I was a projectionist the summer Matilda came out. Then I got the Blu-ray when all the kids were grown up. Now it’s on 4K and it feels like rediscovering the whimsical fantasy all over again.
You can see the grain in the 1996 film. The colors are subtle but distinct, with pink and blue in the natal ward, the Edward Scissorhands-esque neighborhood and the gaudy, cluttered Wormwood house. The clash of colors makes their aesthetic with green placemats, a yellow ceiling, lavender curtains, flower patterned walls.
The night surrounding Matilda’s bed is pitch black, and the hall before she opens the door to let the light in. Also the moment when she blows the power out. Her hiding place at the grimy, overgrown Crunchem Hall and the cake eating scene employ stark darkness too.
Danny DeVito recorded a new commentary for the 4K UHD edition. He is scene specific and still having fun watching the movie in 2023. He explains some choices and reveals some of how they did it but gets a bit lethargic after 30 minutes. He still peppers the commentary with anecdotes.
There are no new extras with the cast but the thorough previous ones are still on Blu-ray. I didn’t notice any major sound effects despite the whirlwind film.