Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thoughts & Opinions on AFI's new spot for OZ

Last night, AFI had it's 10th anniversary special.

Of note to Oz fans, MGM's classic The Wizard of Oz has been moved from #6 to #10.

Above it are nine movies that I haven't seen (except Singin' In The Rain, which has moved up 5 places).

I wonder... is America taking Oz for granted? That movie didn't come around easily, you know!

One thing Oz fans forget is that when MGM made their movie, the original stage musical was considered the "Ultimate" version. So, they had to live up to and exceed that. Instead of basing their movie on the play, they went back to Baum's book and based it mainly on that. The play had set a high bar for Oz adaptations, MGM had to set the bar even higher, and so far, none have been able to completely surpass it. Disney's Return to Oz and The Wiz are now cult classics.

I get so sick of it when I see movies being labelled "The Wizard of Oz for our time." Harry Potter was quickly given that label, and so was some other recent movie, but I forgot what it was. (May have been Pan's Labyrinth.)

Why am I sick of it? Do these new movies convey all the same messages and lessons as Oz? I know Harry Potter has some fans in the Oz community (I am not one of them, I've only referenced it as an example of recent fantasy films), but still, I'm pretty sure that they aren't fans of Harry because it's a lot like Oz. I'm a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but both of these are different fantasies. And most of all, Oz is still relevant today.

Stop taking this classic for granted, America!

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