Monday, March 30, 2015

Disney's Return to Oz on Blu-Ray at last

I'd presumed recently that if Disney released Return to Oz on Blu-Ray, that it would be as a Disney Movie Club exclusive. With it being a niche (if very popular) title, Disney would presume mainly collectors would want it. After all, if popular live action classics like Pollyanna, Old Yeller and The Love Bug are only getting Blu-Ray releases in Disney Movie Club, what chance did a critical and commercial flop from 1985 have, even with its cult following?

There would be good things and not so good things about this. On one hand, you would have the movie in high definition on a physical disc: no sudden compression issues due to internet streaming. On the other hand, it would be unlikely for there to be an extensive restoration of the film, and no new—if any!—bonus features on the disc.

However, Return to Oz on a plain vanilla Blu-Ray would certainly be better better than not having it on Blu-Ray at all. And thank goodness, because Return to Oz has been confirmed for such an edition, officially releasing April 14.

The only other downside is that as an exclusive, people with easy access to it would be members of Disney Movie Club. It is not unheard of for DMC exclusives to turn up on eBay or through Amazon Marketplace. But prices there often wind up being $10 over what Disney would ask its club members to pay for the title without discount.

Disney Movie Club is Disney's direct-to-the-customer home video program, including some hard to find titles in their library of animated and live action offerings, as well as titles from Marvel Studios, Pixar and Studio Ghibli. You won't find officially "vaulted" titles (so no Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or The Lion King right now), but when you do find titles that have run into short supply everywhere else, you won't find them charging exorbitant prices for them. And once you complete your VIP status through the introductory offer, you get a pretty good discount on everything in the store.

When I joined last year, I planned to slowly complete my VIP status with some upcoming Marvel and Disney titles. However, in early November (less than six months after I joined), I completed it. I didn't quite go about it the smartest way, but there's some good resources online about how to cheaply and quickly do so. As with any offer, I recommend you read up and make a decision on whether or not to join based on your own situation.

And if you decide not to but still want Return to Oz on Blu-Ray, remember that your chances of getting it will at least be higher now that a Blu-Ray of the title actually exists!

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