Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
For more about Coco 4K and the Coco 4K Blu-ray release, see Coco 4K Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 17, 2018 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil
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Codec: HEVC / H.265 (46.02 Mbps)
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Three-disc set (1 BD-66, 2 BD-50)
iTunes digital copy
4K Ultra HD
Slipcover in original pressing
Coco's 2160P/HDR-enhanced UHD presentation was reportedly crafted with Dolby Vision color enhancement, which is not present on this disc. The film was further apparently finished at 2K, and neither color nor detailing see a substantial boost above the reference quality companion Blu-ray. Comparing the two, the uptick in textural crispness is so minor as to be almost insignificant. Slight boosts in clarity on surfaces and clothes are evident, but minimal. Image clarity is a mite improved, but it seems to stem more from the more balanced, better pronounced color palette than any add to raw sharpness. The film is a little darker on the UHD, with the HDR coloring delivering firmer colors, more intensely saturated and nuanced and a little less punchy and loud. There's still high color visibility and diversity in abundance, but the Blu-ray is comparatively a little brighter. Still the improved saturation, relatively minor as it may be (which seems to be the general norm for animated features), does offer a pleasing boost to overall image stability and richness. Blu-ray-only viewers aren't missing anything earth-shattering or eye-popping with this UHD; the fairly flat transition in detailing and modest boost to coloring still make this the superior version, but not by leaps-and-bounds. It would have been interesting to see if a Dolby Vision encode would have added anything to the mix, because this is a film that deserves the absolute finest presentation possible.
Coco's UHD features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, whereas the companion Blu-ray only release offers a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 presentation. Frankly, there's not a significant difference at work. Neither track is particularly aggressive at reference level; both lack the dynamic intensity without cranking the volume beyond this reviewer's baseline settings. Turning the volume up does bring the track more in-line with expectations, but there's no denying that it's not as fundamentally aggressively positioned as other tracks. Still, overall clarity is quite good, with instrumentals rich and lively and various celebratory environments appropriately defined with festive din. Overhead engagement is minimal, with only a couple of distinct elements to be heard, such as a metal stairwell coming down into the soundstage. The overhead layer generally adds to the basic environmental construction, aiding in echoing reverberations in chapter 21 or wraparound crowd applause in chapter 16. The film's dialogue delivers good, clean delivery and consistent placement, though again it's better enjoyed turning it up a little beyond one's own sweet spot on the volume knob.
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