Scary Stuff, Pt.3Posted: December 10, 2008
A series of posts remembering the things that scared the %&#%@ out of me as a kid. In the words of Homer Simpson, “This thing writes itself!”
What: The Wizard of Oz.
Media: Movie, 1939.
Point: A political message deftly hidden in a weird and wacky tale of alterna-world travel. More or less.
Scary: Um, the floating Wizard Head, the Wicked Witch of the West, The Scarecrow, The Winged Monkeys, Allweownweeeeeowe, Twisters.
Ramifications: The Witch theme became the standard soundtrack for scary dreams- Oz themed or not. I distinctly remember the last one. I was not a child.
Nightmare Factor: 7/10 I had no direct Oz-themed dreams, mainly remember the music a lot. I do remember having to re-stuff someone with straw, tho. That ended up being a pretty weird dream.
Therapeutic Recovery: Most notably, Gregory Maguire’s novel, Wicked. His depiction of Elphaba as a one-woman animal shelter and heroiene betrayed is pretty ingenious. Her psychological breakdown spins the movie in an unexpected way. Nicely done, Gregory! I also do think that the inclusion of the Jitterbug (the deleted scene, not the what-would-have-been-underage con-sumption) would have eased the tension in what was, perhaps, the scariest scene for me. There is some irony there, regardless.
Related: The ’77 cartoon version of The Hobbit. No one thing sticks out so much as the creepy animation and horrid, eerie music. Smaug- nope. Goblins- meh. Bug-eyed Bilbo singing bad folk tunes? Bust my buttons!!
Sidenote: In the Oz story, The Wizard parallels the US Gov, located in the Emerald City, i.e., Washington D.C.. The interpretation of course, is that the government (like the Wizard) doesn’t deal with issues, leaves other to do the dirty work, and flies off to faerielands when its time to make good on its promises. In real life, the NBA franchise in our nation’s capitol calls itself the Washington Wizards. Really? Could we have gone another direction with that? Really?