As I mentioned in my review of Oz the Great and Powerful, I only saw a 2-D version of the film. Normally this wouldn’t be a factor in my appreciation of the film (most of the time, 3-D is just a strategy to separate moviegoers from their money), but Oz is such an eminently visual spectacle, it has to be considered. I saw the film again last night and, while not fully satisfied, it was an overall better experience.
Without the gimmick, Oz the Great and Powerful is a rather dull affair. The 3-D element shifts the audience attention to in the cinematography, by far the most successful aspect of the film. Take the old fashioned opening credits, inspired by analog visual trickery: In 2-D the titles look cute; in 3-D they become enticing.
Oz was originally shot in 3-D (most films are converted to the format in post-production), which explains why it looks better than the average tri-dimensional romp. It’s not Hugo, but at least Sam Raimi has enough imagination to come up with some new thrills. Maybe with a better script or a stronger lead it could have become a worthy companion piece for the original Wizard of Oz.