It seems that I was waiting and waiting, then all at once all of my favorite childhood films are all coming out on Blu-Ray. The newest release is the David L Wolper classic, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”. I have watched this film 100s of times over the years and because it has such vibrant colors and interesting visuals, I have been impatiently waiting for the Blu-Ray version of the film. I am happy to announce that visually this film was worth the wait and often I felt like I was watching the movie for the first time.
It is Willy Wonka, so you get what you expect out of the HD experience, color! It is wonderful to finally see the full in this format and while I have watched the movie 100s of time over the years (I used to work in a video store), the 1080p HD makes it feel like a whole new experience. Of course this only applies to the main feature. The extras are presented in 480i or 480 standard def.
Audio sounded good, especially on the songs. Wish I had a richer sound setup to really test the audio. The movie has Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital 5.1. In addition to English you also have French, Spanish, German Italian and Portuguese tracks. Believe me, you have not heard Willy Wonka until you have hear it in Portuguese. Their is of course subtitles for all those languages plus subtitles for Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.
There is the 30-minute documentary “Pure Imagination” which shows some of the cast today, including all the children and Gene Wilder. This is a great bonus, but is a painfully short 30 minutes that will leave you wanting more. Also included is the original theatrical trailer, a 4-minute featurette on the production design, and feature-length audio commentary from the children, who have now grown up. The BR also includes a 38 page booklet that is filled with photos and the lyrics to the songs, which I enjoyed looking over.
Overall a great addition to my HD library. Would I like more extras? Always. I just cannot figure out what else from the film might be out there, that I would find entertaining. This seems pretty complete and from the picture to the packaging – it is a class title. You can pick up this gem on Amazon for $23.99 (it makes a great Thanksgiving film, so order soon).