7 Things About The Wizard of Oz That Will Blow Your Mind

Was the book better than the 1939 movie?



We can’t say for sure as the answer to ‘Was the book better than movie?’ is a matter of preference and taste. But what we can do is share with you mind-blowing facts about the great piece of American literature turned cult classic film, like the how the author L. Frank Baum is a feminist. How awesome is that?


Seriously though, L. Frank Baum was a legit feminist

In the book, Dorothy is a young but strong female character. In fact, she does all the rescuing instead of being saved by her friends. As a feminist, Baum wanted the heroine of his book to be someone his young female audience can look up to.


Dorothy is based on a real person

Well sort of as the actual Dorothy was the American author’s 5-month-old niece. She was named after his wife Maud’s maiden name and so when she died, she was left in distraught. In an effort to cheer her up, Baum changed the name of his lead character to Dorothy.


Shirley v. Judy?

Inarguably, Judy Garland was the best Dorothy ever. But she wasn’t exactly the first pick for the part. Shirley Temple was a better fit in terms of age and star power, but her singing voice wasn’t what the studio expected.


Baum lived on in the movie and even after

The coat used by Professor Marvel in the 1939 movie was found at a local thrift store in Chicago. Coincidentally, the coat bore a tag in the lining with L. Frank Baum’s name on it. Apparently, it was owned and tailored by and for the man himself who was then living in Chicago. The producers gave it as gift to Baum’s widow after production concluded.


Emerald City is actually white

L. Frank Baum based Emerald City on Chicago’s “White City” during the 1893 World’s Fair and wrote it was, “no more green than any other city.” It only got its green look because the Wizard required its residents to wear green spectacles to shield their eyes from its “brightness and glory,” and well, to trick them into thinking their city was made of emeralds.


The Wicked Witch played a small part in the novel

In Baum’s Oz, the Witch’s narrative was episodic. Though in the big screen adaptation, she was given more screen time to add drama. Also the Witch was originally going to be “sleek and sexy” but to fit the stereotype that evil witches are ugly, the producers made her ugly.


Wicked is a book by a completely different author

Wicked, from which the beloved musical is based upon, is a novel by Gregory Maguire. It takes a revisionist look at L. Frank Baum’s Oz and is more adult than its literary predecessor. Also, Elphaba's name was inspired by the original author's initials, L-F-B.

Sarah Santiago

is a former print and online fashion magazine editor and is currently, the editor for go! Magazine. She loves cats, is almost always in black and is a big fan of Kanye West.

Alex Lara

is a creative that loves to tell stories through art direction and curating images that capture, inspire and excite whoever sees them.

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