"The Wizard of Oz" (1939/Rated G): You ever get something in your head, and you make a bigger deal of it than it actually is? In hindsight, that's probably what My Director and I did with The Wizard of Oz. We played up in our minds that it was way too scary to show to Peanut until she was "ready." (Whatever ready means.) Turns out, besides being a little freaked out by the witch every time she popped up, Peanut was fine. She had no problem sleeping that night, and we proceeded to watch it 27 more times the rest of the week.
To put our hesitation over showing Peanut this movie into perspective, the day after we watched it for the first time we were joking with friends of ours who took their five year-old boys to see The Dark Knight Rises. How's THAT for opposite ends of the spectrum? Not something I would do, but to each their own.
As for The Wizard of Oz itself, it had been at least ten years if not more since I had seen it. And let me tell you, I fell in love with it all over again. (What can I say? I'm a sucker for nostalgia.) It not only transports me to a different place, it transports me to a different time. To when I had to wait for the once-a-year event, when it would air on CBS on a Sunday night in March. My parents would let me stay up late to watch it with them. The cowardly lion is my favorite, by the way. He steals the show in my opinion. (Little-known DKL fact: I played the cowardly lion in a play once and killed it.)
|"What do they got that I ain't got?"|
Still, the magic and the wonder take hold of me.
As a dog owner I do feel compelled to point out Toto's big naughty scene. As much as he is a hero who escapes Mrs. Gultch, leads the three friends to save Dorothy, and ultimately reveals the wizard's true identity, he decides to act up at the worst, most crucial time. Just when Dorothy is about to be sent home, he jumps out of her arms to go after a cat and the wizard takes off in his balloon without her. Bad dog. Otherwise, Toto saves the day most of this movie.
And while I'm pointing out some issues with the movie, the witch's guards are so inept they can't spear a runaway dog? And Glinda the Good Witch has the nerve to float in on her bubble in the penultimate scene and tell Dorothy she had the ability to go home all along? That information would have been very helpful back in Munchkinland, lady. Also:
Still, The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic. I'm sure if you've read this far you have fond memories of watching it as a child, and/or with your child. Its initial viewing in your home with your child should be an event. But I would recommend waiting until at least the age of five because of the scary parts.
Our paranoia over this movie being too scary for Peanut came from the nightmares she had after watching another movie. You can read about that here.