Warner Bros. has announced a grand celebration to honor the 75th anniversary of the greatest fantasy film of all time, The Wizard of Oz. Imax has remastered the original 1939 film and created a 3D version that will be released for one week, September 20-26, 2013, in North America, and a stunningly loaded collector’s edition box set will follow October 1. MGM premiered the film at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1939, and re-released the film in 1949 and 1955, before beginning its TV run on CBS in 1956–Turner Classic Movies will be hosting a re-release event at the same theater this month.
Warner Bros. marketing disclosed that even 75 years later, statistically 100% of all Americans have heard of The Wizard of Oz and 80% of children. Warner Bros. will have a hot air balloon and giant balloon characters featured in the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A themed competition will also be featured on an upcoming episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars to be aired later this year.
The giant boxed set includes the Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet digital versions of the film as well as a new documentary, “The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” including interview clips with Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Buddy Ebsen, Margaret Hamilton and Mervyn LeRoy. The collection also includes a ruby slippers globe, a Noble Collection three-piece enamel pin set with film tokens representing Scarecrow’s brain, Tin Man’s heart, and The Cowardly Lion’s courage, a map of Oz, a journal, and a 48-page hardcover book.
The collector’s set will retail for $105, a two-disc Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray will be available for $36, a one-disc Blu-ray for $20, and a two-disc DVD for $17. Pre-order now for a steep discount at Amazon.com by clicking this link where you can also get an exclusive flash drive of the dead witch’s socks as part of the set.
Check out this website for access to more information on the 75th anniversary event.
The Wizard of Oz is the best film ever, and I will go see it because I love seeing great films on big screens. I would normally have a problem with converting a film to 3D when the director, and indeed everyone else who was involved with the film, is dead. But if they are going to do it (and I don’t think anyone is stopping them) The Wizard of Oz is the one to retrofit. And now that I think of it (and at the risk of sounding like a heretic) Citizen Kane would look pretty cool in 3D, too. I’m pretty sure that 3D will prove to be a fad (again), so they might as well make as much money as they can with it before it disappears. Just for the record, IMAX is the way to go.