The Sandman: Netflix Releases Statement on Unusual Aspect Ratio

Netflix has released a statement regarding The Sandman's unusual aspect ratio. The Sandman, based on the DC Comics series of the same name, has proven a hit for Netflix, debuting at #1 on the streaming service's chart. However, some viewers noticed that something seemed a bit off about the show's aspect ratio, with the image appearing stretched vertically. Those viewers are correct. The Sandman does have a slightly off aspect ratio (off by about 7% according to some estimates). Netflix released a statement to say that this is an intentional creative choice on the part of The Sandman's creators, meant to create a slightly surreal effect representing the unreality of dreams.

A Netflix spokesperson tells Variety, "As you'll note many of the environments are surreal in the series and we often say it's quite what a dream would feel like." The statement seems to confirm that the surreal aspect ratio is as intended by cinematographers Will Baldy, Sam Heasman, and George Steel.

Regardless of the unusual aspect ratio, The Sandman is faring well with critics and audiences. It has a strong Rotten Tomatoes score and received a 4-out-of-5 review rom ComicBook.com:

"The first season of Netflix's The Sandman wrangles what many consider the most offbeat and unwieldy Sandman stories into a neat package, losing some of the weirdness at the fringes in favor of a more streamlined whole. Once past those shaky first steps, the adaptation does justice to the source material series, serving as a 21st-century update to the long-revered epic that will appeal to longtime fans as a new way to engage with it while also bringing that story to an entirely new audience. 

"While purists may bemoan some of the changes, they ultimately make for a more cohesive viewing experience that still allows the individual short stories within the grander saga the room needed for viewers to fully appreciate them. The Sandman team has taken Dream's comics and crafted a worthy adaptation of a story that is, after all, about how we take the stuff of dreams and apply it to our lives, our art, and our relationships. And after seeing that tease at the end of Season 1, viewers will almost certainly be dreaming of what comes next."

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What do you think of The Sandman's aspect ratio? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments section. The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix.