To celebrate its 75th anniversary, The Wizard of Oz gets a cinematic re-release, being screened in 3D for the very first time. Despite its age, the film is as enchanting as ever.
When young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto are caught up in a tornado, the pair are swept away from Kansas. Dorothy must journey to meet the Wizard of Oz, in the hope that he can return her home…
Three-quarters of a century may have passed since the film was originally released, but The Wizard of Oz still holds up as a wonderful piece of cinema. The film has none of its shine in terms of fantasy, spectacle and entertainment.
Victor Fleming’s film sets up a narrative template which has been emulated by numerous fantasy films since. At the core of The Wizard of Oz is a quest that is undertaken by the protagonist. The film introduces memorable characters throughout the duration. The fact that these are tied into the wider preceding frame of the narrative gives the film a tidy and complete feeling.
The Wizard of Oz mixes fantasy, adventure and music in a most satisfying manner. Songs from the film have become classics, whilst the iconography is some of the strongest in cinematic history. Aimed at a family audience, Fleming injects the right amount of peril, enchantment and humour.
It took 18 months to restore The Wizard of Oz and convert the film into 3D. The results are pretty impressive, given the age of the picture. The use of 3D is subtle, enhancing the images without being distracting. In some scenes the use of 3D results in the backgrounds looking fuzzy in contrast. This does not hamper overall enjoyment, however.
The re-release of The Wizard of Oz gives a timely opportunity for both newcomers and longtime fans to see the quintessential fantasy film on the big screen.
The Wizard of Oz 3D is being released at IMAX cinemas in the UK from 12th September 2014.