This is a fairy tale from the MGM studio, well known for its very famous ‘Tom & Jerry’ series. They produced ‘The Wizard of Oz’ way back in 1951.
The story is about a little girl called Dorothy who lives in Kansas with her family and her pup called Toto. Toto lands up in trouble for going after rich people’s cats. A rich and cruel lady comes to take him away from Dorothy, leaving her crying bitterly. But Toto manages to run away, back to her. As children always manage trouble over things they are sentimentalists about, Dorothy decides to run away with Toto. That’s where adventure begins as a twister hits the neighborhood and her house and plucks her house off the earth. She finds herself flying all across the sky. When her home finally hits ground, she finds herself in a strange land and she concludes that she’s reached the land across the rainbow.
The land was inhabited by little people called munchkins. She becomes quite the heroine there because where her house falls in Munchkinland, it hits and squashes the life out of the wicked witch who had troubled little munchkins for a long time. But another wicked witch, the dead witch’s sister wants to avenge her sister’s death. In order to return to her home and save herself from the wicked witch, she sets out to find the most remarkable and powerful and great wizard of Oz. She makes friends on her way, a scare-crow who wants a brain, a tin-man who wants a heart and a cowardly lion who wants courage. How they find the wizard and what they get after finding the wizard forms the substantial part of the motion picture and keeps the interest of the audience glued. They eventually find the Wizard of Oz after a great ordeal and he manages to satisfy all of them, except Dorothy. But a good witch comes to her rescue. Her ‘Ruby Slippers’ take her home
Finally when Dorothy reaches home, she finds that she is in bed with fever and probably it was all a dream.
The commendable part of the theme is the way teachings have been offered to the audience. It’s like some literature by Socrates, and as important, but wrapped in the cover of an Archie comics paperback. They’ve presented morals inside innocent pink humor, through the dialogue and dialogue delivery of the characters. Only, the Archie paperback cover has been more aesthetically done.
The most important thing for young adults to learn is that there is no place like home, which Dorothy realizes after running off. And other things told to us through the scare-crow, the tin-man and the lion point that we are what we think we are. There are no limits to what we can be only if we remove the limits we have decided to impose on ourselves. The shock that viewers get when they find out that the great wizard of Oz was not so great after all is very well handled and tells us that looks can be deceptive and we ought to be able to form opinions ourselves without being affected by rumors and reputations. The noteworthy thing is that even though conventionally a failure, this wizard manages to give to each of them what they want the most, that too from inside themselves.
The end is the celebration of two things, one, the occasion that Dorothy gets back to home and the second that her friends get everything they always badly wanted and strongly believed that they did not and could not have. Both point towards just one thing, the celebration of our ‘will’. Where there is a will, there is a way.
They picture deserves credit for honest adaptation of the original story, very melodious dialogues, musical rhymes and mind-blowing performance of the actress playing Dorothy. They movie is half colored. The part showing Munchkinland and Oz is in colors, though rest of the movie is black & white. The special effects have been much ahead of the time the picture was made. Humor too, though almost five decades old, it has universal appeal and manages to tickle audience of every age.
All in all, the movie, of the genre ‘fantasy’ will never cease to appeal to the psychologies and the deepest desires of young adults.