when coupled with brighter visual elements. As I watched I felt as though I was rediscovering this film all over again. Hands down, this is the best Jumanji has looked on home video. Kudos to Sony for giving this the treatment it deserves. Hopefully we can expect more of the same from other titles from their extensive catalog.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be an entertaining listening experience that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. I noticed that the front overhead channels were used for adding depth to the soundstage while the rear overhead channels contained more discrete sound objects/effects. In addition to things like overhead pans where sounds move through the soundstage, there are several key sequences that bring everything together.

This includes the wall crashing stampede, the storm/flood in the house, and the street stampede followed by the crushing of the car. These sequences, among various others over the course of the film, place you inside the audio bubble, as sounds rotate and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level, making for an involving surround sound experience. I was pleasantly surprised as how good this Dolby Atmos presentation was, adding a complimentary element that elevated the experience of watching the film.

Blu-ray Video:

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): 

Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones: 
  • Compression: 

Jumanji come to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that have an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

According to the press documentation Sony remastered Jumanji from the original 35mm film elements, and that same 4K restoration was used for the 1080p rendering.

In looking at this presentation I didn’t see an appreciable quality difference when compared to the original Blu-ray release. This is a solid looking high definition catalog release that features clean, well depicted colors that offer a good mix of secondary hues that mate well with the source material. The earth tones appear very natural as the green grass, various shades of brown and blue look great. Resolution is definable with varying degrees of refinement that can be scene dependent. Sharpness wavers here and there, which results in some scenes offering lucid clarity while others are lacking clearly defined edges and finely rendered detail. Fidelity appears intact as these issues are innate and probably attributable to the use of visual effects, lighting, hazy environs, and the film stock used. Black and white levels are stable which gives a fair level of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while keeping darker or low-lit segments looking noticeably punchy with crisp, quiet blacks with visibly gradational detail in shadowy backgrounds. Grain is present with a prominent texture and film like rendering that occasionally takes on heavier emphasis but it never bothered me. All in all, Jumanji look very good in high definition.

I always enjoyed this soundtrack finding that the source material allows for active use of the surround platform and is just plain fun to listen to. Dialog has discernible intonation, with refining clarity and excellent room penetration. The track delivers an engaging audio experience that is highlighted by solid impact, refining clarity, and a wonderful music score by James Horner. Dynamic range is quite good and doesn’t seem limited by the dated elements present in the recording. Sounds and effects have discerning depth and presence as spatial ambience and discrete sounds fill the listening area. The LFE channel is similarly used to add weight that extends low bass frequencies when the action kicks. While this presentation may not hit as hard as some of today’s films released on Blu-ray, it still offers a rewarding and fun listening experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Jumanji Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Jumanji Blu-ray
  • Sneak Peek of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • * NEW Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes
  • * NEW – Gag Reel featuring Robin Williams and the Cast
  • Two episodes of the 1996 “Jumanji: The Animated Series” TV show
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Special Effects Crew Commentary
  • Making-of Documentary
  • Production Design Documentary
  • SFX Featurette
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the book by author Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji brings back fond memories while making for a fun and entertaining revisit. It’s making its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that features beautifully restored Ultra HD video, an entertaining and complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and new and legacy bonus content. If you’re a fan and are equipped to take advantage of the Ultra HD/Dolby Atmos upgrades this is highly recommended. If you aren’t, and already own the previous release, the decision to upgrade for the additional features will depend on how important that is to you.

Ralph Potts
online-shashki Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems