Blu-ray Review “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 10th Anniversary Edition”

Actors: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor
Directors: Tim Burton
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Run Time: 115 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I can’t believe that it has already been 1o years since Tim Burton rebooted the 1971 cult classic hit “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with his film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Despite most of the critics and public, I did enjoy this film. Johnny Depp is a looney in it and nails the role. Of course he is no Gene Wilder but it is also a completely different movie, so give and that there. This is a film that only Tim Burton could have remade. So even though I love this film, this 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray doesn’t really impress at all.

Official Premise: An eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka (Depp), long isolated from his own family, launches a worldwide contest to select an heir to his candy empire. Five lucky children, including Charlie (Highmore), a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka’s extraordinary factory, draw golden tickets from Wonka chocolate bars and win a guided tour of the legendary candy-making facility that no outsider has seen in 15 years. Dazzled by one amazing sight after another, Charlie is drawn into Wonka’s fantastic world in this astonishing and enduring story.

The only real selling point of this release is for a snazzy new case and an exclusive 30 page photo book with photos and stills from the production and also a personal message from Tim Burton. That is all. There is no additional improved video or audio presentations here. We get the same special features as the previous 2011 release as well. Not that either of those were bad originally but in terms of upgrade to this release, there really isn’t any reason to purchase this unless you are a die-hard fan or if you have never owned this Blu-ray before.

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

“Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” Interview Series

“Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” was one of my favorite films growing up (and still is today).  There is just something about this film that is so special and you can tell with certain movies how they get passed down generation to generation.  It is surely a film that will never been forgotten.

2011 is a very special year for the film as it is the 40th anniversary.  I wanted a chance to interview the cast and director from the film and get a chance to discuss the film with them.  Not only did I have an amazing time doing so but also I made a few friends a long the way.  I really hope you enjoy these interviews.  We are still hoping to add a few more to this list…so stay tuned!

WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY INTERVIEWS:


Denise Nickerson

Diana Sowle

Julie Dawn Cole

Leonard Stone

Mel Stuart

Paris Themmen

 

Related Content