The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1971
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Danish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Leonard Stone, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, Michael Bollner,
Directed by: Mel Stuart
Music by: Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newly
Written by: Roald Dahl based upon his book Charlie and the chocolate factory
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 18, 2011
"Enter a world of pure imagination"
Join the expedition visiting legendary Candy Man Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) in a splendiferous movie that wondrously brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl's classic book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production design that constantly dazzles the eye, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy's incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum) will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. And you'll rediscover the timeless magic of a delicious family classic.
Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory will forever hold a special place among my favorite childhood films. I don't recall whether I saw it first in the theater or on television but I remember the effect its endearing characters and message had when I was young and how much I looked forward to seeing it when it aired every year. I loved the idea that a little boy who grew up with nothing, and asked for so little was rewarded with the answer to his dreams. The magic and mystery surrounding Willy Wonka and his factory of secrets seemed perfect in tune with the imagination of children. Gene Wilder's wonderful performance made it all the better and serves as the film's centerpiece. Second to that are the memorable songs by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newly which are performed by the cast. The remaining members of the cast, Peter Ostrum and Jack Albertson (who are terrific), the four child actors (love Julie Dawn Cole's Varuca Salt!), and their respective parents are equally deserving of praise.
I didn't much care for Tim Burton's Charlie and the chocolate factory. For me this film epitomizes the story and has an endearing charm and timeless appeal that can be shared from one generation to the next. I never tire of watching it and thoroughly enjoyed this nostalgic revisit. This 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray + DVD Set makes for a terrific companion to the film and features a host of Wonka fan goodies which includes, Pure Imagination, a 144 page collectible book with rare photos and revealing insights into the making of the film, a Wonka bar shaped tin box with scented pencils/eraser, a limited time Golden Ticket replica which includes an instant win game opportunity, and an envelope containing replicas of various production related memos/notes etc. This release makes for an excellent keepsake that more than likely will only find a place in the collections of the most ardent Wonka fans. It now sits prominently displayed on my shelf.
This film is appropriate for all audiences.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.4 Mbps.
This appears to be the same VC-1 encode found on the previous Blu-ray release (s) and comes framed in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Primary colors are pleasing to the eye while secondary colors are just a step below in saturation. The blend works well as the variety of colors appear vivid. Fleshtones are predominantly lifelike with warm complexions that on occasion take on a balmier quality. Contrast is tamped down and black levels/shadow detail is respectable which provides dark/low level sequences with ample depth. Resolution is fair however the rendering of detail can be a bit inconsistent which results in some scenes appearing soft by comparison. Delineation during close ups is a bit of a mixed bag, looking sharp with appreciable refinement one moment and smoother and lacking defining texture the next. These are minor quibbles that are generally innate to the original photography. The bottom line is that while this high definition presentation falls short of the better looking catalog release titles available on Blu-ray it does present Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory in its finest light since coming to home video.
The multi-channel lossless soundtrack renders clear dialogue in a mostly front oriented presentation that offered a few splashes of light ambience through the surround channels. Dynamic is limited, as is low frequency detail but that isn't a problem. The musical set pieces feature smooth instrumentation, sibilant free highs and just a hair of edginess is some of the vocals. The overall blend of music and sound effects through the front channel speakers is rendered with good clarity, limited but fair dimensional perspective and average depth. The presentation never sounded thin and based upon the dated elements in the recording sounded just fine.
Disc 1: (Blu-ray)
- Audio commentary with Wonka kids
- Pure Imagination: The story of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory - 30 minute documentary
- Vintage 1974 featurette - 4 minutes
- Sing along songs (with lyrics ala karaoke style)
- I've got a golden ticket
- Pure imagination
- I want it now
- Theatrical trailer
Disc 2: (Special Features DVD)
- A world of pure imagination - 13 minute vintage featurette
- Mel Stuart's Wonkavision - 14 minute featurette
- DVD of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory
Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory will forever hold a special place among my favorite childhood films. It has an endearing charm and timeless appeal that can be shared from one generation to the next. This 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition marks its third Blu-ray release however it makes for an enticing offering for diehard fans. It features a host of Wonka collectibles, all previously released supplements, two exclusive featurettes, and audio/video quality that presents the film in its finest light since coming to home video. I suspect that only the most ardent of Wonka fans will opt to add this to their collections but my guess is that they will be pleased they did.
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JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package