The Fabelmans – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The Fabelmans

Recently, several filmmakers have created films that took a close, personal look at their cinematic upbringings. For Kenneth Branagh, it was Belfast, and for Sam Mendes, it was Empire of Light. A grandmaster at his craft, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelsman is his most personal film and gives audiences a look at why he is the director he is today.

At its core, the film isn’t necessarily about Spielberg’s life but about family, forgiveness, and a man finding his voice through the power of movies. Between an insight into some devastating family drama and dealing with anti-Semitism head-on in high school, The Fabelmans lets audiences understand a part of why Spielberg is who he is. 

Some will quickly criticize Spielberg’s biased and sentimental approach to telling his life, but, as he states, there are no villains in The Fabelmans. These are people and characters that he still loves despite their massive flaws. In a way, this is Spielberg’s way of coping with the things that happened in his life. He even filmed one of the final scenes between Paul Dano and Gabriel LaBelle on the 1-year anniversary of his father’s death. Regardless, it says a lot about how artists cope with pain.

Nevertheless, the film is full of fantastic performances from top to bottom. Michelle Williams’ moving performance as Mitzi is as playful as it is sad. Also, Paul Dano is heartbreaking as Sammy’s devoted and loving dad, Burt. Even Seth Rogen is surprisingly grounded and dramatic as Burt’s best friend, Bennie. Yet, the film’s rock is Gabriel LaBelle, who fills the movie with heart and laughs.

Overall, The Fabelmans is a film that warms you from the inside. Adapting some of the most challenging moments of his life, Steven Spielberg helps us once again rediscover the powerful magic of cinema.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

The Fabelmans - Paul Dano, Mateo Zoryan, and Michelle Williams


The Fabelmans hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 transfer and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Universal presents a beautiful video presentation that displays filmic realism. The Dolby Vision implements deep, impressively rich blacks. The DV addition only improves the picture with a gorgeous color palette. As a whole, the palette is warm and vibrant, with excellent, subtle hue shadings. The image is a sharp and richly detailed presentation with no issues whatsoever. It captures everything beautifully, from backgrounds and surroundings to character and clothing textures that look sharp and clearly defined throughout the film.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

The Fabelmans - Gabriel LaBelle


The Fabelmans hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This audio presentation may not be a Dolby Atmos mix, but it does its job well and shouldn’t disappoint. Atmospherics such as nature and school sounds are realistic throughout the film. John Williams’s enchanting orchestral score is rendered nicely with a broad and spatial soundstage. The audio mix also reproduces the dialogue focusing on clarity and balance. Overall, it does its job for this kind of film.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

The Fabelmans - Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Keeley Karsten, Julia Butters, and Sophia Kopera

Special Features

The Fabelmans’ Ultra HD Blu-ray disc has the following special features on the disc:

  • The Fabelmans: A Personal Journey
  • Family Dynamics
  • Crafting the World of The Fabelmans
Features Assessment

There may be a few bonus features in this release. Still, these featurettes have a personal touch and feature a lot of Spielberg speaking. In A Personal Journey, Spielberg and Tony Kushner discuss many facets of the movie, including why Spielberg decided to tell this part of his life now and how these events shaped who he is as a filmmaker.

As you might expect, Family Dynamics is about the cast members representing the essential people in his life. It’s an in-depth look at who the actors are and why Spielberg cast them to play these real-life people. Crafting the World highlights the talented production designers and crew members who brought Fabelmans to life. This featurette has several intriguing moments and stories that deepen your appreciation for the film.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, The Fabelmans is an honest and intimate gift from Steven Spielberg to the world. The video and audio presentations are spot-on for this film, and the bonus features are excellent from top to bottom.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

The Fabelmans hits stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 14th.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Home Entertainment.

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