Wonka UHD Review

3.5 Stars Scrumpdillyicious
Wonka UHD Review

Timothée Chalamet is charming as a young chocolatier in Wonka, a surprisingly fun musical adventure now available on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Warner.

Wonka (2023)
Released: 15 Dec 2023
Rated: PG
Runtime: 116 min
Director: Paul King
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Gustave Die, Murray McArthur
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Paul King, Simon Farnaby
Plot: With dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate, a young and poor Willy Wonka discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers.
IMDB rating: 7.2
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG
Run Time: 1 Hr. 56 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Digital Copy
Case Type: UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 02/27/2024
MSRP: $39.98

The Production: 4/5

A young and wide-eyed Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) arrives in a small post World War II European town with hopes of hitting it rich with his chocolate confections only to discover the town is run by a chocolate cartel led by Slugworth (Paterson Joseph), Prodnose (Matt Lucas) and Fickelgruber (Mathew Baynton) with help from the Chief of Police (Keegan-Michael Key) and a corrupt priest, Father Julius (Rowan Atkinson). To make matters worse, keepers of a local boarding house and laundromat, Mrs. Scrubitt (Olivia Colman) and Bleacher (Tom Davis), have tricked Willy into becoming an indentured servant to them when he signed a contract that he thought was for one night’s stay but finds himself having to work off us debt for the next 10,000 days down in their laundry room. There, Willy befriends other indentured servants, including Slugworth’s former accountant Abacus Crunch (Jim Carter), telephone operator Lottie Bell (Rakhee Thakrar), plumber Piper Benz (Natasha Rothwell), would-be comedian Larry Chucklesworth (Rich Fulcher) and orphan Noodle (Calah Lane). Willy and Noodle quickly become friends, with Noodle helping Willy escape from the laundromat to sell his chocolates under the nose of the cartel and police chief, until they get caught, leaving Willy with a dilemma that he may regret for the rest of his life. Confounding matters is an Oompa Loompa named Lofty (Hugh Grant), who has been stealing chocolates from Willy as revenge for taking cocoa beans from Loompaland.

I must admit, I went into Wonka with low expectations, despite the mostly positive reviews and successful box office. Did we really need another retelling of Willy Wonka, or an origin story? No, but director Paul King (Paddington and Paddington 2) infuses the film with his trademark wit and charm as well as his artistic style that gives the film much of the magic missing from previous films in the series. The songs, although mostly forgettable, are fun while on screen thanks to the choreography of Christopher Gatelli (Apple TV’s Schmigadoon!). Timothée Chalamet’s portrayal of Willy Wonka is a bit of a departure for the actor, and plays it with overflowing enthusiasm and charm, although Jim Carter as Abacus Crunch, Paterson Joseph as Slugworth, Olivia Colman as Mrs. Scrubitt, and Hugh Grant as Lofty do manage to steal scenes away from Chalamet, which adds to the fun of the movie.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Wonka was captured digitally in 4.5K resolution with Arri Alexa LF and Mini LF cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Warner’s 2160p HEVC encode includes both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. Wonka is probably my newest demo disc to show off what a 4K HDR display is capable of, especially one that supports Dolby Vision. Blacks are deep and inky with excellent shadow detail, while highlights are bright without appearing overblown. Colors are bold and vivid when needed (the colorful candies will make your mouth drool) without appearing overly saturated. Detail is also excellent, with well-defined textures in the custom candies and costumes.

Audio: 5/5

The default Dolby Atmos mix is a delight, really coming to life during the musical numbers while reverting to a mostly front-heavy presentation during the more dialogue-heavy sequences. Music is spread nicely across all available speaker channels along with singers and acoustics to really immerse the viewer. LFE is adequate, but this is not a movie full of explosions, and instead is used to add a nice low-end to the music and other sound effects. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3.5/5

Wonka is yet another single-disc release from Warner, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially since the movie runs just under two hours on a BD100 disc, allowing a bit more breathing room for video-based special features that are a bit above the standard EPK-based ones we see nowadays.

Unwrapping “Wonka:” Paul King’s Vision (1080p; 12:28): A rather short but still interesting overall behind the scenes look at the movie.

The Whimsical Music of “Wonka” (1080p; 6:01): A look at the songs and score for the film.

Welcome to Wonka Land (1080p; 10:51): A look at the film’s production design.

Hats Off to “Wonka” (1080p; 6:47): A look at the film’s costume design.

“Wonka’s” Chocolatier (1080p; 8:51): Gabriella Cugno walks us through some of her designs for the chocolates that are featured in the film.

Musical Moments (2160p; 30:40): Watch just the musical numbers or each sequence individually.

Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere code in included to redeem a 4K digital copy.

Overall: 4/5

Director Paul King brings some of that Paddington charm to this musical origin story of Roal Dahl’s famous literary chocolatier in Wonka.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Share this post:

Most Popular
Available for Amazon Prime