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 command.
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.