Light & Magic Review: Behind The Visual Effects Curtain of Industrial Light and Magic

Light & Magic Review: Behind The Visual Effects Curtain of Industrial Light and Magic

Light & Magic debuts on Disney+ on July 27th with six episodes exploring the story of Industrial Light & Magic. The series takes an extraordinary deep dive into each step of the visual effects process through the years with a narrative lens. Each episode is a story within a story; for example, the first episode explores the creation of the incredible effects of the original Star Wars and the story of each icon and how they joined the team. There are fascinating, all-new interviews with George Lucas, John Dykstra, Joe Johnston, Phil Tippett, and many more titans of the field.

Scene from Lucasfilm’s LIGHT & MAGIC, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

But it also helps to bring to life the real challenges and tension involved in the making of Star Wars with honesty; while we may know some of the stories already, Light & Magic is different. It pulls back the curtain of history but also presents it as if it is happening in real-time. There is a captivating blend of tension and drama, with the internal peace of mind that there is an extremely satisfying ending via the final product. And this is all in the first few episodes. After watching all six episodes, you not only learn about Star Wars but other iconic film franchises you know and love. I learned more than I ever dreamed about the making of these films, but not only that, Light & Magic helped me find a renewed appreciation for the spectacle and wonder of how visual effects help to tell a story and enhance our enjoyment of the finished product.

George Lucas in a scene from Lucasfilm’s LIGHT & MAGIC, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Light & Magic is one of those rare documentaries where I not only learned about the topic’s history and evolution but also felt like I was a part of the story. Each episode of this engrossing series takes you through the evolution of Industrial Light and Magic and provides the story behind the story. It is part narrative, with the geniuses behind Star Wars and other groundbreaking films taking you through the steps and formation of the wizardry that brought the original film to light. But it also is a documentary of each artist and their career paths individually and with the company. It is part history, part nostalgia, and completely fascinating. Light & Magic is a master class in the joy and wonder of special effects, film, and narrative and added to my appreciation of these films. Light & Magic puts the awe in awe-inspiring!

Thank you to Disney for providing advanced access to the series for review.

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