Does the aspect ratio of Netflix’s new fantasy series The Sandman seem a little strange to you? If yes, you are not alone.
Multiple viewers of the long-awaited comic book adaptation taken to the internet (opens in new tab) to express concerns about the show’s distorted — or “stretched up” — picture format, which makes characters in certain scenes appear elongated and unnatural (see the title image above for an example).
Netflix has now responded to the confusion by clarifying (for Variety (opens in new tab)) that the decidedly unconventional aspect ratio used in The Sandman is a deliberate artistic choice intended to emphasize the dreamlike quality of creator Neil Gaiman’s fantasy setting.
For those who don’t know, aspect ratio refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. TV series typically employ an aspect ratio of 16:9, while movies are usually produced in 21:9 – although the number varies between filmmakers and media (The Lighthouse, for example, has an almost square aspect ratio of 1.19: 1).
We’re not sure what ratio is at stake in the Sandman. However, Variety notes that if vintage lenses were used in their production alongside more modern cameras, the combination of the old and the new could result in image distortion. Either way, the series looks exactly as its creators intended, despite the frustration of some viewers.
@Netflix_Sandman @netflix #TheSandman is fabulous so far, but why did everything look so stretched up? Is it supposed to be a dream and am I just an uneducated pig or is there something wrong with my proportion?August 5, 2022
Having roamed the hell of big and small screen development for over three decades, The Sandman finally hit Netflix on August 5th. of superhuman beings more powerful than gods – who escapes capture after 105 years and sets out to restore order to his magical realm.
Tom Sturridge, David Thewlis, Jenna Coleman and Game of Thrones alumni Charles Dance and Gwendoline Christie are among the show’s stellar cast, and the series is expected to last several seasons should its crop of debut episodes prove popular enough. enough with the public.
In our review, we said that Sandman’s “fascinating cast of characters, expansive universe, and deeply human themes” make it “worthy of Gaiman’s dark fantasy comic book series.” We also caught up with the show’s cast and crew to find out how they finally brought this high-concept story to life.
For our money, then, The Sandman is definitely worthy of follow-up entries, especially considering how much more of Gaiman’s universe is yet to be explored on screen (the author wrote 10 volumes between 1989 and 1996). And with that sitting on top Netflix Popularity Ranking (opens in new tab) in its first week of release, we predict the streamer will feel the same way too.