The Movie: "Like wildfire in a wheatfield, the fabulous tale of the Wizard of Oz spread from town to city to nation to the entire world." A true classic, The Wizard of Oz is a great movie and must-see for any true movie lover. I can remember seeing this movie as a kid and having nightmares about the wicked witch. Even now as I look back at it, I still find the witch and her little flying monkeys extremely disturbing. I'm sure everyone knows the plot of this classic movie, but in case you've forgot, Dorothy is picked up by a tornado and taken "over the rainbow" to a fantasy land where everything is in color, as opposed to black and white. She obviously wants to get back home so she ventures to see the Wizard of Oz who can get her back home. Along the way, she meets the scarecrow, the tinman and the cowardly lion, all who need to see the wizard also. Her nemesis, the wicked witch comes after Dorothy for her ruby slippers which have magical powers. You can't go wrong with the family/musical adventure The Wizard of Oz, a great American film.
The Picture: The picture on this is DVD is as clear as possible on a 1939 motion picture. Also, according to DVDFile, The Wizard of Oz was original produced with the Technicolor three-strip process where each of the primary colors were combined to create the final color product. One of the problems with this disc is with this process and the restoration. Reportedly, some of the different strips had shrunk and with certain shots this show up as a slight misalignment of color. These shots tend to look somewhat like 3D films without the glasses on.
Still, the colors are clear and vibrant and the disc looks pretty good. For a transfer from a 60 year old movie, the picture looks great and the colors are surprisingly clear.
The Sound: The sound is great on this disc. With a new Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround transfer (along with the original Dolby 2.0 mono), the sound fills your theater system with imaginative songs and the witch's evil cackles. While you can only do so much with an original mono soundtrack, I found the 5.1 to be very clear and surprisingly crisp.
The Extras: The extras are really what make this disc. There's almost too many to list. The vintage movie clips and cartoon clips are great and give a look behind the scenes of how they created certain shots. There are also 5 trailers from the original 1939 "What is Oz" to the 1949 re-release and the 1998 re-issue trailers. The newsreel excerpts are also fun to watch as we can look back at our nation's history and it's also fun to peruse the original shooting script and notice the differences between the script and the final film. Also included is the extensive audio program of original recording session material and readio broadcasts, a must-hear for any true fan of this movie. It's a great feature because you can just play this and turn the TV off and listen to it while you do other chores. I haven't had a chance to view the behind-the-scenes documentary, but I'm sure it is on par with the superior excellence of the rest of the extra features.
Conclusion: In conclusion, this disc is a great example of what a DVD should be. With extensive extras, a new 5.1 surround audio transfer and good picture, The Wizard of Oz DVD is not to be passed up. If you can spare a couple extra bucks, you can pick up the Deluxe Edition Gift set with rare photos and poster art reproductions along with a printed version of the original shooting script. Combining a great movie with an extensive extras list, The Wizard of Oz is a great disc that no true DVD collection should be without.