The Wizard of Oz – What’s the Difference?

published on July 2, 2020


I have a feeling we're
not in Kansas anymore

>> Wow, can you believe
The Wizard of Oz is 80 years old?

Well, it's a classic of
American film-making,

it's lauded as the poster
child of Technicolor

And it has spawned a number of parodies,
knock-offs, urban legends, merchandise,

and that thing people do with
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon


So yeah, Casey,
I can't believe it's that old

But all that acclaim and

attention wouldn't exist without
L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The novel was written to the scope of the
Midwestern American droughts of the 1850s

So it's no surprise that audiences in 1939
connected with the film after years of

living through the Dust Bowl

But the film makes significant changes to
things like motives and structure and-

>> And bears, my!

>> (Laugh) Right, because of the- (Laugh)
>> But

I was going to say a number of beheadings

>> (Laugh) Wait, what?

>> So click your heels together because
it's time to ask, what's the difference?


Both the movie and
the book begin in Kansas,

where Dorothy lives with
Auntie Uncle Henry, and her dog Toto

But the movie makes a major change to
Dorothy's attitude about her home in what

is arguably the most iconic scene


Movie Dorothy longs to leave Kansas behind
to find her happiness somewhere over

the rainbow

Book Dorothy, however, never
expresses interest in leaving Kansas

And while the book only spends a small
chapter at home before the cyclone sends

her off to Oz,

the movie concocts a whole new plot
along with a number of new characters

Characters like Miss Gulch,
the affluent Scrooge of the town,

who threatens to destroy Toto

>> I'm taking him to the sheriff and
make sure he's destroyed

>> Dorothy seeks out support
from not only her aunt and

uncle but also from the ranch hands,
Hunk, Hickory, and Zeke

>> What's the matter?

going to let a lit old pig
make a coward out of you?

>> The movie also introduced the

unscrupulous yet lovable Professor Marvel,
who tricks her into returning home

>> I've gotta go home right away!

>> But what's this?

I thought you were going along with me

>> The new plot and
characters mirror Dorothy's time in Oz,

which makes the context of her
trip different from the book

The cyclone trip in the book is meant to
be taken literally, it actually happens

And it takes so long to get to Oz
that Dorothy gets super bored

>> This cyclone takes forever

>> But in the movie, Dorothy is blindsided
by a window knocking her unconscious

The editor uses dissolves to communicate
that Dorothy has entered a fantasy state,

so unlike the book, Oz is just a dream

Regardless, in both mediums,

Dorothy inadvertently commits
house on witch homicide

The only thing left behind are the witch's
slippers, which in the movie are red,

of course, but in the book,
they're silver

The old house on the witch,
I'm getting too old for this (Bleep)

Movie Dorothy is greeted by the Good
Witch Glinda, who stands by her when

the Wicked Witch of the West pops
in to lament her sister's death and

threaten Dorothy over the red slippers

>> I'll get you, my pretty

>> But in the book, Dorothy instead
meets the Good Witch of the North

Neither Glinda nor

the Wicked Witch of the West will
appear until much later in the story

>> But the movie has already
laid the groundwork for

Dorothy's adversary in Miss Gulch,
aka the Wicked Witch

So having her appear early makes her
place in the story much more personal

>> All right, you can get up, she's gone

>> In both mediums, the Good Witch
shares her wisdom with Dorothy

Hold onto your slippers, she says

They must be powerful, she claims

And find the Wizard of Oz, she instructs

He can help you get home, she guesses

Just follow the yellow brick road


>> The Good Witch of the North in
the book goes one step further,

by leaving Dorothy with
an enchantment of protection

No one would dare harm her
in the land of Oz now

After Dorothy sets off down the Yellow
Brick Road in both mediums, she happens

upon her three companions, the Scarecrow,
the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion

Each has their own deep desire
that the Great Wizard of Oz may be

able to help with

But the movie diverges from the book
when it comes to their motivations

>> In the book,
the Scarecrow is only two days old, but

knows well enough that he's lesser
than the man who built him

One particularly intelligent crow tells
him that brains are the only thing worth

having in this world

If he can get that, then he'll be as good
as most men, and even better than some

>> The most we get out of his
motives in the film is that he's too

dumb to scare the crows

But of course, he's got a laundry list
of things he'd do if he had a brain


According to the film, the Tin Man wants a
heart so that he may feel human emotions

Apparently the tin maker
simply forgot to give him one

But in the book the Tin Man is
particularly concerned with the emotion

of love

We see he was once a woodsman
in love with a Munchkin girl

But the Wicked Witch cursed his axe so
that over time,

he gradually lopped off his limbs, torso,
and ultimately his head with every swing

A local replaced his missing flesh with
tin, but was unable to recreate his heart

So if the Wizard can give him a new heart,
he'll be able to marry his true love

Finally, the Cowardly Lion wants
Oz to give him courage, for

only then can he truly be
the king of the forest

And while the Cowardly Lion in
the book is similarly motivated,

he also points out how lonely it is to be
both feared by and afraid of everything

And now that our merry band is together,

they set off to Emerald City to meet
the wizard, a journey fraught with perils

In the movie, the Wicked Witch
puts obstacles in the group's way,

all with the intention of
taking Dorothy's slippers

>> But

in the book,
these perils are purely environmental

The literary Land of Oz is
generally more dangerous and

violent than the movie counterpart

In the movie, the witch merely subdues
the group in a field of poppies,

but Glinda crossfades into the picture,
saving them with magic snow

>> Dorothy, you're waking up!

>> However in the book,

it's the queen of the field mice who
helps them out of the poppy fields, for

she was indebted to the Tin Man for
saving her from a pursuing predator

Which brings us to the Emerald City and
the titular Wizard of Oz, whose merry

upper class inhabitants sing a happy
tune and tend to their guests' needs

The movie mirrors the book's depiction of
the Emerald City, save for one detail

The book requires everyone in the city
to wear emerald colored glasses in

an egregious case of fashion fascism

And while book Dorothy is easily
granted access to the reclusive wizard,

thanks to the good
witch's protection charm,

movie Dorothy instead brings the doorman
to tears with emotional anguish

>> Please don't cry anymore

I'll get you in to the Wizard somehow

>> The movie chooses to introduce
him as a massive disembodied

head over intimidating pyrotechnics,
which is how I like to meet most people

But in the book it is but
one of his many forms

He also appears as a biblical
ball of fire, a monsterous beast,

and a B-E-A-utiful fairy

>> No matter is form in both mediums,
he directs Dorothy and

his friends to kill the Wicked Witch of
the West in order to earn their wishes


>> In the movie, Dorothy is stolen away
by the witch's pet flying monkeys,

who leave Dorothy's friends behind

>> What happened to you?

>> The Wicked Witch from the book
first sends bees, crows, and wolves,

all of which end up being murdered


It's only then she sends the Flying
Monkeys, who are not the pets depicted in

the film, but instead a cursed group
of beings bound to a magic hat and

forced to carry out three wishes

What the movie lacks in violence,
it makes up for in tension

>> Do you see that?

That's how much longer
you've got to be alive

>> The Witch puts a ticking
clock on Dorothy's life

Her companions embark on
a comical infiltration scheme

Ultimately, the group reunites, only to
find the Wicked Witch has them cornered

But when the Witch takes a flame to
the Scarecrow- No, Scarecrow kryptonite!

Dorothy tosses a pail of
water to douse the flames,

inadvertently melting the Witch

Witch kryptonite!

>> I'm melting, melting!

What a world, what a world

>> The confrontation in the book puts the
full burden of the situation on Dorothy's


The flying monkeys knock Scarecrow and

the Tin Man out of the game by
dropping them from a great height

The lion is left chained in a dungeon,
while Dorothy is subjected to housework

till she snaps and throws her mop
water on the witch out of frustration

>> You liquidated her, eh?

Very resourceful

>> Yes, sir

>> In both mediums, the Wizard turns out
to be a sham, a shyster, a pettifogger

An old humbug from the heart of Kansas,
a real son of a (Bleep)

But Dorothy and her friends refuse
to let him off the hook, so

he does his best to grant
their wishes anyway

In the movie, he presents the scarecrow
with a university degree, the lion with

a medal for bravery, and the Tin Man
with a testimonial token of affection

>> The wizard in the book is
much more arts and crafts

He makes the scarecrow a brain out of
a mixture of bran, pins, and needles

For the Tin Man, he installs a heart
made of silk and stuffed with sawdust

And for the lion,
a bottle of liquid courage, weakling

>> And like the movie,

Dorothy is to be taken home by
the humbug himself in a balloon

But Toto mucks up the take off,
leaving them stranded in Oz

Bad dog

But not to worry,
because Glinda has a solution

In the movie, she magically appears

In the book, Dorothy must travel
a great distance to reach her

So for the next few chapters, Dorothy and
her friends weave through frightening and

foreign lands, armed with nothing but
their brains, their hearts, and

their courage, and an axe, and
a group of flying monkeys

Yeah, of course she put the hat on

It's so pretty

In both mediums,

Glinda reveals how Dorothy had the power
to go home all along, like a chump

In the movie, she had to complete
an emotional odyssey in order to

realize there is no place like home

But since book Dorothy never wanted
to leave Kansas to begin with,

she had to learn self-reliance

It's by taking matters into her
own hands that she finds Glinda,

who tells her the secret
power of the silver slippers

By the end, Dorothy makes it back home

Auntie And Uncle Henry are elated to
find Dorothy alive after all this time

Although, I imagine there would
be little time to celebrate,

since they're busy rebuilding their house

The movie ends with Dorothy regaining
consciousness, the dream is over, and

having experienced the wonders
in the dangers of the world

Dorothy is happy to be home

>> There's no place like home

>> And

that's the end of our yellow brick roads

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right here in the merry
old land of Cinefix


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