POSTED September 19 2013

Whether 2-D or 3-D, There’s No Place Like Oz

With the exceptions of Avatar and Hugo , I don’t much like 3-D films. A 3-D retrofit of classic films jerks my knee and makes me think, “Abomination” or “Desecration.”

So I was surprised not to mind the 3-D retrofit of The Wizard of Oz.┬áIt is done with care, the foregrounds are more detailed even if the backgrounds look more like painted backgrounds. Watching this refreshed version of the classic film, I noticed for the first time how much Munchkinland looked like Tolkien’s Shire (at least the Shire of the Lord of the Rings films).

Some thoughts about Oz and its retrofit and its possible Tolkien connections. Yours?1236577_10201980155251550_685076910_n



  1. I’m more ok with 3-D films than I thought I would be. They can be kind of exciting and have that “unexpected” quality when they’re done well. I remember the first time I saw Dial M for Murder in 3-D and thought, oh yeah, of course. I don’t think I’d like to see The Wizard of Oz in 3-D, but it’s nice to learn that you liked it. I love the film, but a long time ago it passed into being more of a mental backdrop and a permanent state of mind than a normal movie for me. So I think I would find seeing it in a new version unnecessary and distracting.

  2. And as far as the Lord of the Rings influence goes, I’m sure you’re correct. Production designers need to start somewhere and The Wizard of Oz is a key part of the imaginative canon.

  3. wwolfe says:

    In Kevin Starr’s excellent series of books about the history of Southern California, there’s a very good description of how L. Frank Baum was influenced by the natural and man-made landscapes of the region when creating Oz. My understanding is that the first film version of “Wizard” was shot by Baum in the backyard of his home on Cherokee Avenue in Hollywood. It’s always given me pleasure, then, to reply to those who say that Los Angeles is like Oz by saying, “No, Oz is like Los Angeles.”

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