Sunday, November 03, 2013

Similarities between the Oz movies

Recently I watched for the first time Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). One of my favorite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz (1939), so in watching Oz I noticed a bunch of similarities between the movies, as well as fun and clever throwbacks!

*spoilers ahead*



Characters & Scenes

One of Dorothy's most famous lines is "We must be over the rainbow!" In Oz, they didn't explicitly say he went over the rainbow, but in the scene where his balloon is first entering the land of Oz, he floats right by a rainbow :)
over-the-rainbow

When Dorothy first lands in Munchkinland, they show big sweeping shots of huge colorful flowers. Same thing when Oscar (Oz) floats in.
color-flowers

The outfit for the monkey Finley in Oz was obviously based off those silly blue flying monkeys in Wizard!
bellhop-monkey

This Winkie guard in Oz had very similar facial hair to one of the Emerald City guards in Wizard.
facial-hair

The green makeup on these wicked witches in unmistakeable!
witch-green-face

Glinda floats around in a bubble.
glinda-bubble

Glinda (Michelle Williams) obviously took lessons on proper wand holding from Glinda (Billie Burke).
holding-wand

Both wicked witches throw balls of flame generated by cocking back their arm.
throwing-fireballs

Typical wizard hat, I guess.
wizard-hat

The green background, fireballs, smoke, and projection are spot-on in Oz!
wizard-projection

Glinda conjuring snowflakes to ward off poppy smells and Glinda conjuring white fog to ward off poppy smells.
poppy-antidote

Both had a scene with a lion jumping down from a high rock.
lion-up-on-rock

The Yellow Brick Road starts in the same type of spiral.
yellow-brick-road

This shot is of the characters' very first view of the Emerald City, and both are magnificent.
first-view-of-emerald-city

The long, repetitive corridor that leads to the Wizard's throne room.
long-corridor

Hand-painted signs.
hand-painted-signs

The dark forest / haunted forest is creepy.
dark-forest

Poppy fields.
poppy-fields

The Wicked Witch of the West uses red smoke; the wizard of Oz uses red smoke.
red-smoke

The wicked witch likes to show up in a big puff of fire.
wicked-witch-explosion

Words & Actions

Both of our characters from Kansas "fell from the sky."
fell-from-the-sky

Surprise that the pretty lady is also a witch.
i-am-a-witch

Stereotypes about ugly witches.
witches-are-uglyu

Both wicked witches spy on things with their massive crystal ball viewers.
crystal-viewer

"Begone!"
begone

Glinda makes a point to tell everyone that the wicked witch is gone now.
shes-gone

Black smoke tails from the wicked witches' brooms.
broom-smoke

Apparently this is the proper way to control your flying monkeys: by reaching out your hands and yelling "FLY!"
fly

Pretty character's friends making sure she gets a gift, too.
dont-forget

Pretty character isn't expecting any gifts.
nothing-for-me


Foreshadowing

Obviously foreshadowing is a common storytelling technique used in books and movies. These three from The Wizard of Oz I picked up on even when I was young. Scarecrow:
brain

Tinman:
statue

Lion:
courage

I didn't notice this one from Oz the Great & Powerful until I watched the intro again! It's a dancing couple (Theodora & Oz) that briefly turns into the shadow of the wicked witch, while overlaid with "Mila Kunis." If I didn't know who was supposed to be evil before watching (and I didn't), this intro screen should have gave it away.
witch-shadow

Oz tells Annie that he'll see her in his dreams, and then when they first meet in Oz the scene almost repeats.
see-you-in-my-dreams

This little girl from the magic show audience begs for Oz to cure her so she can walk. Oz fumbles and then gets boo'd off stage. Later he gets to help the China Girl glue her legs back on so she can walk (PS: the same actress plays both parts).
make-me-walk


Clever Stuff

The carnival in Oz is called "Baum Bros. Circus" and his assistant's name is Frank. (After L. Frank Baum, the author of the original Wizard of Oz books.)
frank-baum

Dorothy Gale / John Gale. Coincidence?
last-name-gale

Oz calls Frank "a trained monkey" as Frank is carrying his bag. Later Oz gets a real trained monkey assistant who also carries his bag (same actor plays both parts).
trained-monkey

Oz tells Frank he's not his friend. Later in Oz, he tells Finley they ARE friends. Happy endings all around.
friendship

Are these horses grazing in the pasture in Oz "horses of a different color?" They definitely look multicolored!
horse-of-a-different-color

Lion says "somebody pulled my tail" and Finley says "something's got my tail!"
pulled-my-tail

This little scene is so unmistakeable! The wicked witch grabbing red powder to do some magic. Both have a mortar & pestle, and they even remembered the hour glass!
red-powder

Snow wakes everybody up.
wakes-up-with-snow

Grabbing on to each other so nobody falls down!
tail-chain

In Oz, Theodora screams with pain when her first teardrops fall.
melting

Later in the movie, her cheeks show scars from where her tears seared her face!
water-melting

Annie is wearing gingham, just like Dorothy's iconic dress.
gingham

Close-up shot of sparkly shoes!
glittery-shoes

The End.
the-end

PS: Some of these similarities might simply be because they're both based on the same books. Since I haven't read all the books in the series and haven't read The Wizard of Oz in a long time, my observations here are strictly from just the films. I'm glad Disney made clever little mentions to the 1939 film! I'm glad they didn't just think they could create something better. Nothing will ever be better than the original :)

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joanna! I think you're totally right: I should try Project 333 again but be a little less strict on myself. Even committing to an item (like my stupid yellow dress I picked in the summer) and then realizing it totally sucks and I hate wearing it - is a good exercise in really paring down your clothes. It helps you figure out the difference between "aww, but this is so cuuuuute" and "I love this, it's perfect, and would be totally satisfied to wear it all the time."

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  3. In Munchkinland when Dorothy is leaving the town there is weird rising hills in Oz the Great and Powerful those weird hills are everywhere. (I think you should add this in)

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Comments are delightful - thanks for taking the time to write!