There were some pretty unforgettable moments at the 87th Annual Academy Awards last night. But just as moving as some of the speeches was Comcast’s new Wizard of Oz-inspired commercial featuring Emily, a 7-year-old blind girl with a big imagination.
Emily may not experience a movie the way most people do—via the visuals mainly—but what she does see and feel isn’t any less magical. In the ad, titled “Emily’s Oz,” which premiered during last night’s telecast, she offers her own vivid take on The Wizard of Oz to help promote the company’s new talking guide technology for people with visual disabilities.
As Emily describes her version of the classic film, the girl’s amazing characters, designed by real-life artists, come to life on screen. Through her eyes, The Tin Man has “a big toe the size of a house,” and The Scarecrow sports wooden teeth. “The Lion is small like a toy poodle and has webbed duck feet,” she explains. The iconic role of Dorothy is taken up by none other than Emily herself.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 285 million people globally are visually impaired, and 39 million are blind like Emily. Comcast’s X1 Entertainment Operating System is designed to help make entertainment that much easier for people with visual impairments with features like a talking guide that “speaks” to the viewer, plus descriptions of key visual elements in every show or film, and a remote you can operate with voice commands.
To check out how “Emily’s Oz” was created, watch this making-of video: