Color: The Wizard of Oz


When thinking of the use of "color" in films the first movie that pops into my head is the 1939 "The Wizard of Oz". I feel as though this film has a lot of good color symbolism and different types of color. The beginning of the film and the end of the film is shown in black and white and the brightness of it is low and saturation is eliminated, this symbolizing Dorothy's boring life in Kansas and making the viewer feel as down as Dorothy does. When she is taken up from the tornado she is taken into Oz and the movie turns into color showcasing Oz as a somewhat "dreamland", allowing the viewer to feel as though they are in a dreamland as well. Throughout the scenes in Oz the saturation of color is higher and color is apparent. The color although, is fairly low definition, except for Dorothy's red slippers and the yellow brick road. You can guess that this is because the creators wanted to showcase the shoes and road's power and importance, making the red shoes and yellow brick road brighter with higher definition. The colored scenes have a high color temperature, seeing as they are outside most of the film and the light looks somewhat bluish.

I feel as though these color types are different when looking at the original version of the movie, and the new HD version. The colors are more apparent when you watch the HD films. I chose a clip from the original movie and I chose the scene when Dorothy says the famous, "there's no place like home," clicks her slippers together and leaves her color dreamland to return to her dull, black and white world.


I really like your choice, The Wizard of Oz, for an example of color, because it displays the effects of color in more than one-way. I think it's really interesting that they use color and the black and white to make an impression on the viewer. They use color in the fairytale world, and black and white in Dorothy's dull life back in Kansas. I also find it really interesting that after all of these years, Dorothy's red shoes are still very prominent. When I see red shoes (either with or without sparkles), I always think of "there's no place like home".

The Wizard of Oz is a great place to analyze color choices. I agree, so much of what's iconic throughout this movie is through colors: the red shoes, yellow brick road, emerald city, etc. As you said, part of the movie is in black and white, and colored film was a novelty at the time anyways! Because of this, I think that the makers put a ton of time and thought into the color design. It wasn't a given back in film then like it is now, and they took full advantage of the use of color.

This is a great example of color. Not only do they use color to show the power and importance of the red slippers and yellow road, but they use it to show the contrast between the world of OZ and the real world. You can easily tell that her life in Kansas was much more normal and boring because of the dull colors. But the adventure that her red slippers bring in the "dreamland" create the feeling that anything is possible and make you believe that there could be a real tin man or talking cowardly lion.

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This page contains a single entry by weere007 published on February 7, 2013 1:30 PM.

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