It’s a trend in the film world to take classic stories and give them a darker, more modern interpretation. We’ve seen it with the Dark Knight trilogy, the Avengers, and Snow White and the Huntsman. Because of this, we weren’t surprised to see the same thing happening with the Wizard of Oz. After all, the novel and Broadway play Wicked gave us a new version years ago, and we’ve been waiting for a new Oz movie to hit the screen. We got that this February with Oz: The Great and Powerful, and there are plenty of differences to take into account.
Big Difference #1 – The Wizard, The Fraud
We all remember that moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy finally gets to meet the wonderful wizard and discovers that he is not so wonderful after all. Not only is the wizard absolutely terrifying, but when the curtain gets pulled back, we find out that he’s really just an ordinary man.
You won’t get that surprise in this latest film. In fact, the inverse happens in Oz: The Great and Powerful. It starts off by showing us a fraud named Oscar and takes us on his journey to becoming the wizard. Rather than discovering that this character is misleading at the end of the film, we despise him from the start.
Big Difference #2 – A Good Witch, A Bad Witch, Or Both?
When Glinda asks Dorothy “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” in the original film, she leads us to believe that witches are only ever one or the other. This recent film complicates this idea by showing us Theodora, a beautiful witch who only wants to do good. It’s surprising that she ends up transforming into the Wicked Witch of the West, but you might just find yourself sympathizing with her despite this.
Interestingly, a similarity lies within this difference. In the first film, Glinda informs us that “Only bad witches are ugly,” and once Theodora becomes evil, she does, in fact, turn grotesque.
Big Difference #3 – The Protagonists and Their Furry Companions
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is inseparable from her dear dog, Toto. We know from the start how much she loves him when she gets into trouble for defending him against her wicked neighbor.
The main character of the newer film also has an animal companion, but they have quite a different relationship. Oscar travels through Oz with a talking monkey named Finley. Unlike Dorothy, the wizard treats Finley poorly for most of the film. This makes us dislike the lead character in the recent movie while it’s hard to not love the sweet little Dorothy from the original.
Big Difference #4 – Meeting New Oz Characters
L. Frank Baum’s Oz books contain a slew of characters you never see in the 1939 film. You’ll meet a few of them in Oz: The Great and Powerful including the adorable China Doll and the Tinkers. You’ll also get to know the Wicked Witch of the East, the character who dies when Dorothy’s house drops out of the sky and whose ruby slippers Dorothy takes.
With all of the renewed interest in the Oz stories, we’re calling on fans to make sure that L. Frank Baum’s characters are everywhere this Halloween. You can go as Dorothy and her friends from the classic tale or as characters from the new film with our Theodora, Evanora, Oscar, and Finley costumes. Here’s a small taste of the many looks we offer: