One of the most treasured family movies of all time, The Wizard of Oz, touches down on the 4K Ultra HD format. But how does it go on the format? Will it blow you away, or break your heart?
The story: It’s the classic tale where Judy Garland gets a bump to the bonce and is whisked away to a wonderful place full of good witches, bad witches, little folk and beings with missing bits. Whether you see it as a religious, political, feminist or other allegory, or simply as a fun bit of family film viewing, there’s something for everybody.
“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?”
The 4K disc: Off the top of our heads, this is the oldest movie yet to make the transition to the 4K Ultra HD format. We’re delighted to report that any concerns that it might show that age as far as picture quality goes are unfounded, as this truly looks superb, and is a credit to the restoration team. The movie begins in its classic sepia colouring before that incredible leap into the world of full Technicolor. The wondrous, eye-popping spectacle is aided by Dolby Vision HDR encoding (HDR10+ is also present, should your hardware support it) and while really accentuating the colour – that yellow brick road, those ruby red slippers – it never looks overplayed. The extra levels of light and dark are really evident on the latter end of the spectrum, with detail in darkness we’d not noticed on previous home releases of this classic film. As is to be expected, there is a degree of film grain on display in this full 4K transfer (sourced from an 8K master), however we never found it at all intrusive at a typical viewing distance.
Skipping over to the audio department, we receive a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is delightfully engaging. The tornado scenes in particular give low bass a hearty workout, while surrounds are utilised throughout to really add depth to the entire experience. Dialogue is always clear, and all those classic songs are a joy to hear again.
Extras-wise, the 4K disc comes with a previously-released audio commentary featuring many cast and crew involved with the production, along with a ~50 minute TV documentary on the making of the film that dates back to 1990. Meanwhile, the first of two handily included standard Blu-rays offers up the movie with its original mono audio track plus an effects and music only track, along with sing-alongs, radio broadcasts, additional featurettes, a stills gallery and more. The second standard Blu-ray is an absolute treasure trove of goodies for any fan of The Wizard of Oz, including screen tests, deleted scenes, outtakes, several documentaries and featurettes, plus an assortment of earlier filmed versions of the tale.
Release date: November 27, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Billie Burke
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.