The Wizard of Oz: Comparison Between The Book and Movie

The Wizard of Oz: Comparison Between The Book and Movie

There are many differences in Frank Baum’s "The Wizard of Oz" compared to the movie we know and love.

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“The Wizard of Oz”, a classical movie, is based on a children’s novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” written by Frank Baum.  If you are unfamiliar with the storyline, the movie is about a girl named Dorothy who is taken to Munchkin land by a tornado.  In order to get back home to Kansas, Dorothy must journey the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz.  Along the way Dorothy meets a Tin Man, a Scarecrow, and a Cowardly Lion that help her with obstacles and hope to get a heart, a brain, and courage respectively from the Wizard.  Although “The Wizard of Oz” movie is derived from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” book, the differences between the two lie in the variations in plot, the diversity of the characters, and the similarities within the political meaning.

            True to any book made-to-movie film, there are variations in the script that allow the filmmakers to give creative input in their portrayal.  “The Wizard of Oz” is no different.  For instance, when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion reach the Emerald City, the Guardian at the Gates give them spectacles to wear to block the striking emerald green rays; in the movie, the characters are not given any eyewear.  Another example of plot variation is when the Wizard tells the characters that they will have to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  In Baum’s book version, the Wicked Witch sends wolves, crows, bees, and then her Winkie soldiers to attack the protagonists while they are in the forest looking for her.  In the movie, the Wicked Witch only sends her Winged Monkeys.   Also in the book and not mentioned in the movie is the Golden Cap.  The Witch uses the power of the Golden Cap to summon the Winged Monkeys to capture Dorothy and her friends.  Later in the book when Dorothy pours water on the Wicked Witch of the West and kills her, she again uses the Golden Cap to summon the winged monkeys to take her and her friends back to the Emerald City.   Other plot differences in the book include fighting of the Hammer-Heads, Fighting Trees, and a big spider.  In the movie, the plot is immensely shortened to fit the big screen.

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