Friday, August 24, 2012

We Finally Saw the Wizard

"A heart is not measured by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." -My favorite line from The Wizard of Oz 

"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?"
Watching it again, I couldn't help but think of its place in movie history, in American pop culture history. Did you know The Wizard of Oz lives in Library of Congress? Think about how groundbreaking it was for its time. I am in awe even though I know Dorothy and her friends are clearly dancing to the end of a sound stage when they turn a corner on the yellow brick road and skip off screen. I am still awed even though you can clearly see the string that makes the cowardly lion's tail wag. And the "city" of Oz is really just a big room decorated green.

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. 

17 comments:

  1. 1939 Wow, hard to believe this movie is THAT old! Great flick, they actually showed it in our big park last night.

    Great blog!

    Teri
    Snarkfest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Teri! And yes... it's amazing how much staying power this movie has had for so long.

      Delete
  2. Even I enjoy the Wizard of OZ !! and enjoy watching it with the kids. Such a classic! MY youngest prolly saw it when she was about the same age as peanut :) Am with you on being wary of letting little kids see scary stuff. My kid has had a few nightmares through the years after seeing scary stuff! Last Wed at the movies me & my oldest watched "Dark Knight Rises" while DH & youngest watched "Dairy of a wimpy kid " next door. Worked out for all :)No Nightmares !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good. I guess it depends on the child. If they can handle it, why wait to show them something that may be scary?

      Delete
  3. My 9yo daughter has never seen ET because she's terrified of the alien, but her favorite movie is Tim Burton's, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Go figure.

    Great blog, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids are funny like that, aren't they? ET is more "scary" for the humans than ET himself.

      Delete
  4. I remember the first year my kids watched The Wizard of Oz....it was the first time in history that they all (I have 6) sat down, in silence, and watched a movie. No one spoke a word the entire time!
    As for the 'scary' parts, my mom is 56 yrs old and still refuses to watch the flying monkey parts, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha. People ARE passionate about those monkeys.

      Delete
  5. It really is a magical tale. My two little ones are too young, but I'm still looking forward to the day we get to watch this together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you all enjoy it as much as Peanut and we did.

      Delete
  6. My family loves this movie! And still am afraid of flying monkeys ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Director actually made a comment about the haunted forest looking something out of a bad Halloween store. The monkeys are freaky, though. I will give you that.

      Delete
  7. My daughter watched it when she was two (I didn't even think about the scary parts) and she loved it. She wasn't afraid of the witch or the flying monkeys, we were lucky. She loves it. It's one of my favorite movies and I have many fond memories of watching it on TV once a year while growing up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? I guess if you don't make a big deal of it, they won't either.

      Delete
  8. *Sigh,* you are such a good parent. I know I will be the kind of parent who doesn't think twice about showing her children Arachnophobia and then pays for it the rest of her life with her children's nightmares/irrational fear of spiders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never think of these things until they come up. I thank you for your compliment. But I am sure there are a ton of people who would say I am too protective. Like I said above, to each their own. Thanks again.

      Delete
  9. I hate the flying monkeys! They give me nightmares, but my kids aren't scared at all by it. Go figure!

    ReplyDelete

Share

Widgets

THE STREAK IS ALIVE!



What is "The Streak?" Click here to read more.