In my kitchen there is a Wizard of Oz promotional calendar. The month of April describes the film as ‘The Happiest Movie Ever Made!’
WTF?!? Are you kidding me? The Wizard of Oz is a great movie to be sure. I love almost everything about it from the singing to the dancing to the innovative visuals to the intelligence of the movie to its important cultural impacts. But The Happiest Movie Ever Made? What a rotten, mean joke! The movie features a false god, political corruption, malevolent witches, terrorist attacks, family dysfunction, murder, kidnapping, natural disaster, drug use and abuse of power. And topping it all off, at the end of the movie, Dorothy decides she wants to stay in Kansas!
I realize childhood didn’t mean the same thing in 1939 as it does today but can you imagine seeing billboards saying ‘The Happiest Movie Ever Made!’ and walking into the theatre to see The Wizard of Oz? As Flavor Flav would say, “Don’t believe the hype!”