Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful Blu-Ray review

Listen up right now... If you are still deciding what edition to get Oz the Great and Powerful in, go for the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack! Even if you don't have a Blu-Ray player! The included DVD is exactly the same as the standalone disc, and if you ever upgrade to a Blu-Ray player, you have the HD version available.

Real quick, if you have a working printer, jump through the hoops to get this coupon, unless you'll be purchasing your copy online or after June 14th.

I bought my copy early this morning at Wal-Mart, where it sold for $19.95 (though the price was listed on the shelf for $10 more). With the above linked coupon, it was $12.95 before taxes. (It can be used at other stores.)

The combo pack also offers additional value if you have a Disney Movie Rewards account (which is part of what the above coupon-getting process requires). Instead of a disc to hold a digital copy, for the first time, Disney is distributing the digital copy for iTunes download, Amazon Instant Video, or (and I was most excited about this) Vudu. I went for Vudu, since I have it available on my Blu-Ray player. This means that instead of grabbing the disc, I can bring it up in Vudu and watch the movie by streaming on my computer or Blu-Ray player (or whatever Vudu-available device I might get in the future).

The additional value includes entering you in the Oz the Great and Powerful sweepstakes (your purchase gets you a free entry with Disney Movie Rewards), where someone will win a trip to the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. 50 first prize winners will get a set of Oz the Great and Powerful toys, and 50 second prize winners will get copies of the soundtrack CD. (For once, the second prize is much more desirable to me.)

Also, the rumored offer to get the 3D version of the film for just $5.99? It's real. I already put in my order (despite lack of a 3D setup, but it's Oz!), and this uses the same code you use for the digital copy. No more clipping a proof of purchase off your copy's sleeve and mailing it in. (There is also no surprise surcharge for shipping.) This offer will end October 31st, so if you plan on waiting to see if the price will go down, don't wait too long.

I'll likely have to get a 3-disc Blu-Ray case to repackage the set, but since I've been doing that recently with other Blu-Ray and DVD titles anyway, I'm not really complaining.

Also some extra value (for me anyway) came with an $8 certificate to put towards Disney's next hopeful blockbuster The Lone Ranger. My dad's always been a Lone Ranger fan, so I managed to give it to him as an early Father's Day present. (If you want to shave that off as a discount, after the coupon, the 3D disc offer, the cost for the set is $10.94.)

As you can expect, the film looks and sounds perfect on Blu-Ray, offering a clear picture. The DVD also looks great, though while I was buying the film, I noticed they were playing it on many TVs on display and the standard definition really suffered on the larger ones. Very much, the DVD will suit you fine if you still have a small screen. (Which I actually do.) The idea that you might eventually upgrade is why I recommend the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack so you don't have to get a Blu-Ray later.

The special features are actually very fun and informative (though I do wonder what book Mila Kunis talks about when she says she read a book as a child called The Return to Oz). However, while they give a nice look at the making of the movie (particularly James Franco's "My Journey in Oz" piece), it seemed that most of them would really be better if they had been part of a larger "making of" feature.

There are also bloopers which are family-friendly and actually rather funny, and a piece about Walt Disney's desire to make Oz into a film, focusing quite a bit on The Rainbow Road to Oz. There's quite a bit of good stuff here, including interviews with Mousketeers Doreen Tracy and Bobby Burgess. Return to Oz does get a nod, though they make it clear that it's not the Oz movie Walt Disney would have made. The Muppets Wizard of Oz does not get a mention at all.

The downside to the special features is the Second Screen experience. There's a couple more features about the making of, and a piece about the characters of the film. The problem is, you can't see these unless you have a second generation or later iPad. Which I don't have. And don't really want. I'd hope that someone could sneak them onto YouTube, except our friend Ryan Jay reports that he can't get his to work. There's also Mariah Carey's "Almost Home" music video, but that is on YouTube.

Despite the Second Screen disappointment, the package is still pretty satisfactory nonetheless. Especially if you can get it at a really good price.

1 comment:

Mike LaMontagne, author WIzard of Oz: Dark Witch Rising trilogy said...

Is it possible the Mila Kunis is referring to the paperback adaption to the movie Return to Oz? I'm not exactly sure how old she is, but it seems like she would have been a child still when the movie and its adaptation came out.

I just received the DVD as a Father's Day gift on Sunday and haven't viewed any of the promotional material yet. To be honest, I wasn't in a hurry to watch the bonus features, but after reading your blog I think I'll be putting the disc back in and viewing them tonight.