The 75th anniversary edition of the much beloved classic The Wizard of Oz comes to Blu-ray in a beautifully package box set that will delight fans. Along with incredible sound and picture, this special edition comes loaded with collectables that will make the journey down the yellow brick road that much more fun to take.
The five-disc set (which includes the Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Ultraviolet editions of the film) is housed in a beautiful box that also contains a collectiable journal, a Sparkle Ruby Slippers globe, Noble Collection three-piece enamel pin set, a Map of Oz and a 48-page hardcover book. Of all the extras in the set, the book is the real treat and features a detailed timeline that follows the film through production along with test photos, make-up shots, and tons of behind-the-scenes photos.
Along with previously released bonus material, the limited numbered set also includes the all-new documentary The Making of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz – which details how the film journeyed from script to screen and the various hurdles it had to jump along the way to becoming an iconic part of pop culture and cinema history. The feature includes interview clips with Judy Garland, Buddy Ebsen, Margaret Hamilton and more.
The premise of The Wizard of Oz is so engrained in our pop culture psyche that it is impossible not to know the story. But as a recap (in case there is one person out there who doesn’t know this by heart), Dorothy Gale (Garland) lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em (Clara Blandick) and Uncle Henry (Charley Grapewin). She has trouble with the neighbor, Miss Gulch, who wants to take her dog Toto away from her. Miss Gulch is played by Margaret Hamilton, who also played the infamous role of The Wicked Witch.
The troubles with Miss Gulch are swept away as a tornado blows in and Dorothy is caught in the house. The house is blown to the land of Oz, where Dorothy’s adventures began. The house accidently falls on The Wicked Witch of the East, and the slippers on that witch’s feet are given to Dorothy by Glinda the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke).
It is interesting to note that in the book (written by L. Frank Baum), the slippers were silver. For the film, the slippers became the iconic ruby red slippers to make the most of the new color technology (and do they ever pop in the 1080p format).
Dorothy follows the yellow brick road and meets three now unmistakable characters—The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), The Tin Man (Jack Haley), and The Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). All of these characters need something to make them whole: The Scarecrow needs a brain, The Lion needs courage, and Tin Man needs a heart. Combined with Dorothy’s need to get back home to Kansas, the foursome start out toward Emerald City with the intent to ask The Wizard (Frank Morgan) for these things.
Along the way, they must fight off attacks from The Wicked Witch who wants the ruby red slippers and revenge for the killing of her sister (though it was an accident the house fell on her). Flying monkeys and spells abound…but they make it to the Emerald City, which, by the way, is very, very green in 1080p.
When the foursome encounters the man-behind-the-curtain, they are a bit disappointed, and Dorothy lets him have it. He sends them on a mission he thinks they won’t be able to succeed in – go and bring back The Wicked Witch’s broom stick.
It was a great treat to watch this again, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this classic from my childhood. I watched it with my kids, and I appreciated the story all over again and how it has been so engrained in our pop culture. On Blu-ray, the film is simply spellbinding and the colors and costumes of Oz amaze.
The ruby slippers shine and sparkle, and the yellow brick road jumps out at you. Glinda looks more beautiful than I remember. The crystal clear picture also brings out details I never noticed before when I watched the movie – such as Glinda’s butterfly necklace at her throat or the Scarecrow’s weapon of choice when they go after the witch.
Simply put, The Wizard of Oz is magical once again with the release of this limited edition 75th Anniversary set. The movie holds up and the nostalgia factor really wows you. Oz fans will love the special features included in the set, and the extra goodies make it well worth the purchase price. This is a set easy to recommend.
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.