Ok, so I was sitting in my hotel room tonight, flipping through channels, and I happened upon the Wizard of Oz. It was pretty much near the beginning, Dorothy had just landed in Munchkinland and was exploring the town. Normally, I would be thinking ‘yeah! I haven’t seen this movie forever, I’ll think I’ll watch the rest of it’. But for the first time, I could not stand to watch even a few minutes of it. Why the sudden change of heart? It’s not that I stopped liking the story itself….I’ve just been exposed to other ‘story lines’ since the last time I watched it. As I’m sure I probably mentioned this summer, I recently completed listening to the audiobook Wicked: The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s a great book. Quite dark, but with a lot of great detail and humor and the story is just awesome. The whole book is from the point of view of Elphaba (the witch) from her birth when her parents freaked out because she was green and had razor sharp teeth, to her ultimate demise at the hands of the little girl who had her(Elphaba’s) sister’s (Nessa Rose) shoes…. which were in fact Silver, not ruby. This is actually true. In the original W of Oz story, the slippers were silver, but when they began filming the movie, they changed them to ruby to exploit the fact that the movie was in color! Anyhow, in Wicked, a much more complete and ‘realistic’ picture of Oz is presented and an entire background on their society and all the ills that came with it, are provided. There is so much backstory, that to imagine that the whole story begins and ends with Dorothy is completely strange to me now. I can’t watch it without thinking….”no! the munchkinlanders are not these wonderful little people! They aren’t entirely bad, they were even moderately successful in removing themselves (for a time) from the control of the Wizard…under the leadership of NessaRose (the WW of the East). When Dorothy’s house fell on NessaRose, the munchkinlanders saw it as a sign that Dorothy was to be their savior and new leader! And don’t get me started on the Tin Man and Lion and Scarecrow…..
Anyhow, I could sit here and debate many things and make the ‘original’ Oz story seem completely messed up, or I can just leave it alone and let you enjoy it. I don’t think I ever will again. At least not like I used to.