The best compliment I can pay the new theatrical
presentation of this timeless movie is that I forgot I was watching it in 3-D.
I’ll leave it to others to analyze the use of depth in various scenes: to my
eyes, nothing seemed forced or unnatural, and that made me happy. The film
looks as beautiful as ever, its exquisite production design and use of
Technicolor as dazzling as it must have seemed in 1939. If you’ve never seen it
on a big screen it’s an experience not to be missed.
I can’t pretend to have the same perspective on this film as
someone who’s never seen it before…or someone who has grown up in the era of
CGI. The old-fashioned, old-school wizardry of MGM still looks impressive to me
today, despite the inevitable tools that modern filmmakers have at their
Much of the magic comes not from visual effects, of course,
but from the very human input of the director, screenwriter, songwriters, production
team, and of course an incomparable cast. Judy Garland’s life bore no
resemblance to that of wide-eyed Dorothy Gale, yet she seems utterly genuine
and heartfelt in that role. When, in the final scene, she sums up the jumble of
feelings in her head—and in her heart—my eyes always well up with tears. The Wizard of Oz is a thing of joy and beauty,
and I’m glad it’s back on theater screens, where it belongs.