THE WIZARD OF OZ 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition
In celebration of THE WIZARD OF OZ 70th Anniversary, Warner Bros has released the remastered classic 1939 film on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download (you can buy it on Amazon).
This new version of the film, The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition, comes packed with almost 4 hours of never-before-available bonus features and a really beautiful and collectible packaging. You can find more information about what the discs contain as well as all the new features below.
But for now I want to talk about the look of the film now that it’s coming on Blu-ray and what an impressive work Warner Bros has done in remastering the film.
I got a chance to get a sneak preview as some scenes of the film remastered for the release and my jaw almost dropped. The amount of detail that they were able to get out of the film is really impressive. I’m not a technical person so I won’t bore you too much with the details of the process, but to give you an idea, the previous DVD release of The Wizard of Oz had been made with them scanning the film at a 2k resolution. This time, they scanned the original film at an 8k resolution and the final master was created in 4k. Which means your getting twice the resolution you got last time.
I don’t usually care that much about whether I’m watching a DVD or a Blu-ray disc. Don’t get me wrong Blu-ray is nice, but at the end of the day DVD still looks good enough for me to enjoy a movie. But in this case, I would not buy this new version of The Wizard of Oz in any other format than Blu-ray. There are no words to explain how amazing this film looks now. Details that you might not have been able to see before are now clear as day. For example, you can now see Toto’s eyes pretty clearly, which is really impressive. At least, I was impressed.
Another fun story about the re-mastering of the film is that some of the “special effects” used while making the film, for example cables to hold the Scarecrow up, were not visible with earlier versions of the film, but now with the remastering they became visible and had to be removed for this release. So yeah, that’s how sharp it is.
Overall, after seeing a preview of what Warner Bros was able to do first hand, I have to say that this new release is definitely worth owning, especially if you are a fan of the film. Plus the Collector’s Editions comes with tons of goodies as well, so what’s not to like.
You can purchase The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Amazon.
You can also watch the promo for the release and find out more information about it below, and visit the Official Website.
The following components are ALL-NEW and exclusive to this release:
The Dreamer of Oz – which makes its long-awaited home video debut. Also remastered for the occasion, this full-length motion picture was an NBC-TV special event in 1990 and thrilled critics and audiences as it told the back story of author L. Frank Baum, “the Royal Historian of Oz.” John Ritter shines in the title role — the man who defied all odds to create the famous characters and stories. Annette O’Toole beautifully co-stars as his supportive wife, with Rue McClanahan as his challenging witch of a mother-in-law.
Victor Fleming, Master Craftsman — a new feature-length documentary produced specifically for this release about the Hollywood director who, in the same year, miraculously brought both Oz and Gone With the Wind to the screen.
Hollywood Celebrates It’s Biggest Little Stars — a new featurette that stars seven of the original “Munchkins of Oz” and tells the saga of the long journey, culminating in them receiving their own 2007 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Magic Cloak of Oz — the first release of the complete 1914 silent film, including lost footage never before included in a home video presentation of this feature (produced by Baum himself).
The Patchwork Girl of Oz — another 1914 Baum-produced, feature-length silent film, new to Warner Home Video.
The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along Track — here making its home entertainment debut.
Reproductions of Archival Material — Extraordinary renderings of the original 1939 Oz campaign, exploitation, and press books. These materials constitute a Hollywood “holy grail” for Oz, Garland, and motion picture fans alike and, for decades, have been among the most sought-after and impossible-to-find collectibles.
Behind The Curtain — a 52-page miniature coffee-table book, assembled by pre-eminent Oz historian John Fricke. Encompassing much previously unpublished material, the deluxe volume includes behind-the-scenes Oz photographs, studio memos, and script pages for abandoned scenes and musical numbers.
Exclusive Wizard of Oz Watch — A collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary watch, incorporating art from the film and enhanced with genuine crystals. Available nowhere else, this beautiful timepiece was created specially for this DVD edition.
And for the Blu-Ray Ultimate Collector’s Edition, the original extended version of “If I Only Had a Brain” performed by Ray Bolger has been remastered in hi-definition especially for this release.
TWO DISC DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
• Remastered feature with Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio (NEW)
• Sing-along Track (NEW)
• Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of Arthur Freed), Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr), Jane Lahr (daughter of Bert Lahr), Hamilton Meserve (son of Margaret Hamilton), Dona Massin (MGM choreographer), William Tuttle (make-up artist), Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy, and Jerry Maren
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
• Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
• We Haven’t Really Met Properly
• Music and Effects Track
• Original Mono Track
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic [1990 TV special]
• Memories of Oz [2001 TCM documentary]
• The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz
• Because of the Wonderful Things it Does: The Legacy of Oz
• Harold Arlen’s Home Movies
• Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
• It’s a Twister! It’s a Twister! The Tornado Tests
• Off to See the Wizard
• 3 Vault Shorts
• Audio Jukebox Selection
- Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
- Good News of 1939 Radio Show
- 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
• Still Galleries
• Six Theatrical Trailers
DVD & BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
Includes everything listed in the Two Disc SE as well as the following:
• Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman (NEW)
• L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain
• Celebrating Hollywood’s Biggest Little Stars (NEW)
• The Dreamer of Oz [1990 TV special] (NEW)
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
• The Wizard of Oz 
• His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
• The Magic Cloak of Oz  (NEW)
• The Patchwork Girl of Oz  (NEW)
• The Wizard of Oz [1925 feature]
(Blu-ray Hi-Def will have Discs 1 & 2 and Discs 3 & 4 combined)
Also included are unique premiums:
• Collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary Wizard of Oz watch with genuine crystals
• Replica of the original film budget
• Behind the Curtain, A 52-page, coffee-table book
• Reproduction of the original 1939 campaign book
EXCLUSIVE TO THE DVD and BLU-RAY HI-DEF RAY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
• Digital Copy on Disc
EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS:
• MGM: When The Lion Roars Documentary
The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition
Street Date: September 29, 2009
Order Due Date: August 25, 2009
Blu-ray Hi-Def Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Catalog # 1000044112
Ultimate Collector’s Edition (SD)
Catalog # 1000043710
Two-Disc Special Edition
Catalog #: 1000089121