Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10th Anniversary of Pan's Labyrinth - It's Lasting Appeal - & the Coming (Loaded!) Blu-ray & 'Making Of' Book

Blu-ray Criterion art
On October 11th, 2006, Pan's Labyrinth debuted in Spain. Widely critically acclaimed at the time and now hailed as a modern classic, the movie went on to receive 97 awards, including 3 Oscars. While awards can be impressive, what's even more so, is that the film constantly tops 'best of' lists to this day, including ours.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, and the soon-to-be-released Blu-ray from Criterion, and the 'making of' book, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth: Inside the Creation of a Modern Fairy Taleboth being released on October 18th (!), we're including some of our newsroom team's favorite alternate posters, some officially commissioned for movie promotion, some fan made. The variety of styles illustrates just how widely appealing this movie is, as each of them represents the movie well.

Aaron Horkey
Jared Wright
But what is it people like about Pan's Labyrinth? Talk to a number of people and you'll likely get many different answers, from how beautiful it is to the layered meanings, many of which can be interpreted differently by different people. Not surprisingly, that's a large part of the appeal.

This article HERE on Moviepilot, made an effort to distill the factors to a small list and, we think, did an admirable job. Here are the main points Moviepilot writer Roselyn listed:

  • Appealing to a wide audience
  • Our love of fairy tale
  • Open to interpretation
  • Exceptionally beautiful

We're including a small excerpt of the explanation for each point but recommend you read the whole article yourself):
Stewart Forrest

Appealing to a wide audience - 
Pan’s Labyrinth straddles the boundaries between many genres and masterfully balances each one so that it truly has something to offer everyone. At once a work of gritty historical fiction and a fantastical fairy tale, the movie is both realistic and magical. Yet, these halves do not merely coexist; events in the fantasy world eerily mirror those in the "real" world, providing important clues as to the deeper meanings of the film.
Our love of fairy tale - 
 Pan’s Labyrinth is perhaps most importantly a modern reimagining of a fairy tale that is as dark as Grimm’s original tales.Another possible explanation of Pan’s Labyrinth’s popularity is that the film taps into our love of fairy tales. We love fairy tales because they are, in their simplest form, a battle between good and evil... Real life is never that simple, but fairy tales give us hope that things will work out in the end.While some fairy tale elements, such as the rule of three, are left intact,Pan’s Labyrinth also manipulates classical elements to create something new. Rather than a damsel in distress, Ofelia is a heroine. And it is not an evil stepmother, but an evil stepfather who enters her life. As a result, Pan’s Labyrinth is inherently familiar to us, but also innovative in ways that invite us to watch more closely.
Mike Delmundo
Open to interpretation -
Pan’s Labyrinth is completely open for individual interpretation. The movie never provides any concrete answers and you are left to piece together the plot in a way that makes the most sense to you. Morals and lessons are never overtly revealed and how you interpret the more ambiguous parts of the film can create new meanings.Like any great work of film or literature, Pan’s Labyrinth’s strength lies in the fact that it is not constrained to any time or place, but can be interpreted by anyone. Every viewer can bring something new to the discussion and can relate to the movie in their own way.
Edward Julian Moran II

Exceptionally beautiful -
Or perhaps most simply, Pan’s Labyrinth’s popularity has to do with the film’s exceptionally beautiful design. Highly stylized and carefully constructed, there is not a single element out of place. Each scene bursts with details and everything about the design is linked to the central themes of the film.Pan’s Labyrinth creates a world that is vividly real and a plot that is easy to follow in spite of all it’s complexity. Quite simply, Pan’s Labyrinth is a pleasure to watch.
We recommend reading the whole article HERE.

In the meantime, keep a sharp eye out for the coming Blu-ray and the book. Reports are that the Blu-ray is worth every penny and more - not to be missed, and the book is a treasure. Check out the official list of Blu-ray extras below!
  • Director's Introduction - this archival video introduction by director-writer-producer Guillermo del Toro was shot in 2007. In English, not subtitled. (1 min, 1080i).
  • Del Toro and Funke - in this brand new video interview, Guillermo del Toro discusses his interest in fairy tales, the manner in which kids and adults approach and decipher them, the impact they had on his films, some of the key conflicts in Pan's Labyrinth and the world in which its protagonists exist, etc. Also participating is novelist Cornelia Funke (Inkheart). The interviews was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2016. In English, not subtitled. (40 min, 1080p).
  • Director's Notebook - presented here is an interactive gallery with Guillermo del Toro's notebook of drawings and sketches for Pan's Labyrinth, with short video inserts featuring comments from the director. The notebook was produced by Javier Soto in 2007. In English, not subtitled. (1080i).

    1. Del Toro Intro. (1 min).
    2. Gallery - with an interactive interface.
SAE (Real name unknown)
  • Documentaries - the four documentaries were produced by Javier Soto in 2007.

    1. The Power of Myth - in this featurette, Guillermo del Toro discusses the specific time period that is depicted inPan's Labyrinth, some of the symbolism that is channeled through the main story, and its main protagonists and the dilemmas they face. In English, not subtitled. (15 min, 1080i).

    2. Pan and the Fairies - in this this featurette, Guillermo del Toro discusses the many unique characters that appear in Pan's Labyrinth as well as the special effects/costumes that were used in the film. Also included in the featurette are clips from archival interviews with some of the special effects artists that contributed to the film. In English and Spanish, with optional English subtitles where necessary. (31 min, 1080i).

    3. The Color and the Shape - in this featurette, Guillermo del Toro discusses the use of color in Pan's Labyrinthand the film's visual style. In English, not subtitled. (5 min, 1080i).

    4. The Melody Echoes the Fairy Tale - in this featurette, Guillermo del Toro discusses his initial interactions with composer Javier Navarrete and the soundtrack he created for Pan's Labyrinth. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080i).
Rhys Cooper
  • Doug Jones - in this new video interview, actor Doug Jones, who plays the Faun and Pale Man, discusses his contribution to Pan's Labyrinth and Guillermo del Toro's working methods. Included in the interview is plenty of raw archival footage that shows the preparation work that was needed for his transformations before each shooting session. The interviews was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2016. In English, not subtitled. (26 min, 1080p).
Adam Rabalais
  • Ivana Baquero Audion - presented here is archival footage from actress Ivana Baquero's audio for the role of Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth which was shot on April 10, 2005. In Spanish, with optional English subtitles. (3 min, 1080i).
  • Prequel Comics - presented here four animated comic-style stories with original tales for the unique creatures that are seen in Pan's Labyrinth, which were produced by Javier Soto and illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, Guy Davis, and Michael Kaluta in 2007. With sound effects.

    1. The Giant Toad. (1 min, 1080i).
    2. The Fairies. ( 1 min, 1080i).
    3. The Faun. (1 min, 1080i).
    4. The Pale Man (2 min, 1080i).
Consider Graphics
  • Video Comparisons - presented here are three video pieces that offer before-and-after comparisons that highlight the type of work (from concept work to music) that was done during the pre-prodction process. The three pieces were produced in 2007. 

    1. Lullaby. (3 min, 1080i).
    2. The Green Fairy. (2 min, 1080i).
    3. Thumbnails/Storyboards. (1080i).
    • Del Toro Intro
    • Ofelia Enters the Labyrinth
    • Ofelia and the Giant Toad
    • Death of the Doctor
    • Ofelia's Death
Daniel Serra
  • Trailers and TV Spots - presented here is a large collection of original trailers and TV spots for Pan's Labyrinth.

    1. Teaser
    2. Trailer
    3. TV Spot: "Deadly"
    4. TV Spot: "Trap"
    5. TV Spot: "Three Tasks"
    6. TV Spot: "Top Critics"
    7. TV Spot: "Nominations"
    8. TV Spot: "Phenomenon"
    9. TV Spot: "Accolades"
Drew Struzan
Bo Moore
  • Commentary - this audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro was recorded in 2007 and initially appeared on New Line Cinema's release of Pan's Labyrinth. The director explains in great detail how the idea for the film emerged, where and how various sequences were shot, the film's unique narrative structure and visual style, etc.

    1. An important juxtaposition
    2. References and insects
    3. Camera movement
    4. Stunning single shot
    5. From true accounts
    6. Magical green hues
    7. Frustrating first day
    8. Wipes
    9. Pale Man foreshadowing
    10. Circles and curves
    11. Based on reality
    12. Subtle changes
    13. Noteworthy pattern
    14. Straight out of Goya
    15. The original story
    16. Magical moment
    17. No salaries
    18. Control freak
    19. Hopelessness
    20. Ambiguity of symbols
    21. Willful miscasting
    22. A satisfying scene
    23. "My favorite shot"
    24. Wings of fire
    25. Fairy-tale moment
    26. Immortality
    27. "From the heart"
  • Leaflet - an illustrated leaflet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson.
Kelly McKernan
    • Book - a 100-page illustrated hardcover book featuring an introduction by author Neil Gaiman and essays by critics Michael Atkinson, Mark Kermode, and Maitland McDonagh, as well as production notes and original sketches by Guillermo del Toro and illustrators Carlos Giménez and Raúl Monge. (Note: The book is available only with the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro box set).
    Do we need to mention the box set is now on our wish list?

    Guillermo Del Toro Collection - Cronos / The Devil's Backbone / Pan's Labyrinth [Blu-ray]

    1 comment:

    1. I dunno, I never liked Pan's Labyrinth. I can appreciate it as a work of art, but I don't *like* it. I can't pinpoint to exactly why, but I guess the movie was too short. I never felt like we saw enough of Ofelia's life in the real world to make interested in seeing how she dealt with it psychologically. What we *do* see is intense and certainly realistic... but that realism is a problem: It means that what we see in Pan's Labyrith we've seen countless times before in other war movies. The stepfather may seem like a monster to Ofelia and that's why we we onl ever see him do monstrous things... but this means he pales in comparison to other antagonists in military roles who also do monstrous things, but still revealtheir humanity. A one-dimensional villain is not iteresting, especially not in a movie that wants to be realistic. In movies like Labyrinth we also only see snippets of the protagonist's life and their friends and family may also stay one dimensional, but their journey to the fantasy world itself is interesting enough to capture my attention. In Labyrinth the fantasy world seems small, which one again, may be intentional, butdoes littleto stimulate the imagination and the beautiful sets is drenched in that horrble filter that plagued 2000s movie making. And even in the fantas worl we don't really see anything new. The quote you cited praises that Pan's labyrinth mixesfamilia fairytale elements withnew ideas, but for someone well versed in folklore who already knows brave heroines and evil stepfathers, it doesn't really bring anything new to the table. The second Ofelia enters the roomwith the banquet, it is clear how the rest of the scene will play out. I just don't find theLabyrinth scenesinteresting enough to justify for them to take so much screen time from the main plot which I found much more interesting. Even the ambiguity is lost when the director tells us clearly that everything that happens to Ofelia is real.

      The comics do seem like they solve a lot of gripes I have with the plot, but for the movie itself, I just can't help myself but to dislike it