One way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz is the Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. This adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of the all-time classics in the history of cinema, and will win you a bet against naysayers who confidently claim there’s never been a remake as good as the original film.
Shot in sepia-toned black and white, young Kansan Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) lives on a farm with her aunt and uncle, dreaming of a chance to break away, as the song goes, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” During a tornado, she receives a bump on the head and then finds herself, her dog Toto, and her house, which landed on and killed the Wicked Witch of the East, in the magical Land of Oz, vividly brought to life by Technicolor. Dorothy wants to return home and is told by Glinda the Good Witch of the North she must seek out the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City for assistance. Trying to foil her plans is the Wicked Witch of the West who wants the magical ruby slippers Dorothy now wears.
Joining Dorothy on the yellow brick road to see the Wizard are the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion because they too have needs the Wizard may be able to help with; respectively they are a brain, a heart, and courage. The Wizard offers a deal: if they recover the Wicked Witch’s broom, he will fulfill their wishes. At the end of their mission, the Oz trio discovers they each had what they felt they lacked inside them the whole time, and Dorothy learns she holds the key to fulfilling her own desires, a slightly subversive yet subtle message for children.
The film has likely never looked this good since the first prints were struck from the original negatives. Although a remaster was created for the 2005 DVD, the studio went back in again to make an exquisite-looking product for this new release. After the original Technicolor negatives were scanned at 8K resolution (the current standard is 2K), Oz became the first Blu-ray to use a 4K capture master, creating twice the resolution of the previous release.