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LOOKING BACK: The Wizard of Oz

April 15th, 2015 by Marc Comments


17 May 1900 saw the launch of a children’s novel by L. Frank Baum. At the time, there was no way of knowing that Baum had a winner on his hands and had struck gold with its famous characters, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion.

Initially published as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it has been re-printed several times, and has been an inspiration for Broadway musicals and numerous movies, popularly as only, The Wizard of Oz.

Critical Response
The story revolves around a little girl named Dorothy and her adventures in the journey to the Land of Oz. It is not a surprise that this classic book is still read by children and has also been translated in several languages.
The story got very popular among the American culture after the book launched, as well as after the success of the 1902 musical extravaganza, which was based on the same story.

After the book’s immense success, Baum added 13 more books to the collection of Oz. The first edition sold around 250,000 copies of the book within a year.

Later in order to publicise the book further, it was decided to organise a musical play. It was first shown in 1902 by the writer himself, along with others. The musical was initially shown at the Grand Opera House of Chicago, but was later taken to Broadway Majestic Theatre where it completed an astounding 293 shows!

Summary of the Plot
Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of the Oz Series, initially belongs to Kansas and then later becomes the queen of Oz with the help of her best friend Princess Ozma. Her character is said to be inspired by that of Alice from Lewis Carroll books.
She is raised as an orphan in a farm and is a fearless girl. She fights against the Wicked Witch of the West. She has a pet dog named Toto who is a small black dog with smooth and long hair. He has tiny eyes that gleam over his funny teensy nose.

The Scarecrow in the Oz series, is seen with no brain initially, but later reveals to have gotten one with the help of the Wizard. The mindless scarecrow gets his brain because he proves himself as the smartest among all other travellers.
He plays his games throughout, but at the same time understands his limitations. Scarecrow’s wish for a brain contrasts with the Tin Woodman’s wish for a heart. This element in the story speaks about the importance of balanced emotions.
Tin Woodman was a person made up of tin pieces in the Oz series. He was born as Nick Chopper and was turned into Tin Woodman with the enchanted axe of the Wicked Witch of the East.

He also joins Dorothy in the journey to meet the Wizard in the hope of getting a heart. Ironically, he is seen as the most emotional and tender person of all and later gets his heart from the Wizard. His sensitivity towards others is shown in the way of him getting really sad, even by crushing an insect accidentally and this continued throughout the series.

Tin Woodman is a proud person because of his untiring body made of tin. He only fears rusting due to any kind of moisture.

Cowardly Lion is an African lion who interacts with humans. His fear doesn’t let him become confident and he underestimates himself by thinking that he is not suitable to be called King of the Jungle. However, he has acted courageously many times, but refuses to believe that he is brave enough.

Glinda, who is the Good Witch of the South, is the most powerful and knowledgeable one from Oz. She is regarded as a noble and beautiful witch with long red hair and stunning blue eyes. She had the most prominent part in finding Princess Ozma. The witch is a helpful and understanding person who is readily available whenever the Princess is in need of any kind of help or advice.

Wicked Witch of the West is the most noticeable antagonist in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Witch is aqua phobic with a green face. Her only concern is to get the silver shoes, which will make her the most powerful witch of all. She works with groups of creatures who she compels to follow her orders.

Reprised through Several Mediums
The fantasy world of Oz is a favourite theme of casino slot players as well. One such slot follows a yellow brick road towards the Wizard, which goes by the name of Ruby Slippers slot. Also, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman will join you in the journey. The base game involves Glinda appearing every once in a while. The bonus features include Winged Monkey and Emerald City.

There are also many films made showing the magical world of Oz. The first film came in 1910, which was an American silent film. Later, films came in the years 1925, 1933, 1939, 1982 and as recent as 2014.

The Wizard of Oz not only became famous through films and books, but also through many television series that were released in 1961, 1986 and 1990. Published by Marvel Comics, the novel was also adapted in an eight issue comic book series.

So, if you’ve grown up reading and watching the amazing adventures of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, you have a lot of options in the form of movies, slot games, comics as well as memorabilia!

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….