Before Dorothy made it back to Kansas, she had to face a few witches down her yellow brick road. Although the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz is most popular for featuring witches like the Wicked Witch of the West and the good witch Glinda, several stories and renditions of these leading Oz ladies have been created. Inspired by the Oz the Great and Powerful, out today, we're taking a look back at the evolution of the three witches who have influenced this famous story. From the good and glittery to the green and envious, the witches of the north, west, and east are nothing short of witchcraft, whimsy, and history, too!
Tomorrow, a prequel to the Wizard of Oz story, Oz the Great and Powerful, hits theaters, starring James Franco as the wizard. The Disney movie loosely references the film many of us are most familiar with, the 1939 adaptation The Wizard of Oz that stars Judy Garland as Dorothy. Another modern reinterpretation of the tale is the immensely popular Broadway musical Wicked, a prequel about Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch of the North). But the source material for all these dates back to 1900, when L. Frank Baum wrote the children's novel that introduced us to Dorothy and the rest of the yellow brick road gang: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I was surprised by some of the facts about this fantastical story and its history, so if you're intrigued about the book that began it all, check out these interesting tidbits below, and click through for a look back at the vintage book covers and illustrations.
- In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wears silver shoes instead of the iconic ruby slippers.
- Baum's first Oz book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was turned into a burlesque-style Broadway musical in 1902 about Dorothy falling in love with a poet-prince. Instead of Toto the dog, there's a cow named Imogene, and the wizard is an Irish wisecracking comedian.
- Some scholars believe that the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (nicknamed "the White City") inspired the Emerald City. Others propose that since Baum often stayed at San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado and wrote some of his Oz books there, that could be another influence for the Emerald City.
- After Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he went on to write 13 more books in the Oz series. More than once he tried to end the Oz series, but since they were so popular, he continued writing them until he died in 1919. Other writers, including Ruth Plumly Thompson, continued the Oz series after his death.
- A majority of the heroes in Baum's Oz books were girls.
- Baum had a granddaughter named "Ozma," and his 11th Oz book, The Lost Princess of Oz (published 1917), was dedicated to her shortly after her birth. The story begins with the disappearance of Princess Ozma, the ruler of Oz.
- Until his death in 1943, John R. Neill illustrated all of the Oz books except the first one, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- Poppy Delevingne got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, James Cook, today. She posted a picture of the custom Anya Hindmarch jewelry box Cook commissioned as a proposal gift to Instagram with the caption, "Errr YES." [The Daily Telegraph]
- The lush setting for Meadham Kirchhoff's Spring 2013 show — which included lots of upholstered furniture, candles covered with wax drippings, and piles of fresh fruit and baked goods — was captured in a short film called A Cautionary Tale. [Style.com]
- Hedi Slimane's debut collection for Saint Laurent came down the runway just over a week ago, and Lady Gaga has already worn the line twice. She donned the clothes in London on Monday for tea with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and again in Iceland on Tuesday at Yoko Ono's Grant for Peace event. [The Cut]
- Marni has set a goal to double its sales "in five years through a further development of retail," said CEO Gianni Castiglioni. Any billionaires out there looking for an exciting investment opportunity? [WWD]
- Stateside fans of Zara's clothing will be able to buy housewares from the Zara Home collection online as of today. [Fashion Etc.]
- If model newcomers Grace Mahary, Ji Hye Park, and Nastya Kusakina weren't household names before, they might be now that they've made a few turns down the runways during Fashion Month. [The Fashion Spot]
- Bidding on the blue gingham dress Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz, set to be auctioned in Beverly Hills next month, will start at $200,000. [The Guardian]
The Wizard of Oz is over 70 years old, but the classic film has proved to be a pop-culture mainstay — thanks in part to some truly unforgettable lines. Whether you've seen the movie once or 100 times, I'm willing to bet there are some quotes (or lyrics!) that have stayed with you, so check out my favorites and then provide your own in the comments.
- "I'll get you, my pretty. And your little dog, too!" — The Wicked Witch of the West
- "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" — Glinda
- "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." — The Wizard of Oz
Photo courtesy of MGM
A pair of six-foot-tall ruby red slippers appeared in Time Square today to announce the opening of The Wizard of Oz Cinema 4D Experience at Madame Tussauds. Of course, you can see a life-size wax version of Judy Garland inside the interactive Oz.
Not into gothic jewels? How about bewitched "Wizard of Oz"-themed baubles? The queen of jeweled kitsch, Tarina Tarantino (no relation to Quentin), is launching a new jewelry and handbag collection named “My Pretty” celebrating the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. Items are inspired by the characters in the old tale. For example, the Dorothy collection promises rainbows mixed with emerald tones inspired by the Emerald City, and the Wicked Witch collection contains tooth-and-claw-shaped Lucite and metal spikes. Prices will range from $50 to $350 and hit Tarantino stores in June. Sounds wicked cute. P.S. That is Debi Mazar modeling some of the Oz-y goods!
Just as we're getting a Three Stooges movie for a new generation of moviegoers, The Wizard of Oz will also be reappearing on the big screen — in CG animation. The $25 million project is backed by a French production company and will be based on Frank Baum's original novel.
The Variety article adds, "The English-language adaptation maintains the tale's main characters and settings. Unlike the MGM classic, however, it's not a musical."
On the one hand, with today's animation technology, the possibilities are limitless for what Oz might look like, and that could be awesome. On the other hand, do we need another Wizard of Oz movie? Is this messing with a classic? What do you think?
In celebration of The Wizard of Oz's 70th anniversary next year, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Swarovski, and 19 designers have teamed up to create their own version of Dorothy's magical ruby slippers.
The list is packed with heavy hitters: A. Testoni, Abaeté, Alberta Ferretti, Betsey Johnson, Botkier, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, Giuseppe Zanotti, Jimmy Choo, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Lisa Pliner, Manolo Blahnik, Moschino, Oscar de la Renta, Roger Vivier, Sergio Rossi, Stuart Weitzman, Tibi, and Tuleh are the chosen ones who will be creating their very own rendition of these magical shoes using Crystallized Swarovski Elements.
After the official unveiling at Saks Fifth Avenue NYC on Sept. 4, the collection will stop in Bryant Park for a viewing and is then set to tour the country in different art exhibitions. I wonder if I tap my feet twice, a pair will magically appear before me . . .
To see the fun sketches of Dorothy's shoes from more designers read more
Variety recently reported on the next Wizard of Oz variation, Dark Oz, based on a comic series. Fugee member Pras Michel has optioned the rights and will produce the trilogy as three separate films, and will also star as Scarecrow. Apparently the Dark Oz storyline "follows an older Dorothy Gale in a 'gothic and more macabre' setting as she journeys through Oz."
Sometimes it seems like the Wizard of Oz tale has been told and retold a gazillion different times, most recently with the Tin Man series on the Sci-Fi network.
What do you think of Wizard of Oz remakes and variations? Is enough enough? Or is this story full of endless possibility?