Monday, September 23, 2013


We've been seeing Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary product for some time now, but the official kick off was held September 15th in Hollywood at the Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman's Chinese Theater) where the original movie premiere took place in 1939. 
Celebrities and Oz dignitaries were in attendance and treated to an Ozzy after party.  Of course no self respecting gala would be without swag.
Attendees of the IMAX showing were given stickers and bookmarks
Photo Courtesy Ryan Jay
Adults at the After Party were given canvas tote bags with an exclusive Wizard of Oz IMAX glass, a Thomas Kinkade wrapped canvas,  and The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition. Children were given the new 75th Anniversary Barbies.
Photos Courtesy Alex Kirk
Photos from the after party:
Here's Ryan Jay's review of The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D. 
Ryan Jay's red carpet interviews:
Check out the fabulous reviews!!!!!!
From Oz/Judy Garland expert John Fricke:

Posted below are my thoughts which I found difficult to put into words.  It was like staring at the sun for 2 hours.  It was that dazzling!!  How do you describe that??!

In spite of the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I was still apprehensive. Could 3D be done well with a film this old and recognized? I did read one negative review but I couldn't take it seriously. First of all, the author hadn't bothered to view it in 3D. I should have stopped reading there, but pressed on and the author stated this is not what the original filmmakers intended. Okay, MGM put EVERYTHING they had into this film. Beloved stars, state of the art special effects, the best song writers, everything. Had MGM had the technology at the time to make Oz 3D and have it look as good as it does now, there's no doubt in mind they'd have done it. My main concern wasn't the professional reviews. What were the Oz fans and the general public going to think? They are the ones that have kept the movie going for 75 years.

I went into the theater not intending to do a professional review of any kind. I went to have a good time and to revel in the anniversary. I have to say this was probably the most exhilarating movie experience of my life.

When we arrived to the theater the IMAX auditorium was half full. I'm sure it would have had a bigger turn out if not for a bizarre incident that was wrapping up as we were in line at the concession stand. We hadn't watched the news or listened to the radio so we were blissfully unaware.

We sat towards the front and middle of the auditorium and everyone else was in the stadium seating above and behind us. I missed most of the opening credits which I could tell right away were 3D, but as soon as the title hit the screen, this huge swell of applause came rolling up from behind us. So enthusiastic was this crowd you could barely hear the overture. The Wizard of Oz is very emotional for me anyway, as it is for many, and sitting there enveloped in this reverence and joy, it came bursting out of me too and I started laughing and sobbing. By the time Dorothy ran to Auntie Em to complain about Miss Gulch, I'd gotten myself together.

Now Kansas is supposed to be this dry, dreary place, but the wizards at Warner Brothers made it look positively inviting! The sepia tones were sumptuously warm and as gorgeous as anything in Oz. I've since decided there is nothing in the world more beautiful than Dorothy and Toto in 3D sepia.

The definition and detail are astounding. I was afraid the faults in the, archaic by today's standards, special effects would really come out. The tornado approaching the Gale farm looked amazing! Easily, as good or better than what can be done today. Dorothy's ride to Oz is more thrilling than ever!

Once we got to Munchkinland, everything was so incredibly vivid. I could see the freckles on Judy Garland's face and Bille Burke's chest. And the flowers! What really got my attention was Dorothy's little bouquet from the Munchkins. I could see all the different types of flowers. The definition on everything was so clear and sharp.

And this movie sparkles like never before! The brilliance that came from Glinda's dress was blinding at times. The ruby slippers never looked more magical. I got a big kick out of seeing flashes of ruby as Dorothy moved through the poppyfield. Truly mesmerizing!!!

The biggest wow moment for me, and there were several, was when Glinda appeared to rescue Dorothy and friends from the poppies. The ethereal Glinda casting a spell of snow was RIGHT THERE. You could almost touch her.

As they approached the Emerald City the smaller spires in the front extended out onto the yellow brick road. The first sighting of the Wicked Witch's castle and the flying monkeys in the haunted forest were other awe inspiring moments.

The only original faults I noticed that were really brought out were the lines where Margaret Hamilton's chin and Bert Lahr's mane are attached. You see them, but you're already so engaged it really doesn't detract. It's just interesting if you're into Hollywood make up.

As usual, with multiple viewings of the Oz the viewer picks up on something they haven't noticed before. In IMAX 3D there's SO much more to see!!!! My favorite new detail that I never noticed before is that while Dorothy is in the Emerald City getting her hair curled she's also styling Toto's hair a bit as he sits happily in her lap. You can see the hairs sticking up on his precious little head!!

I don't care how many times you've seen The Wizard of Oz, be it in the hundreds or thousands of times, you have NOT seen The Wizard of Oz until you see it in IMAX 3D. You'll be astounded at what you've been missing all these years.

**There have been some reports of 11 by 17 posters given out to theater patrons, but mine either didn't participate or I missed out going to a later show even though I bought advanced tickets.**

List of IMAX theaters showing The Wizard of Oz