Review: “Order of the Phoenix” and “Half-Blood Prince” Ultimate Editions a great addition to your collection

We received the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince Ultimate Edition DVD sets in advance of their release tomorrow, and would like to share a couple of thoughts about them with you!

In case you’re unaware: Warner Bros. is in the midst of re-releasing all of the films in Ultimate Edition formats.  Each Ultimate Edition includes a booklet with never-before-seen photos and artwork, lenticular cards, and of course the film with its original DVD special features.

The standout feature with each of the Ultimate Editions is the Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary.  Each film includes one new hour of the documentary, which means by the time all eight films are released we’ll have an 8-hour documentary looking at the creation of the franchise.

Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince include the Evolution and Magical Effects parts of the documentary respectively.

Evolution looks at the challenges of creating the franchise over the years.  It includes interview bits with all of the directors, as well as J.K. Rowling.  You see lots of behind-the-scene footage, and Dan Radcliffe’s original screen test.  Stuart Craig discusses creating the film sets (such as Hogwarts) without knowing the plots of future books.  One of the most interesting parts of this documentary is when Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus reveals he wanted to split book one into two films.  He said Part 1 would end after Harry’s first Quidditch match.

Magical Effects goes into creating the magic we see in the films.  They spend a lot of time discussing how they decide whether to do computer generated effects or make ‘real’ magic.  One example is the letters that fly around in The Dursley’s home – every single letter was real.  They explain how they created that effect.

As we’ve said before, the Ultimate Editions are a great addition to any fan’s collection.  The main reason to purchase these sets are for the documentary, and we think that having all eight Ultimate Editions on one shelf will make for a nice sight.  We can’t wait to have the set complete!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ultimate Edition and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Ultimate Edition are available on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, June 14.  For pre-order links, visit our info page.