You gotta love Blu-Ray… Blu-ray has allowed this absolute visually stunning film to be able to make way in the audiences living room without losing that immersive element Oz The Great and Powerful was able to create in the theater. This rendition/prequel to The Wizard of Oz stories that we all know and love is a wonderful way to look at the world before Dorothy.
I invite you to read our review of the film (click here), but I wanted to focus on the DVD features and quality. I am going off a DVD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy set in which I mainly focused on the Blu-ray copy. It’s good to note that Disney will finally no longer be having that 3rd disc for the digital copy. Instead you can now just enter a code online and download. Makes complete sense and I’m surprised it took this long to go this route and catch up to many of the other studios.
This particular edition has some marvelous extra features. The movie is jam packed with special effects and magical characters that come to life through digital effects. The special features allow for you to really see a bit in to all the main areas of the movie. No, these aren’t half-hour long documentaries of every aspect, but it did feel like I got a chance to really dive into the creation rather than just having a sneak peek behind the scenes. If you are already a fan of the movie, this is completely worth buying just for the extra features. Again, they aren’t terribly long, but there are some goodies that really give an in depth look at the making of the film.
Bonus Clip: Influence of Classic Disney
Let’s begin with Walt Disney And The Road to Oz. This is a short featurette that explains the history of this tale in the Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney was actually planning do his own take on The Wizard of Oz tale during the opening of Snow White. A real natural fit into what Walt Disney was truly all about. Unfortunately, he missed out on the rights as Samuel Goodwin with MGM bought the rights. Goodwin’s interest was all thanks to Disney’s success with his fantasies making him realize that adults too could enjoy these fantasy driven films. Walt came close to eventually making his own rendition, The Rainbow Road to Oz, however it never quite got off the ground and never came to fruition.
This eventually led to creation Babes in Toyland, which by watching this quick extra feature you’ll see how this led to the makings of many of the Disney classics we know today. This short doc told a story that I never knew and that many other Disney enthusiasts may be unaware of.
Bonus Clip: Practical Sets
One of the big extra features is the The Magic of Oz The Great And Powerful Second Screen Experience. Sadly I do not have an iPad, however this is supposed to interact with the film as it is played. You must download the app and connect your Wi-Fi enabled Blu-ray player. Finley from the movie will guide you through. (2nd generation iPad or above)
There is also a great extra of James Franco telling his journey in Oz. This has a little longer running time and has James Franco interviewing the main cast about their roles and thoughts of being on the film as well as digging into Sam Raimi and how the film came to be. This is a fantastic feature as it gives a sense of what it truly was like on set and how everyone got a long together.
Other special features also include:
- Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions
- China Girl And The Suspension of Disbelief – This short featurette gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the famous doll and how they brought her to life.
- Before Your Eyes: From Kansas to Oz – This is all about the cinematography, art direction and overall feel of the world of Oz. A great behind-the-scenes look at how everything was created.
- Mila’s Metamorphosis
- Bloopers – You have to have these.
You also have several options on how to hear the film. In the “Language” selection there are many audio settings:
- English 2.0 Dolby Surround (best if you’re using TV speakers)
- English 5.1 Dolby Digital
- English 7.1 DTS-HMDA Near Field Audio Mix
- English 2.0 Descriptive Video Services
- French 5.1 Dolby Digital
- Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
My biggest complaint is that there were no commentaries from anyone. That would probably be the only other item I wish was on here though. Otherwise, this is a great addition if you are a fan or at least a bit interested in the creation of the film or any other heavily CGI oriented film for that matter. By no means do I feel that this is a perfect film, but I definitely found it beautiful and entertaining. This DVD/Blu-ray helps the audience have more of a connection with the film and see how it became a gorgeous masterpiece.