“Movies are special effects.”
That’s how George Lucas opens the trailer for Disney+’s new docuseries celebrating the rebellious, ingenious crew at Industrial Light and Magic. But even though the heavy hitters lead off, Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Ron Howard eventually give way to the engineers themselves, sharing their stories about making things up as they went along. There may be some tough tales along the way, but this trailer is a dose of pure cinematic joy, showcasing the amazing imagery of distant planets, giant cereal, and liquid robots from the future pretending to be police officers.
Bringing his own reverence to the legacy and craft, the 6-part series is directed by THE Lawrence Kasdan. Light & Magic looks to make an excellent addition to the incipient pantheon of talking head explorations of movies past like One Perfect Shot and The Movies That Made Us. If there’s something setting it apart, it’s the access to the behind-the-scenes material that will put us in the wildly creative minds of the people who crafted impossible things merely because they didn’t know they weren’t possible.
Sure, it makes sense to include Indiana Jones and Boba Fett and Terminators in the trailer, but ILM made over 350 movies in almost half a century, so it’ll be even cooler to see the back catalog of nostalgia bombs that blew our minds without necessarily making the hall of fame. Hopefully Light & Magic shows off the nooks and crannies alongside the blockbusters because there’s a ton of strange stuff there to celebrate. It hits Disney+ July 27th.