5 films like Rainbow you must watch

By Marc Miller
Published: October 2, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)

This article discusses 5 films like Netflix’s Rainbow (2022) you must watch.

Rainbow (2022), the Spanish film by the director Paco León and Enemy scribe Javie Gulllon, is inspired by L. Frank Braum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film is viewed through an LGBTQ+ lens as a contemporary retelling of that classic work. The story revolves around Dora, a teenage girl of a single parent who has never met her mother. One day, after hearing rumors, she looks like her mother. Dora remembers a woman who visited when she was an adolescent and found her father Deigo lying to her that she was still alive. Dora then leaves on a stormy night looking for her mother and encounters many interesting characters along the way.

While Rainbow was ultimately deemed a failure by Ready Steady Cut — calling the film one of the most misguided and convoluted films in recent memory — there are rumors of a new Oz being revamped with LGBTW+ representation. Until then, here is a list of five films like Rainbow that you should watch and see the evolution of The Wizard of Oz, which many thinks may be the most influential film in history.

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Journey Back to Oz (1972)

A sequel with the Wicked Witch of the West attacking the Emerald City with a herd of angry green elephants? That’s the premise of Journey Back to Oz to the Victo Flemming classic, The Wizard of Oz. A film where Dorothy makes the same mistake, falling into a tornado and getting sent back to meet old friends.

This animated film, released in the UK in 1972 and the United States in 1974, takes influences from the book The Marvelous Land of Oz. The Dorothy in this version is voiced by Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minelli; this version never gave L. Frank Braum screen credit for the film. The film was a commercial and critical failure but eventually found a cult following with repeated reruns on ABC.

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Oz the Great and Powerful is a failed James Franco vehicle, the canceled actor stars as magician Oscar Diggs, who is sent from Kansas to the land of Oz, where he encounters three witches. (The trio is played by Mela Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams). Directed by Sam Raimi and based the film on Braum’s novels two decades before the initial entry. While the visual effects dazzle, we live in a post-Harry Potter world, and anything but the classic fails in comparison.

Return to Oz (1985)

The infamous film where Dorothy receives shock treatment, Return to Oz, is the unofficial sequel to the 1939 classic. Much darker than expected, Fairuza Balk helms this Dorothy in a film that was a box office failure but has become a cult hit and was even nominated for an Oscar for best special effects. While critics at the time stamped this film as too dark for children, Return to Oz would be the woke, hip, and darkly eccentric film that would be a hit today.

The Wiz (1978)

Of all the film remakes, The Wiz, like Rainbow, shows how Baum’s work can be viewed through a different social advocacy lens of blaxploitation and have lasting legs in the process. Here, Dianna Ross plays an urban schoolteacher searching for her dog and is sent to the metropolitan area of Oz. The Wiz is based on the 1974 stage musical featuring an all-black cast. The film was panned, but unfairly. The Wiz was the feature film debut of Michael Jackson.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

One of the greatest films ever made and may be the most influential. Victor Flemming’s gorgeous musical fantasy film was a critical success but barely made a profit for MGM. Nominated for six academy awards, the movie was forgotten about until CBS aired it over the holidays in 1959. The Wizard of Oz is a rare family film that can capture the imaginations of children and adults.

Do you have any other recommendations for 5 films like Rainbow (2022)? Let us know!

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