Posts Tagged "Witch"

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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The Princess and the Acquaintance | A True Fairy Tale

The princess did not like being stuck in swampy quick sand. And neither did her pretty shoes. DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Once upon a time there was a lovely princess. She was not the most beautiful, but she didn’t go around breaking any mirrors. She was not the smartest, but she might be the smartest you met on any given day. She was not the most athletic, but she had learned not to trip over her own feet (most of the time, anyway). And she like pretty shoes.

One day the princess was out walking (very far away from civilization) and stepped (accidentally) into a bit of swampy quick sand (don’t ask—this is a story—just go with it). The princess (and her pretty shoes) got very stuck in the swampy quick sand.

The first thing the princess did was to look around for a convenient way out of the swampy quick sand. There wasn’t one.

Then the princess shared some Very Interesting Words with any creatures close enough to hear. There weren’t any.

Then the princess got down to Thinking about how to get out of the SQS.

Fortunately, the princess had her cell phone with her. And one of her friends sent an Acquaintance to help the princess.

The Acquaintance was very nice to the princess. She made all the right sounds of distress at the mess the princess was in. She offered to help the princess. She even offered to help the princess clean her pretty shoes.

The princess was very grateful for the help since she did not like being stuck in swampy quick sand (and neither did her pretty shoes). The princess was So Grateful, she did not stop to consider that in stories like this the Acquaintance is usually not Glenda the Good Witch.

The Acquaintance helped the princess out of the SQS and invited her back to her home. Once the princess was inside the Acquaintance’s home, she (the princess) began to have a sense that something was Not Quite Right. The Acquaintance yelled at everyone. She turned her servants into trained monkeys. She fought with everyone in her family. She even yelled at the princess which seemed to the princess to be Very Bad Manners and mean spirited.

The princess was trapped. Soon she realized this was just another form of swampy quick sand, and she began Thinking about ways to escape.

 The friend sent the princess a pair of shoes and an invitation to dinner.  DearKidLoveMom.comBut the Acquaintance’s home was Very, Very Far from civilization, and the princess was very fond of regular meals and pretty shoes, and she couldn’t figure out how to get back to her own home.

Many days went by. The princess became more and more unhappy—both for herself and for those around her.

Many, many more days went by. The Acquaintance began to act more and more like a lunatic. One day she told the princess to leave. The princess packed her things—but just as she was about to leave the Acquaintance locked the door and wouldn’t let her go. After that, the Acquaintance kept threatening to make the princess leave, but mostly the Acquaintance just made the princess more and more unhappy.

One day, in a fit of complete insanity, the Acquaintance decided to punish the princess. “You must leave my house,” she told the princess. “I will not give you any more food, or drink, or even pretty shoes. See how you like that!”

And she made the princess leave.

The princess was sad because she liked regular meals and pretty shoes. And she was sad because she knew she’d been a good houseguest. But she was also happy, because she finally had the chance to leave the Acquaintance’s house.

And she (and her pretty shoes) discovered they weren’t nearly as far from civilization as she’d thought.

The Acquaintance went on to make those around her miserable. The friend sent the princess a pair of shoes and an invitation to dinner. And the princess (and her shoes) went on to many more wonderful and happy adventures.

Love, Mom

P.S. If you think this is an allegory, you are most correct.

al·le·go·ry noun a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.

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