I just thought I’d do something different today. Since I’m not only an artist, but also a storyteller/animator, I thought I’d give you a film review. Read at your own risk of boredom.
If you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz, or even if you’re just a bookworm in general, you might be interested in an obscure film called After the Wizard. Directed by Hugh Gross, the 2011 film is about an orphan named Elizabeth who believes she is Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz.
Elizabeth’s delusion appears to be brought on by the hardships of her life and her love of books. But it’s not all about Elizabeth- or is it? Early in the film, the Tinman and Scarecrow appear in the library of Elizabeth’s orphanage to tell Elizabeth (whom they know as Dorothy) that things in Oz are not so great either.
What I like about this film is that it reminds me of the daydreams I dreamed as a kid, about books and book characters that I liked. What bookworm among us wouldn’t want to spend a day in our favorite story, or have characters we admire come for a visit and speak to us as if we were important friends?
The movie also speaks to the impact that stories, even fiction, make on our lives. Can made-up stories help us cope with the real world? Do the goings on in fairy tales affect how our world functions?
I’d say the acting and dialogue in this movie are where the small budget really shows. The costumes of characters like the Tinman and Scarecrow are top notch, but humor and storytelling were what I liked best about this movie. As Tinman and Scarecrow travel to Kansas to find Dorothy, they encounter various people in our world who react to them in various ways. My favorite is an animal shelter worker who is determined to get a home for the third dog named Toto that came through her door that week.
If you’re looking for a laid-back film to make you smile, a kid-friendly film or just something new to watch, try After the Wizard.