ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

We're Off To See The Wizard Of Oz Part 3

Updated on April 30, 2010

Unlike the colorful MGM musical, which featured a cast of beloved entertainers, Baum's original series was anything but cute and cuddly. The MGM version only hints at the mysterious and dark energies infused in Baum's prose. Although the Oz books were always considered children's entertainment, the spooky surreality he created was more in tune with the tales of Hans Christian Andersen than with the simple rhymes of Mother Goose.
 
Andersen, like Baum, dug up tales from the shadowy side of his imagination, quite unlike the Danny Kaye treatment so typical of Hollywood. Baum also introduced everyday objects and elements that most children could relate to“clocks and circus balloons and items made of tin, stuffed moose heads“in addition to traditional folklore staples like witches and little people.

After Baum's death, Ruth Plumly Thomson became the new Royal Historian of Oz and created 19 more Oz adventures. The entire series, 40 some books, and especially the first, originally written in 1900, has been translated into virtually every language in the world. There have been dozens of films, animated features, television treatments, and even an all - black stage version, The Wiz, which won the Tony for Best Musical in 1975.

Surprisingly it was the Disney studios that managed to accurately capture the essence of Baum's Oz in their Return to Oz, which frightened children across the nation during the mid - 80s. Critics took the Disney people to task for delivering up this unrelentingly depressing and scary depiction of the Wonderful Land of Oz... but those familiar with Baum's originals could recognize that Return to Oz was precisely the kind of vision Baum had in mind. Considering that Baum's work is now universally connected with pleasant childhood memories, it is difficult to truly grasp how dark and sinister the original Oz works by Baum truly were!

While his fantasies were certainly colorful and filled with all manner of unusual characters, they bore only a passing resemblance to the brassy soundstage song and dance of MGM studios. Baum's world was populated by grotesque and tragic critters. For instance, Jack Haley's Tin Woodman was not originally created as a musical comedy crooner but rather as a dour rustic type who has had one too many accidents with his ax. There really was no attempt in the 1939 version to translate the Baum book onto the screen, but rather to capture the popularized versions of Baum's stories, which by then were already well known through silent movies and comic strips. Baum also created sophisticated and diabolical villains and a variety of existential puzzles that would have left MGM's executives gasping for air.

Forget the inconsistencies in the film's internal logic, or the dated language, or the sugary sentiments... MGM's The Wizard of Oz rings a collective bell in our group consciousness. Few other movies have spawned so many catch phrases or have maintained such currency after 50 some years. Perhaps it's because we want to believe the world is still a magical place; perhaps we wish we had friends as good and loyal as Dorothy's, or perhaps we too want to find that special place over the rainbow, knowing all the while that in the end there's no place like home.

Back To Start

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Dorothy 

      8 years ago

      Really hurting for ideas eh Hal.

      You are an idiot.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)