Review: Harry Potter Ultimate Editions DVDs 3 & 4

published 4 November 2010
written by Tao

First off, let me say that the only true disappointment in these versions is this: No extended versions. The one thing everyone could agree on with the previous Ultimate Edition editions was the, well, edition of the extended versions of Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. A lot of fans are upset about this, and rightly so, but in no means should you not buy these versions and I’ll tell you why:

Let’s start with Prisoner of Azkban. Firstly, at least for the blu-ray edition, the menu screens are fantastic, clear and bright. It’s the first thing I noticed when I popped in the discs. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like a DVD is a little more interesting with the menus – after all, isn’t that one of the things that sets it apart from VHS?

We also get a lot of Prisoner of Azkaban specials that you may not have, even if you had previous released editions like the “trunk” versions. Here are the interviews we get discounting the special made for the UEs: “The Magic Touch of Harry Potter”, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (HBO), ABC special, spanish interview with Alfonso, Creating The World Of HP: 3. There is also an interview with Alfonso Cuaron and J.K. Rowling that has snippets throughout the HP3 special specifically created for this DVD.

So onto that! Part 3 of “Creating the world of Harry Potter” takes us on a journey about the creatures. There are so many interesting facts that you may or may not have learned before. Did you know that Chris Columbus modeled the pixies after another film he did? Yes, for those of us old enough to remember, the pixies resemble gremlins! And did you know that (thankfully they decided against) there would be dancing trolls in Half-Blood Prince?

Now onto what we Rupert Grint fans want… what’s the goodies we see of him? This one has a few short interviews with him going from old interviews to new interviews on the Deathly Hallows set. There are some great behind-the-scenes moments including footage of filming the spider scenes in Chamber of Secrets, his fake body double in Goblet of Fire and a hilarious comment from of the creature creators talking about Fang being a fake dog in the back of the car in Chamber of Secrets where they actually made him “dribble” just to “gross out Rupert”! (This part is found on another special titled “Inside The Creature Shop”)

But what about Goblet of Fire? If you’re interested in how movie sounds appear in the film, this is definitely for you. We get interviews with John Williams including how Hedwigs theme came to be (imo John Williams interview is the best treat on here) and every subsequent music composure there after. We also learn how they do sounds in the film including how they try to make sounds in Harry Potter’s world a bit different from the muggle world!

As for what we get with Rupert, there are sadly no interviews (very few actors talk in this with the exception of Dan doing the most). We do get some behind-the-scenes moments including Ron/Rupert doing the lion for Prisoner of Azkaban, and Ron getting his legged wrapped in Goblet of Fire plus some other great bts moments. For R/Hr fans, the beginning is where you see an outtake of the R/Hr kiss. It’s at the very beginning of the sounds & music feature.

Like PoA, GoF offers specials that aired that you may not own on DVD and that is definitely a real treat to have to play whenever you feel like and not have to download it on your computer!

Other minor inconveniences: The two new boxes don’t match the old ones. Perhaps it’s the virgo in me, but I like things to match. Unlike the first set, the box isn’t magnetized in order for it to shut better. But all in all, I would definitely spend the money as the treats on the DVD far outweighs any other issue you may have.

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