It seems only right that I pay my [long overdue] respects to The Wizard of Oz (1939); after all, my blog title was inspired by certain characters in the movie. Bet you’ll never guess which ones? So what better time than the film’s 71st anniversary?
When I saw the above doodle on Google this morning my day immediately brightened. All at once my head was full with munchkins coming out from wherever they were, Scarecrow falling off his hook, enchanted trees throwing apples, and on and on. In short, my imagination was alert and excited after being bored for weeks by monotonous, left-brained, work-related tasks.
The nostalgia evoked by THE WIZARD OF OZ is tremendous. I’ve loved film from an early age and this was one movie* I watched every time it aired on TV. Yes, that was before we had the luxury of owning a VCR. Most years we gathered as a family to watch it. Uh huh, commercials and all. And without fail, that green hag, accompanied by her minions, never ceased to scare the bejeezers outta me.
Really, if you want to get technical, the Wicked Witch of the West was my first experience with a villain and with the horror awakened by simple yet terrifying imagery and universal themes — the scarecrow being ripped apart by the flying monkeys and the ageless lust for power are examples, respectively.
But the movie, to me, transcends cinema; it’s become a staple in many people’s childhoods. Do you know anyone who hasn’t watched THE WIZARD OF OZ? I certainly don’t, and if one such person happened to stumble into my neck of the woods, I’d smack that person upside the head with the biggest broom I could find and sick my minions** on them. Oh wait, I don’t have any minions…yet. The point being, this is one movie with which everyone is able to connect — it speaks to our imaginations, our desires, and even our fears.
Most of all, though, THE WIZARD OF OZ is timeless. Sure, there’s not the same level of awe when watching as an adult; however, its magic is the same. The joy I get from singing along hasn’t diminished, not one iota; the immense satisfaction I feel from “I’m melting! Melting!” hasn’t lessened. And I laugh out loud every time I hear, “You mean she bit ya?”
Therefore, I invite you all – young and old – to pull out your copy and watch this cinematic treasure the next chance you have. And for those of you who don’t own a copy, rent one! Most libraries carry it on DVD nowadays. Everyone should watch at least once a year.
What’s your favorite scene from The Wizard of Oz (1939)? Why?
*Second only to my all-time favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
**Anyone else watch Despicable Me (2010)? The minions are the best part!