This is my favourite opening credits animation since… actually, since Spider-Man 2.* Sam Raimi has had some wonderful collaborators.
In this case, it was Garson Yu at Yu + Co. Here’s what they said about the titles on their site:
Oz The Great and Powerful is a fantastic film that transports us to a place filled with wonder and magic. Our goal with the opening title sequence was to set the tone for the audience to enter the unique, imaginative world that Sam Raimi created. The black and white, stereo 4:3 sequence was designed to flow seamlessly into the film’s first scenes which are set in Kansas in 1905.
We drew inspiration from a pre-cinematic form of 3D entertainment, the Theater of Perspective. These miniature paper theaters contained layered images arranged to create scenes with rich 3D depth. Our cinematic fly-through fuses today’s modern 3D cinema with the wonder and showmanship of Oz’s time. The sequence uses 37 different fonts and carefully designed imagery that matches the movie characters and creative credits.
This sequence obviously doesn’t work as well in 2D. On a small screen. Compressed for YouTube. But I hope you can appreciate at least some of the artistry.
And be warned that there is a spoiler in here – if you can call it that.
*But not my favourite opening credits in this period. That would be Dinner For Schmucks.