To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Warner has released a very strange curiosity piece: a Magical Movie Mode edition of the film on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.
When it was announced that JK Rowling’s popular novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone would be made into a movie, the filmmakers were challenged to stay true to the book so as not to alienate its younger fans. this meant trying to squeeze as many small moments from the very long novel into a runtime passable for a family film. in many ways, that ultimately worked against him, as critics complained that the film was too long, clocking in at two and a half hours. I tend to agree with them on that point, especially since this is the lightest and possibly the weakest of the Harry Potter novels. it’s also the sweetest, with the three most innocent leads.
If you’re not familiar with history, chances are you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years or more. Some of the film’s strengths come from its cast (nearly every character has been cast to perfection), the superb production design, and, of course, John Williams’ memorable score. The movie may not have been a home run with critics and those who hadn’t read the books, but it established the franchise that would get better with each additional movie.
magic movie mode is kind of a strange animal. Available as a bonus disc on both DVD and Blu-ray editions, or as a stand-alone digital version from select retailers, it’s essentially the old picture-in-picture track of the experience-in-the-movie experience from the original Blu-ray release, now “recorded.” ” into the video and mixed into the audio I guess this is useful for those who don’t like to change the secondary audio settings on their blu-ray or uhd blu-ray players, or those looking for more trivia than not were included in the original pip version. . the digital version, however, does not include the movie without all the popups and audio commentary. magic movie mode editing is also included as a bonus feature in movies anywhere for those who purchased harry potter and the philosopher’s stone digitally or redeemed a code when purchasing a disc.
3d rating: na
the digital version of harry potter and the philosopher’s stone: magic movie mode is only available in standard definition 480p or high definition 1080p. I saw this on the Movies Anywhere app on my Roku Ultra, and it was almost identical to the old VC-1 Transfer that Warner has provided on Blu-ray for almost 14 years. however, the image overlays appear much sharper than the film itself.
sadly, the only audio option is a mixed stereo track for magic movie mode editing.
special features: 0/5
Although Magic Movie Mode is a “free” special feature for those who purchased or redeemed a digital copy of the movie at Movies Anywhere, asking $16.99 for this add-on not including the movie alone and all of its special features is a real money shot. while the dvd and blu-ray editions also include the movie (the blu-ray also includes a digital code), none of the special features from previous disc editions are included.
I’m really not sure who this version is being marketed to. fans who already own the movie digitally will already have access to the magic movie mode version in movies anywhere, and if you own the movie on blu-ray and 4k uhd blu-ray, the in-movie experience is included on the blu-ray. ray movie disc, which contains most of the same material, plus additional special features. not recommended.