Yeah. It's bad with me. My love for that movie, I mean. I'm not sure what it is....the cheesy dream sequence in the window, the even cheesier monkey flying through the sky with Dorothy kicking her legs, the funny munchkin voices or that hilarious scene when they finally reach the Emerald City and the doorbell is broken. Oh, that door guard is a hoot, isn't he?!!
Okay. It's probably not those things.
It's the nostalgia.
My first memory of this movie was when I was around 4. I watched it every spring (remember that? It came on TV once a year in the spring.) in the living room. I always started out 5 feet in front of the TV, laying on my stomach with my chin propped up in my hands. Then the dream sequence in the window would send me to the couch. You know the one....when Ms. Gulch riding on her bike suddenly turned in to the wicked witch on her broom.
Yeah. That one. I mean look at that body language from Dorothy! Why would I NOT be scared? Holy smokes! Da dada da da daaa....da dada da daaaaa! That witch scared me, people!
And then the color sequence in Munchkinland would slowly draw me back to my position in front of the TV. I just loved those tiny people with their strange little voices. I wanted to be one. I really did. I'm not lying.
But then it happened. The most beautiful person in the world came floating down in her bubble. I am sure my jaw dropped every time. I wanted to be her even more!
She was everything pure and good and kind and graceful and beautiful. Today's little girls of the world have the Disney Princesses. I had Glenda. *sigh*
And the movie would continue with singing and dancing and I would sit mesmerized every second with every inch of the TV screen....every sparkle from those ruby slippers, every stumble by the scarecrow and every drop of oil out of the can held my undivided attention. And the new friends would slowly make their way to the creepy forest....and I would slowly make my way back to the couch, even though I knew my absolute favorite character was about to make his grand entrance.
"Baa-ha-haa-haaaa! Whadya do that for? Baa-ha-haa-haaa!" And I would slowly assume my position in front of the TV again. Seriously. Who could not love the lion?
And with all that singing and happiness and friendship, the part I remember most about this movie from those early days was not ANY of that. And why this movie continued to draw me in to it's clutches year after year after year escapes logic since this is the one scene that would not only send me running back to the couch, I would launch over the back and hide behind it. Because as scared as I was of that nasty old wicked witch, those freakishly disturbing monkeys were my demise.
The moment the beginning of this scene hit the TV screen I launched myself over that couch just like the lion does out the window of the Wizard's Emerald Castle....and stayed there until I knew they were flying away with Dorothy back to the castle. I never looked. I just listened and waited for all the screaming and shouting and monkey-screeching to end. I'm pretty sure my mom would announce an "all clear" so I could come out from my safety zone...shaking...scared....with bad dreams to follow for days afterwards.
Sounds like fun!
What? This was a children's book? How lovely. I'm sure that there are hundreds of grownups like myself forever haunted by this peculiar face:
But still....it sucked me in.
I will forever be disappointed this movie was ever released on VHS/DVD, even though I've watched my copy at least a hundred times. Yes. Really. Much to the chagrin of my husband. And now my kids as they are almost grown and are completely annoyed with its cheesiness amidst all the spectacular special effect movies of today. Why my disappointment? Because there was something special....magical....exciting...yet equally frightening....about this movie coming on once a year. It was a pretty special family thing for us. Okay, it was a pretty special thing for ME because I'm not sure my family watched it with me YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR....I think my mom even secretly hoped I would not see the commercials come on announcing it's return each spring. That excitement got lost with VHS/DVD.
But the excitement of the movie remains in my heart. Or the special memories of hiding behind the couch near tears with fear of those creepy winged monkeys. I know the songs. I know the lines. I know a lot of Oz trivia. Dude. A LOT.
I love anything and everything Oz. So much so that I got it tattooed on my butt.
That's love, baby.
So....what's your favorite movie?
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