The Wizard is a 1989 film starring Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Beau Bridges, and Christian Slater. The film follows Corey and his brother Jimmy as they flee their unhappy home and head towards Los Angeles so Jimmy can compete in the Video Game Armageddon championship.
While the film was not a major blockbuster, it did make a decent profit compared to it’s budget. The film has since developed a cult following, especially with fans of Nintendo and retro gaming, as it featured the North American debut of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Universal Studios Hollywood
When Corey, Jimmy, and Jenny finally reach Los Angeles, they head to the Video Game Armageddon event at Universal Studios. Filming took place throughout the studio lot and theme park, as the characters are chased off the studio tram ride and try to escape.
Some of the areas featured include the front entrance and the European backlot. The Wizard also featured some footage filmed in the King Kong ride, which unfortunately was destroyed in a 2008 fire. The building facade used as the entrance to the video game tournament has since been torn down. This area was known as the Square of Warriors, and you can read more about it on TheStudioTour.com.
Throughout the film, Jimmy expresses a desire to return to California. At the very end of the film, it turns out his idea of California is the giant dinosaurs at Cabazon. He runs into one of the dinosaurs with his a photo of his entire family, including his sister who passed away.
These dinosaurs are a roadside attraction along the I-10, just west of Palm Springs. You can visit the grounds for free, but there is a charge to go into the dinosaurs.