The IMAX 3D version of The Wizard of Oz does a wonderful job of removing the gunk and grime, exposing defining details in sets, costumes, makeup and acting but it also oddly can show things a little too clearly.
Sure the Yellow Brick road is more golden than ever, resurfaced to an even more glistening luster with the aid of over 1000 technical craftsman who labored over every detail for a year. The Ruby Slippers are so sparkly polished that every facet can be counted. Margaret Hamilton's greenness and every wicked cackle comes through in thrilling clarity-- as well as every note sung by Judy Garland and its talented cast of troopers and vaudevillians in the cleaned up soundtrack and musical score. The rust on the Tin Man and the straw in the Scarecrow, even the burlap details crisscrossing Ray Bolger's face draw attention to what a marvel of detail everything in the picture was.
Still a few technical flaws are revealed in the remastered image. In the poppy scene a pan to the clouds reveals some bricks that didn't get enough cumulus refining to disguise the fact that this bit of nature was done on a studio set. Bert Lahr's makeup, unaided by the hats that disguise the Scarecrow and Tin Man's skullcaps and mask lines, unfortunately reveal more man than royal beast. Lahr's costume looked like it might unseam during times of acute tail pulling stress. But those are just small flaws.
The Wizard of Oz is celebrating its 75th year as a classic and the reverential restoration is part of its reveal to a whole new generation of what will more likely be avid fans. So take yourself, your Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, especially your little Munchkins and see it in its restored Technicolor glory before its encased in Blu-Ray forever.
The Wizard of Oz gets a marvelously wonderful A+ from me.
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