- Steven introduces his characters inside the dark, dreary, sepia shaded rest home. Very like Gales’ farmhouse, the old wallpaper, curtained windows, dusty shabby monochromatic interior implies a lack of promise, excitement, hope. Like Dorothy wishing for more from a life ‘over the rainbow’, the residents perk up at Mr. Bloom’s temptation to renew their lives, by becoming young again. See E.T. the Extraterrestrial, War Horse, Schindler’s List, Twister, Joe Vs. the Volcano, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Poltergeist for other protagonists who ache to escape the gloom.
- Dorothy sees no reason to follow the unreasonable rules that cause Toto to be taken away for extermination. She feels she has nothing to lose and everything to gain by running away to insure her dog’s well-being. Likewise Bloom tells residents the authoritarian’s rules aren’t doing them any good. He demands ‘What can they take away that you haven’t already lost?’ In fact doesn’t his attitude encapsulate all the tricksters’ philosophy? See Schindler, Basie, Bilbo, Shug, Frank and Mouth.
- Lots of chiming going on! Let the magic commence: a bell rings when Bloom sneaks into the dormitory, again when the tin can clinks down, bells precede the seniors’ voices changing from old to young, chimes sound before they turn old again. See Always, A.I., E. T.,The Color Purple, Jaws, Close Encounters, Empire of the Sun, Super 8, Twister, Joe vs. the Volcano for other films that use Glinda’s chimes to signal key moments to come.
- After Agee flies away, Conroy stands before the open window, its curtain blowing inward. His life is about to change radically. See Empire of the Sun, Catch Me if You Can, Hook, Joe Vs. the Volcano for other windows like Dorothy’s that will detour characters off old paths to new ones.
- At the finale, you see Bloom tap a new resident with his stick. Like good witch Glinda, he will perform magic with a magic wand.