Certainly one, if not the best film of 2006, "PAN'S LABYRINTH" is now available on blu-ray and hd-dvd. Guillermo del Toro has created a masterpiece, destined to be ranked with the best classic films years from now. With the incredible vision he's painted this powerful tale of morality, history, and the loss of innocence, he's made a film no less important than "THE BICYCLE THIEF" for this generation, although "PAN'S LABYRINTH" is certainly not made in the same style of neo-realism. It does, however, leave the viewer with the same feeling of a call to action that "BICYCLE THIEF" left one with. 

Del Toro's tale is set in 1944, amidst the mountainsides of Spain as a ruthless Captain in Franco's Fascist army hunts down the last of communist rebels. A sweet young girl, Ofelia, is moving into the Captain's temporary home, as her mother(a widow) has married the Captain, and is now carrying his unborn child.  Ofelia's hesitation at greeting her new stepfather with the formal handshake he requires, and his response foreshadows his malevolent side, soon to be revealed in disturbing detail.  "PAN'S LABYRINTH" is an adult "Fairy tale," in the sense that it mixes fantasy elements with the sobering horrors that are truly coinciding with Ofelia's new surroundings. Mythical creatures may buzz around her, as others invite her into an underground world, where she is promised to reign as a princess, upon successfully completing specific tasks.  These tasks put her in harm's way, both in the fantasy and real world, and this journey asks the adult viewer to consider which world is more terrifying. It ends up being a question that's sadly to easy to answer.

NEW LINE has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for these transfers, but the blu-ray and hd-dvd offer some significant differences in depth and color, during various scenes.  Although both hd-dvd and blu-ray transfers for "PAN'S LABYRINTH" are notably superior in detail to the standard dvd, it appears a lot of filtering has been done, ridding the transfer of any grain, but diminishing the full potential of depth. The detail is hindered slightly on both formats, with contrast appearing a bit off. Colors on both versions are pushed to their limits, and there is over-saturation in spots, creating a waxy look with fleshtones. To be fair, the majority of the transfer offers exquisite detail, but the scenes in which detail is lessened due to contrast, is never-the-less distressing.

NEW LINE has offered DTS-HD Lossless 7.1 sound mixes for both hd-dvd and blu-ray.  This sound mix(on both formats)rank up there with the best available anywhere!  When a scene is intended to be aggressive, all speakers are used dramatically and with stunning fidelity. There are also important sequences wherein subtlety is the key to the dramatic tension, and, even here, the mix is stunning!  Delicate, quiet effects and loud, deep bass moments are perfectly balanced with the wonderful score and dialogue. A TOP NOTCH SOUND MIX!!!

NEW LINE has carried over all of the extras from the 2-disc special edition dvd, and added a "Picture in Picture" wherein one can look at storyboards, galleries, the filmmaker's interviewed and more!  There are a number of "web-enhanced" features as well!