No, There’s Nothing Wrong With Showing The Wizard of Oz in 3-D

Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 30 2013 6:39 PM

No, 3-D Is Not “Vandalism”

The Wizard of Oz
There's nothing wrong with showing this movie in 3-D.

©1939 Warner Home Video. All rights reserved.

An article by ReelViews’ James Berardinelli (“The Vandalism of 3-D”) has gone viral on Reddit today, making its way all the way to the site’s front page. In the article, Berardinelli calls the 3-D conversion of The Wizard of Oz, conducted without the filmmakers’ consent, “vandalism” and “a sin against the original.” Here’s the crux of his argument:

Without the collaboration of the original filmmakers (who are all dead), someone else has gone in and tinkered with a movie. The Wizard of Oz was never designed to be shown in 3-D and, as such, converting it to 3-D requires decisions to be made that alter the delicate fabric of what was originally presented. To apply Siskel's colorization description, it's a form of vandalism. High tech vandalism, to be sure, but vandalism nonetheless.

At one point he even wonders “why the outcry isn't louder because this really is an outrage.”

The reason this isn’t an outrage is simple. Conversion to 3-D on a movie like The Wizard of Oz isn’t vandalism any more than syncing it with The Dark Side of the Moon. This is true for one simple reason: It doesn’t harm the original. This isn’t the Mona Lisa, after all; there’s more than one copy.

Instead, what the conversion really amounts to is a remix—and, judging from the reviews, apparently quite a good one. No matter how well it does, you’ll still be able to follow the yellow brick road in 2-D, too.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


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