The Wizard of Oz
Adventure / Family
In this charming
film based on the popular L. Frank Baum stories, Dorothy and her dog
Toto are caught in a tornado's path and somehow end up in the land of
Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to
meet the Wizard of Oz who everyone says can help her return home and
possibly grant her new friends their goals of a brain, heart and
It's somewhere over the rainbow...
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The Wizard of Oz (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
is a young orphaned girl raised by her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in the
bleak landscape of a Kansas farm. She has a little black dog Toto, who
is her sole source of happiness on the dry, gray prairies. One day the
farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, is caught up in a cyclone and
deposited in a field in Munchkin Country, the eastern quadrant of the
Land of Oz. The falling house kills the evil ruler of the Munchkins, the
Wicked Witch of the East.
The Good Witch of the North comes with the
Munchkins to greet Dorothy and gives Dorothy the Silver Shoes (believed
to have magical properties) that the Wicked Witch of the East had been
wearing when she was killed. In order to return to Kansas, the Good
Witch of the North tells Dorothy that she will have to go to the
"Emerald City" or "City of Emeralds" and ask the Wizard of Oz to help
her. Before she leaves, the Good Witch of the North kisses her on the
forehead, giving her magical protection from trouble.
On her way down
the road of yellow bricks, Dorothy frees the Scarecrow from the pole he
is hanging on, restores the movements of the rusted Tin Woodman with an
oil can, and encourages them and the Cowardly Lion to journey with her
and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the
Tin Woodman wants a heart, and the Cowardly Lion wants courage. All four
of the travelers believe that the Wizard can solve their troubles. The
party finds many adventures on their journey together, including
overcoming obstacles such as narrow pieces of the yellow brick road,
vicious Kalidahs, a river, and the Deadly Poppies.
When the travelers
arrive at the Emerald City, they are asked to wear green spectacles by
the Guardian of the Gates as long as they remain in the city. The four
are the first to ever successfully meet with the Wizard. When each
traveler meets with the Wizard, he appears each time as someone or
something different. Dorothy sees the Wizard as a giant head, Scarecrow
sees the Wizard a beautiful woman, Tin Woodman sees the Wizard as a
terrible beast, and the Cowardly Lion sees the Wizard as a ball of fire.
The Wizard agrees to help each of them....but only if one of them kills
the Wicked Witch of the West who rules over the western Winkie Country.
The Guardian of the Gates warns them that no one has ever managed to
harm the very cunning and cruel Wicked Witch.
As the friends travel across the Winkie Country, the Wicked Witch sees them coming and attempts various ways of killing them:
First, she sends her 40 great wolves to kill them. The Tin Woodman manages to kill them all.
the Wicked Witch of the West sends her 40 crows to peck their eyes out.
The Scarecrow manages to kill them by grabbing them and breaking their
Then the Wicked Witch of the West summons a swarm of black
bees to sting them to death. Using the Scarecrow's extra straw, the
others hide underneath it while the bees try to sting the Tin Woodman.
Then the Wicked Witch of the West uses her Winkie soldiers to attack them. They are scared off by the Cowardly Lion.
the power of the Golden Cap, the Wicked Witch of the West summons the
Winged Monkeys to capture Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and Toto, and to
destroy the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman. This plan is successful and
the survivors are carried to the Witch.
The Wicked Witch forces
Dorothy to do housework for the castle, all the while scheming to steal
Dorothy's magical shoes. She also locks up the Lion without food until
he will submit to being a pack animal (he never does, as Dorothy sneaks
him food at night).
The Wicked Witch melts, from the W. W. Denslow illustration of the first edition (1900).
the Wicked Witch gains one of Dorothy's silver shoes by trickery,
Dorothy in anger grabs a bucket of water and throws it on the Wicked
Witch. To her shock, this causes the Witch to melt away, allowing
Dorothy to recover the shoe. The Winkies rejoice at being freed of the
witch's tyranny and they help to reassemble the Scarecrow and the Tin
Woodman. The Winkies love the Tin Woodman, and they ask him to become
their ruler, which he agrees to do after helping Dorothy return to
Dorothy, after finding and learning how to use the Golden
Cap, summons the Winged Monkeys to carry her and her companions back to
the Emerald City. and the King of the Winged Monkeys tells how he and
the other monkeys were bound by an enchantment to the cap by the
When Dorothy and her friends meet the Wizard of
Oz again, he tries to put them off. Toto accidentally tips over a screen
in a corner of the throne room, revealing the Wizard to be an ordinary
old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago in a hot air
balloon. The Wizard has been longing to return to his home and be in a
circus again ever since.....
SNEAK PEEK: Excerpt of Chapter 2 (Merit) from Soleri by Michael Johnston (Excerpt Intro by Michael Johnston) - Fantasy Book Critic is excited to welcome Michael Johnston to our blog. Michael Johnston is the author of *Soleri*, which will be published June 13, 20...
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