The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Book vs. Movie

The Wizard of Oz    Oz The Great and Powerful

This time around, I wanted to do something a little different.  We all know that the classic movie, starring Judy Garland, was not filmed exactly word for word from the original story by L. Frank Baum.  What I found interesting though, is how lately, there have been renditions of this tale—but from viewpoints of other characters in the book.  I am sure you have heard the Wicked Witch’s take on things from Gregory Maguire’s, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (which I will be talking about in another post).  Indeed, Maguire’s novel has become a Broadway sensation over the past few years and even that version gives a different perspective from the plot of his book (especially the ending—which I have to say, I love the musical so much more because of it).  The recent Disney film, which stars James Franco, came out in theaters a few months ago and it approaches the story this time from the Wizard’s point of view.  Since it shows how the Wizard got to Oz, we also see from his side how the Wicked Witch becomes evil.  I must agree that the recent film ties in quite well to the original movie, making it a prequel of sorts.  If you have watched the MGM version, you will appreciate the effort on Disney’s part to give the Wizard and the witches a background story, which Dorothy (and viewers) had no idea about.  I also liked how the Wizard is portrayed as being very powerful to the inhabitants of Oz, when in fact, his magic is all about illusion—which is revealed in this new adaptation and the original one.  Therefore, the two movies are consistent with each other.  Again, I personally favour the story of Broadway’s Wicked to any other interpretation about the Wicked Witch but this film has an interesting plot which intimately ties many of the characters together, making sense of  why Oz needed to be saved and how Emerald City became Dorothy’s only hope.  Thoughts?

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