Blu-ray Review “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Directed by: Mel Stuart
Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Paris Themmen, Denise Nickerson & Michael Bollner
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 100 minutes

Ultimate Collector’s Edition: 5 out of 5 stars

I have seen “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” an uncountable amount of times. I have also interview most of the cast/crew, check it out here. It is for sure in my top 5 films of all time, no question. So obviously, I will not need to say more about the film…and plus who hasn’t seen “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” at least once. When this film came to Blu-ray, I think I smiled for a complete 24 hours straight. The film is meant for this format. The colors are so vibrant, rich and brought to life on this release. The sound and music are perfect and really makes singing along very easy…come on, you all know the words. Now with the Ultimate Collector’s Edition, we get the perfect beautiful Blu-ray release and SOOOOO much more…

Besides the Blu-ray and DVD disc, the set some with a 144-page paperback book, “Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” from director Mel Stuart talking about the production from behind the scenes. Next is a replica production correspondence in a heavy paper envelope and it contains 14 letters.  A reprint of the cast list, a letter from producer Stan Margulies to Pia Arnold, a handwritten letter from Gene Wilder to Mel Stuart, a note from producer David L. Wolper to Mel Stuart and some of the letter included. There is a Wonka Bar tin container which holds four multi-colored scratch-n-sniff pencils and a scented chocolate eraser. There is also a replica of a Wonka golden ticket with an online code for a new prize giveaway. I mean if all that isn’t worth the purchase alone then you obviously aren’t a fan of this film.

The special features are a little light and not in HD but there has never been real extras on any of the releases in the past so it is not a shock. Being a fan of this film for almost 30 years, the audio commentary is worth the price of the set alone which included all five Wonka kids, Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop) and Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde). It is fun and very entertaining. The first extra is called “Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”, which runs about 30 minutes and pretty much is a verbal coverage from Mel Stuart behind the scenes book. There are four karaoke-style sing-along videos for “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” “Pure Imagination,” “I Want It Now” and “Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do.” Come all though…we all know the words! There is a really cool vintage featurette from 1971, which is really interesting and of course disc 1 wrap with the 1971 theatrical trailer. The second disc only has two special features first with “Mel Stuart’s Wonkavision” which is a new featurette that has Mel Stuart reminiscing about the film. Lastly, “A World of Pure Imagination” is a newly found vintage featurette with the interview with author Roald Dahl.

Synopsis: A poor little boy wins a ticket to visit the inside of a mysterious and magical chocolate factory. When he experiences the wonders inside the factory, the boy discovers that the entire visit is a test of his character. Special Features: Scrumptious Documentary, Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Mouth Watering Commentary With The Wonka Kids, 4 Sing-Along Songs, Vintage 1971 Featurette, Stills Gallery & Theatrical Trailer.

Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 10/18! http://bit.ly/oSDajR

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