The Weirdness of Oz

Reviewing a Classic 84 Years Later

Valery Alcala Serafin, Staff Writer

When we all think of the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” we usually think of Disney or an old-fashioned kid’s movie: the little girl nobody listens to being pulled to a magical land, then meeting friends along the way trying to find her way back home. It’s a movie most of us watched as kids, so this makes sense. But not me.

Watching the “Wizard of Oz” for the first time as a teen, I can only talk about how weird this movie is. Nothing is necessarily wrong with weird, but this particular movie passes the level of eerie when you really stop to think about it.

“The Wizard of Oz” resembles “Chucky” more than it does “Moana,” in my opinion. Like “Child’s Play,” “The Wizard” actually scared me with its level of weirdness. I was really thrown off, especially when I would hear parents say “Oh yes that was my kid’s favorite movie”.

Now, I am a person who gets weirded out very easily, but when it comes to movies, I tend not to. In “The Wizard’s” first 25 minutes, when Dorothy arrives in the Magical Land of Oz I quickly see the munchkins and am weirded by their squeaky voices and ridiculous costumes. I felt uncomfortable and creeped out. Just because they are little people doesn’t mean they need to wear elf shoes: that’s like saying people with glasses are nerds. They also have wacky voices and that made me uncomfortable to the point where I was debating whether to continue watching the movie or not. When they started singing, it did make me laugh a bit, but also it’s saying little people talk funny and have a squeaky voice, which is not true. They also reminded me of the awful oompa loompas from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Little people deserve to be portrayed better!

That’s not the only thing I found disturbing. All of the characters that follow Dorothy are really creepy if you think about it. The scarecrow costume I found very interesting, certainly creepy, but in a good way; he is a scarecrow after all, so it has to be that way. The tin-man though, that one did screw with me a little. When the movie first introduces him, I made a confused look,  pausing the screen to see if I was sure of what I was seeing. A man of tin? Come on, does anyone else find that freaky or is it just me? Walking around and then hearing metals banging so you get startled and turn around, OH! It’s just a man in a tin costume, nothing weird here. Don’t get me started on the lion, but it’s very strange for a grown “lion” to act like a big baby. He’s funny in his own way, as his humor reminds me of The Cat in the Hat, but that came out years later.

All the characters seem to have creeped me out individually, but the worst may have been the Wicked Witch of the West. She didn’t just weird me out, she irritated me. Attempting to get the red slippers annoyed me, every time she came on the screen I just had the urge to skip the part. That also wasn’t the only time I wanted to skip the movie. Every time I got to a part where it seemed irrelevant for me to watch I tried to skip, but I had the thought that this part might be talked about further in the movie.

58 minutes into the movie, I really didn’t understand the hype for it. For so many years, this movie has been cherished like it’s one of a kind, but in my opinion, and as this is the first time I have seen it I do not–and I say this with great passion– I do not like it. This is very different because in my eyes I love any movie that’s either comedy, romance, or horror, but “The Wizard of Oz” straight up made me feel uncomfortable, creeped out, and obviously weirded out.

It could be that I don’t watch these kinds of movies; they are not my cup of tea. I kept looking at how much time I had left until it was over. I also almost fell asleep twice and the third time I let my body take over. If someone suggests watching it as a free time activity, I am finding the nearest door and never coming back.

I suffered most stages of denial while watching this movie. Anger, bargaining, (not depression of course), and acceptance. I accepted that even if I wasn’t going to like the movie, I should still finish it for honest feedback. It has very good hook grabbers and a very interesting plot, but for all I did not enjoy it, considering all this for a 15-year-old who’s her very first time watching it. Would I recommend it to other people? No.