Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Young Dorothy's life in Kansas is gray and boring until she is swept up in a cyclone that deposits her and her dog, Toto, in the wonderful land of Oz.  She lands among the munchkins who are grateful to her for killing their greatest enemy, the Wicked Witch of the East, even if it was just an accident.  Despite the excitement of this new land, Dorothy quickly begins to long for home, so she heads off to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard hoping he will have the power to send her back to Kansas.

Along the way, she will meet a scarecrow longing for brains, a tin man longing for a heart, and a lion who wishes for courage.  These companions will discover wonders and face dangers in the hopes of having their wishes granted.

I've seen the moving too many times to count, but I am a little embarrassed to admit this is the first time I've read the book.  It is of course similar to the movie, but there are some core differences that were startling.  For example, rather than the constant enemy and villain she is in the movie, the Wicked Witch of the West doesn't appear until about two thirds of the way through the book!  All in all, L. Frank Baum's classic tale is definitely worth a read in its own right and as the inspiration for all the popular culture that it inspired.

Just for kicks, here is the trailer created for the 75th anniversary of the film:

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