Yep that's right, I own both the MGM and now the Criterion versions of, The Thief Of Bagdad, and after comparing the opening sequence (with the boats and the cityscape), the scene where the blind man is telling his story so far, to the harem girls (where there's slight blurring in the long shots as well as a slight over enhancement shimmer on the blind man's face) and the registration problem area (where Sabu meets the spider in the temple) the print used is exactly the same one, as both versions have the exact same problems in exactly the same areas.
As for the purported colour saturation differences between the two discs, from my close scrutiny of the movies, I'd have to say that there isn't any difference at all.
The reds look over saturated to the point where the Grand Vizier's turban bleeds slightly, the blues are sky blue bright, and the skin tones are coppery, which is true to the skin tones of the people populating this movie.
The real question now should be, why Criterion chose to release this film as is, without attempting to do any restoration?
I had thought that the reason for the exuberant prices of Criterion DVDs was because we where suppose to be getting the best possible prints of films, but in this case, we're giving the same print with some extras, and expected to pay 3 times the price of the MGM disc.
Also of note, the chapter selection is better on the MGM disc as there are pictures with the captions, where as the Criterion chapter select, is text only (something Anchor Bay did away with years ago, because it was too confusing, i.e. the Evil Dead DVD, "Evil dead attack", um, which evil dead attack, there are several, so the description is useless).
So, as far as I'm concerned, the choice as to whether to get the Criterion edition rests with whether you want the extras and not with the picture quality.
So if you have the MGM DVD and aren't interested in shelling out more cash for a couple of extras (which I didn't find all that spectacular; no feature length making of to be had on this disc) then skip it, but if you don't own the out of print MGM disc, want the extras, or (like me) are a completes, then pick this up, just don't expect an upgraded print.
Hope this helps.
Note: both DVD's where viewed on a 27" JVC higher end (but not progressive scan enhanced) tube TV with a year old model, Sony DVD player, with the TV colour, contrast, sharpness, etc., set up using the THX optimizer from the, "Cars", DVD.