It may be hard to believe, but the popular musical film, The Wizard of Oz was first released in 1939. The book was released over 100 years ago, making it even more of a timeless classic, especially as it’s been firmly entrenched in popular culture ever since. Let’s delve into why.
L. Frank Baum’s magical world had it all – fairies, witches, wizards, talking animals, magic slippers – we could go on! The Wizard of Oz gave audiences much-needed escapism from the issues that arose from the Great Depression.
A terrible hurricane hits Dorothy’s town, and she is knocked unconscious. Her home lands on the Wicked Witch of the East during this time. As a result, Glinda, The Good Witch of the North, gives Dorothy the Wicked Witch of the West ruby slippers, making her furious.
Dorothy is told to follow the Yellow Brick Road to get to the wizard, who could help her find her way home. On this road, she meets her travel companions; Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, each with their own personal reason to go to Emerald City to meet the wizard.
Friendship and Family
There are several themes that feature in The Wizard of Oz, including good thwarting evil. But there’s also to remember that there’s no place like home and that if you persevere, then your dreams will come true. For instance, Dorothy got her wish to go home, Scarecrow showed bravery, Lion showed he had courage, and Tin Man showed he had a heart.
Perhaps another one to add to this is that friends and family will always be there to help you because Dorothy’s family looked after her when she was unconscious. At the same time, her friends helped her get to Emerald City and, ultimately, home.
Over the Rainbow
The standout song in the film has to be Over the Rainbow. Surprisingly, MGM executives had actually removed it from the film because they deemed it too slow. When associate producer Arthur Freed issued an ultimatum, forcing them to lose him if they lost the song, they decided to put it back. Thank goodness they did! It’s a song that’s stood the test of time and is filled with hope. Plus, who doesn’t like rainbows?
Despite being a natural phenomenon, there’s something magical about them. They feature in many fantasy genres, including literature and games, like Rainbow Riches slots. Full of color and fun, it also has elements of Irish folklore, as there are leprechauns and a pot of gold. These are often found close to one another, with the pot of gold said to be found by the lucky person who finds the end of a rainbow. Just keep your fingers crossed the pot isn’t full of leprechaun gold!
The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic that was only one of several books based on Oz that Baum wrote. But it’s the one that has remained a mainstay of western culture for many reasons. Whether it’s the score or specific songs, like Over the Rainbow, or even the Ruby Slippers, there’s something that many of us feel an affinity to. Perhaps it’s a place where the dreams we dare to dream really do come true.