The side stories of “The Wizard of Oz”

“The Wizard of Oz” became a classic when it was first released in the year 1939. The movie tells the story of a farm girl from Kansas named Dorothy, whose house gets swept away by a tornado and lands her in a strange place called Oz. While she’s there she makes a few friends; including the tin man, a scarecrow, and a cowardly lion. After running in to the all-powerful wizard to get their hearts desires, they discover that they have to kill a witch in order to get what they want.

The movie does a great job of explaining how Dorothy ended up in Oz; an innocent girl who was brought there by a tornado, but what about everyone else? Her friends, the witches, even the wizard himself don’t seem to have much of a storyline, other than the fact that they were there when the story started.

Thankfully, multiple side stories have been created for the movie to help us better understand their connection to Oz. “Wicked,” the hit musical based off the book by Gregory Maguire focuses mainly on the two witches and how they became so good and so evil.

The story starts off with the two witches attending Shiz university and unexpectedly becoming roommates. Later throughout the story, it is noted that every good deed the wicked witch named Elphaba tries to accomplish ends up not going as planned and comes off as wicked. Along the way, her attempts at doing good end up turning some of her friends into the three that Dorothy meets in her adventure. When she runs into the great and powerful wizard, he is determined to make her his assistant, but because she knows too much when she refuses, he sends everyone he can to try and kill her.

Glinda, the good witch stands on their professor’s side throughout the musical and is known by the citizens of Oz to be a great spokesperson for the city and helps them through bad times. What the citizens don’t know is that she was once friends with the wicked witch.

In addition to “Wicked,” another side story was recently released in the form of the movie “Oz The Great and Powerful”. This one is more along the lines of a prequel to the actual story and explains how the wizard of Oz became so great and powerful. The story begins with a circus show in Kansas city, with Oscar (also known as Oz) performing magic in front of an audience. When a group of fellow performers come after him, he is forced to run away on a nearby hot air balloon. A tornado lifts him into the air, and he too crashes in the land of Oz. Once there, he runs into a witch named Evanora, who explains to him a prophesy about a wizard named after the land coming to save the city from the evil witch. He tells her he is such a wizard, and together, him and his friends try and defeat the wicked witch.

Even though the original movie only tells one side of the story, these side stories give the original plot much more depth and thought to anyone who’s seen it. The full land of Oz and its characters may never fully be explained, but there’s always room for another side story.

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Sarah York

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