>> Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory: 40th anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (2011)

Title: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Edition: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition

Genre: Classics, Comedy, Family, Kids, Musical

Starring: Jack Albertson, Roy Kinnear, Gene Wilder, Leonard Stone, Peter Ostrum

Director: Mel Stuart

Studio: Warner Home Video

Runtime: 100 minutes

Release Date: October 18, 2011

Format: BLU-RAY, DVD

Discs: 3

MPAA Rating: G

Rating: 4.34 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A

Ecstatic, giddy, hardly able to contain myself. This is what I felt as I stared at the box on my desk, “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition”. I am a huge Willy Wonka fan. For me Gene Wilder is and always will be the one TRUE Willy Wonka and I am so glad that this movie is getting the treatment it deserves.

I am not too ashamed to admit that as I peeled the plastic off of the box I attempted a bit to replicate Charlie with the Wonka bar (but didn’t really succeed as plastic doesn’t behave that well). The box itself is colorful & vibrant, though the size may be an issue. It is rather large & rectangular creating a problem with putting it on the shelf with the rest of your DVDs/Blu-Rays. Luckily it is nice enough looking that it can be displayed elsewhere.

But let us get on to the good stuff, what’s inside the box. First up is a book, “Pure Imagination: The Making Of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”. This may sound familiar to some of you out there, and rightly so. This book has been released on its own several years ago. If you haven’t seen it then you are in for a treat. It breaks down the movie talking about casting, filming, the issues with filming, the music, the shooting schedule, editing the film, the release of it, and much much more. There are also tons of beautiful photos from the set & behind the scenes as well as some sketches.

Next was a purple envelope. Inside it contains copies of Willy Wonka’s Evening Bulletin, the casting sheet, several letters to the actors letting them know they were cast, & several letters addressing the issues with the movie (such as Oompa Loompa color & the Wonkavator going through the roof). My favorite thing include though is the copy of the hand-written letter from Gene Wilder discussing his costume and the changes he was thinking should be made (and they were).

Finally we uncover the pencil tin that is made to look like a Wonka Bar. It contains a scented eraser that looks like a Wonka Bar as well & 4 scented pencils (Blueberry Pie, Banana, Hair Cream & Snozzberry). All this goodness & we haven’t even gotten to the movie portion yet.

This release is 3-discs: the movie on Blu-Ray 1080p, the movie on DVD widescreen, and a Special Feature disc. The movie looks fantastic in Blu-Ray considering its age and it made me hungry staring at all the candy. The bonus features are a great edition. You have a documentary that has the Wonka kids & Gene Wilder involved, commentary by the Wonka kids, an interview with the director Mel Stuart, rediscovered archival featurette, sing-along songs, an interview with Roald Dahl, and the vintage 1971 Theatrical Trailer.

Honestly the only things that I could think of that would make this release any better than it already is would be maybe some outtakes/deleted scenes. Really that is just nitpicking though. But I can say I honestly feel like this would make a great gift for a Wonka fan or a nice treat for yourself if you are a Wonka fan. Now then try not to judge as I go back to scratching & sniffing my snozzberry pencil and daydreaming of the day where I might be able to recreate the candy room.

NOTE: The only reason that this did not get an A+ is for the lack of Wonka candy in the box. There isn’t any & trust me I looked. I know it is a petty thing to markdown the grade, I’ll admit it. But never underestimate just how much Wonka candy means to me.


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