Posts Tagged "wicked"

You Do Not Know This About The Wizard of Oz

Dear Kid,

There is a great deal, my darling, that you don’t know. Hopefully, none of those things show up on your final exams.

Because while you are super smart, you still have things to learn. That’s why you have to go back to school next year.

Turns out there are about a zillion things you don’t know about The Wizard of Oz (and about a zillion and three websites devoted to telling you about said things).

Follow the yellow brick road. Where does your magic road take you? DearKidLoveMom.comHere are some of my fave what-the-heck? factiods.

You already (probably) know that Dorothy’s shoes in the book were silver and that they were changed to ruby red in the movie because the red showed up better against the Yellow Brick Road. But did you know that (in the movie) Dorothy’s outfit was light pink and blue because the light pink looked more white than white did?

Baum may have invented the name ‘Oz’ when looking at an alphabetical filing cabinet label, ‘O-Z.’ That may or may not be true.

And do you know that horses like Jell-O? Remember the horse-of-a-different-color? I always thought it was a techno-trick to make the horse change colors. That’s probably because I believe in magic. In this case however, the magic was crystalized Jell-O that was a painted onto several different horses (one for each color). The scenes had to be shot magically fast because the horses kept licking off the Jell-O yumminess. (Don’t worry about the horses—the ASPCA was involved to make sure they were well treated.)

The phrase horse of a different color means another matter entirely. Except in Oz where it means a horse that changes colors.

The horses were the only ones on set who loved their makeup. The green paint the Wicked Witch wore was toxic. Once she was painted, she wasn’t allowed to eat which made for an interesting diet. (And her face stayed green for weeks after filming because of the copper in the makeup.)

The Scarecrow’s makeup stayed with him too. For about a year, Ray Bolger had lines in his face from the mask. Even worse, Buddy Ebsen (who was supposed to be the Scarecrow and then swapped roles with Bolger to be the Tin Man) had a severe (as in he couldn’t breathe) reaction to the aluminum dust they used to make his face silver. Not breathing is generally a liability in acting, so Ebsen left Dorothy et al. for other projects (as they say). The next Tin Man got a paste instead of powder and his lungs seemed to appreciate the change.

The tornado in the film was actually a 35-foot-long muslin stocking spun around with dust and dirt.

Speaking of weird ingredients, the snow (in the poppy scene) was asbestos. The Tin Man cried chocolate syrup (machine oil didn’t show well on camera). And the sparks that shot off the ruby slippers were apple juice not magic.

Four sets of ruby slippers were used during filming. The ruby slippers were a size 5. That means they were too small for me to borrow. Size 5 is a tiny little foot.

Ingredients weren’t the only oddities. Behavior during the making of TWoO was odd as well. For example, the film’s director slapped Judy Garland when she couldn’t control her giggles. Not saying that today’s film sets are models of decorum, but slapping a star today would cause social media (and traditional media) to stand on their collective heads.

There are lots of other weirdnesses in the Land of Oz (and I’m not even counting Wicked), but unexpectedness and magic is what The Wizard of Oz is all about, right?

Love, Mom

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Not In Kansas | Facts You Don’t Know About Oz

Dear Kid,

The Wizard of Oz, All because of a tornado

The Wizard of Oz, All because of a tornado

Once upon a time, there were no tornados, and nothing on either side of the rainbow. Then 1900 tornados were invented and L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Shortly thereafter preteen girls began reading the entire series. Longly thereafter your mother (who is old, but not quite that old) read the entire series. I can still tell you where in the library the books were kept.

Somewhere in between the first set of preteens and your mama as a preteen, The Movie was made. The Wizard of Oz (the movie) premiered August 12, 1939, in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. This is important because Oconomowoc is fun to say. Try it, I’ll wait.

In honor of August 12th, here are several a bunch lots some fun facts you probably don’t know (unless you’re my friend Judy L who knows everything and then some about TWoO).

The Cowardly Lion’s costume was made of real lion pelts and weighed about 100lbs. For the record, it is not easy to schelp around 100 pounds of fur. It is also not easy to continue as a real lion when you have been deprived of your skin.

Speaking of costumes, in the book, Dorothy’s slippers were silver. Ruby red slippers were more interesting to look at in Technicolor. When the Wicked Witch of the West tries to take the slippers (you remember that part, right?), fire erupts (it was actually an effect done with apple juice).

Dorothy’s dress (the blue and white one) was actually blue and pink (pink looked better on film). Speaking of things that didn’t work on film, the Tin Man’s “oil” was actually chocolate sauce.

The Horse of a Different Color was actually several white horses that were covered in (wait for it) Jell-O! Being smart equines, the horses kept trying to lick the Jell-O. No one else tried to eat their costume, especially WWW since her makeup was toxic (she lived on a liquid diet to avoid accidentally eating any).

The Tornado was made using a 35 foot muslin stocking. They spun it around while dirt, dust, and wind blew against it. You can see this recreated in our house on pretty much any windy day.

Remember the sweet snow that Glenda sent to wake our heroes in the poppy field? It was made out of asbestos. Yup, the stuff that causes cancer. Talk about oxymorons.

L. Frank was paid $75,000 for the movie rights. In those days, that was HUGE money. If anyone wants to pay me HUGE money for the movie rights to this blog, I’ll be happy to entertain offers.

Love, Mom

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Flying High | December 17th

Dear Kid,

Imagine it is 1903. The century is barely begun, but the year is almost over. It is December 17th. On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers from Dayton are about to make history.

What? No in-flight beverage service?? DearKidLoveMom.comYes, Orville and Wilbur make the world’s first successful flight in a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft on 12/17/03 wow–can’t really write it that way, can I? Orville was the pilot. Wilbur was the ground crew, the in-flight attendant (albeit not in the plane), and the control tower. He was all those things very, very quickly because the plan only stayed aloft 12 seconds.

In honor of this we are driving to Florida for vacation.

No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris. Orville Wright

Note to burglars: The vicious attack dog is staying home to guard the house and its contents. He will be hungry. Intruder is his favorite snack. We are also leaving venomous snakes to guard the valuables. Of which we don’t have any.

If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport. ~George Winters

Fast forward a few years to 1911 when we get commercial passenger flights. At this point, air travel was less than comfortable. It was less than a lot of things, actually, and in some respects it’s amazing that We The People even bothered continuing to invent the industry.

An airplane? I’ll stick with my broom, thank you very much. Glinda

But Uncle Sam stepped in in 1925 and encouraged airmail delivery and passenger delivery. The first was by passing the Kelly Air Mail Act and the second was by subsidizing the price of passengers’ tickets. Neither of which seem particularly relevant in today’s day and age.

In 1930, United Airlines hired graduate nurses to tend to passengers’ comfort and needs. They were called stewardesses (after the similar position on cruise ships). Stewardesses (in those days) were responsible for all sorts of things like refueling airplanes and loading luggage. Then everyone got specialized and stewardesses were responsible for refueling passengers and watching them struggle with carry-on luggage.

These days, flight attendants are not even responsible for the safety announcements (all recorded) and if you want food on a plane you’d best bring your own (or marry a zillionaire).

Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Douglas Adams

Speaking of which, if you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, you really should. You may borrow my copy as long as you return it at some point. Bring your own laughter, you’ll need it.

Love, Mom

Defying Gravity (which is pretty much what flying is) for your viewing enjoyment

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