Blu-Ray Review: The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition


The Wizard of Oz finally comes to Blu-ray in a beautiful 3 Disk Emerald and Ultimate Edition packages.  I’m not going to waste time reviewing one of the all time great movies and probably the film that I’ve seen the most (over 42 times). It’s the definition of “classic,” and will always hold up to repeat viewings. I wasn’t sure if  the 70th Edition version was the restored, remastered print from 1998 ago or a brand new one. So I went back and put in the DVD of the last Ultimate Edition and the difference is stark. After watching the Blu-ray version I couldn’t even bare to look at the old DVD. The opening black and white moments actually weren’t shot in “black and white,” there was a sepia tone (?) tint to it so it’s a little odd when you are used to the old stark/grainy black and white from the past. There’s not a spec of dirt or grain on this, all the costumes and sets look fresh and alive. This is just the opening portion. When they get to Oz, wow, just wow, it’s beautiful. The new blu-ray version is so much sharper, clearer, and cleaner the old 1998 Restored print.

The only thing I don’t like about the Blu-ray version is that it’s not widescreen it’s in standard 4:3 aspect ratio. It was filmed in 4:3 so it stands to reason that any remastering would maintain that.  I also found the Blu-ray to be a bit buggy with it freezing several times while navigating around the Extra features menu. This disk uses the standard Warner menu template meaning it’s all scrunched up text that you can barely see. Audio is in 6 different languages with a detailed Commentary track by film historian John Fricke and Others.  I like how Warner Home Video Blu-rays jumps right into the movie without going through menus or previews. It’s a nice touch.  This set includes all of the features that were released a few years ago and it’s extensive. The movie itself is only 1 and 45 minutes, but the extras are well over 6 hours.  I’m the type of person who simply doesn’t want to know that much about a movie – it takes away the magic.


Disk 1

  • Commentary Track by John Fricke and a bunch of other folks
  • The Making of a Movie Classic the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (50 Minutes) (SD)
  • The Art and Imagination A Tribute to The Wizard of Oz (30 Min) (SD)
  • Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz (25 Min) (SD)
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Story Book (11 Min) (SD)
  • Memories of Oz (28 Min) (SD)
  • Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz (11 Min) (SD)
  • We Haven’t Really Met Properly (22 Min) (SD) – Interviews and Bios with the Original Cast
  • Singalong with the Movie – Wizard of Oz Karaoke
  • Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power (11 Min) (SD) – A neat look at a black and white documentary about how MGM Studios was powered.
  • Cavalcade of Academy Awards (2 Min) (SD)
  • Off to See the Wizard Excerpts (4 Min) (SD) – Cartoon Segments for an old ABC Family Movie Series
  • Still Galleries
  • Original Oz Trailers
  • Deleted Scenes

Whew, that’s a lot of content, but wait, there’s a 2nd Disk of features!

Disk 2

  • Victor Fleming Master Craftsman (35 Min) (SD)
  • L. Frank Baum The Man Behind the Curtain (27 Min) (SD)
  • Hollywood Celebrates It’s Biggest Little Stars! (11 Min) (SD)
  • The Dreamer of Oz (1 hr 32 Min) (SD) – An old movie about the life of L. Frank Baum. Very cool.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1910 (13 Min) (SD) – The Original Silent film version of Oz
  • His Majesty The Scarecrow of Oz (1914) – 60 Mins
  • The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914) (43 Min) (SD) – 43 Min Silent Movie
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) (51 Min) (SD) – Silent Movie
  • The Wizard of Oz (1925) (1 hr 25 min) (SD)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1933) (9 Min) (SD) – Cartoon Short in Technicolor


I’m a sucker, I own the first Wizard of Oz Special edition DVD set, then I ran out and purchased the 3 Disk ultimate set a few years ago and I originally promised myself that I wouldn’t be suckered again, but I don’t know. The picture quality of this new version absolutely destroys the last print there are so many new details and layers unveiled that I never noticed before. The difference is night and day.  The only question I have for myself is do I get the Blu-ray or the DVD Version? I don’t like watching Blu-rays in 4:3 on a 50 inch 1080p HDTV it just looks kind of retarded add that all of the extras are in SD makes it a real tough call (without having seen the DVD version). As far as extras they threw in everything but the Kitchen Sink, it’s an absolutely amazing collection documentaries, original shorts, stills, original marketing material, everything you could ever want. Even if you already own a copy of The Wizard of Oz this is a triple dip that’s actually worthwhile.


  • Move – A+
  • Video Quality – A+
  • Extras – A+
  • Menu – C
  • Audio – A

Final Overall Grade A+
EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 10.11.09