"Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" is based on Roald Dahl's book "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory." Penniless, but good-hearted young Charlie Bucket (Ostrum) enters into a magical world when he wins one of five "Golden Tickets" to visit the mysterious chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Willy Wonka (Wilder) and run by his capable crew of Oompa-Loompas. Once behind the gates, a cast of characters, including Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee, join Charlie and his feisty Grandpa Joe (Albertson) for a journey to discover that a kind heart is a finer possession than a sweet tooth. (Gary Reber)
Special features include audio commentary with the Wonka Kids; a 30-minute Pure Imagination featurette that includes interviews with Director Mel Stuart, Producer David Wolper, Wilder, and five Wonka Kids; four sing-along songs: "Golden Ticket," "Pure Imagination," "I Want It Now," and "Oompa Loompa"; the original four-minute theatrical featurette; the theatrical trailer and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film using the Arriflex 35 IIC and Mitchell BNCR camera systems and sourced from a 4K remastered master Digital Intermediate format. The source is from what Warner Bros. advertises as a "previous 4K restoration of the film." The film appears pristine with no edge enhancements or occasional artifacts annoyingly apparent. The overall image quality is consistently excellent. While film grain is apparent, it is not intrusive or objectionable. Image depth is noticeable throughout. The color palette is nicely saturated with plenty of nuanced color shadings to appreciate. Half the time the images are set in locales in the city outside Willy Wonka's wonderland factory. While colors are somewhat muted and drab in those settings, at times colors pop, such as Charlie's bright red scarf and the colorful Wonka candy wrappers. Once inside Wonka's world, from the first sight of the expansive Chocolate River Room to edible plants and tea cups, the LSD-fueled boat ride, the bubble machine, the "human blueberry" transformation, and so much more eye candy, there is no shortage of eye-popping color details. Colors are rich and warm and nicely nuanced in tone. Fleshtones appear natural, though, at times a bit inconsistent. HDR contrast is nicely presented with deep blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and well-balanced white levels. Resolution is pleasing throughout with fine details exhibited throughout. This is certainly the best Willy Wonka has ever looked in any home video format, exhibiting truer framed and effectively saturated colors. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack generally sounds good. It appears to have better bass extension and surround presence compared to previous Blu-rays. In the surround department, the surrounds are subtle, except for the sound effects that accompany Wonka's fun contraptions. Dialogue is subtlety directional. The sound is still dated and distorted as was the original recordings. As soundtracks go, this is undistinguished as the mix is not overly exciting and without much surround envelopment. Warner has not included the original monaural soundtrack for purists. (Gary Reber)