Once Upon a Time and Dorothy
This April Fools I pretended Fig Tree was going to become a movie blog, and wrote about something interesting I saw in Ghostbusters II. I realized, I really enjoyed writing something unrelated to theology. I want to keep doing it, at least sparsely. Therefore, when I see something worthy of discussing, but it's not really theology related, I'll share here.
I know topics outside of theology. Specifically, I know Wizard of Oz. I make it a point to read up on many of the Oz books, read cover to cover the Annotated Wizard of Oz, I even wrote a bible study about the subject. I'm a Kansas Girl. (A nickname given to me in middle school, when I moved from Kansas to Georgia.) I don't really know my Gone With the Wind, but I know my Oz.
Last night I watched the newest episode of Once Upon A Time. Now before I really get into it, I have very low expectations when it comes to Disney and the Wizard of Oz. They have a partnership with MGM, and therefore MGM's Wizard of Oz is basically canon. Well, the MGM movie makes some very strong changes to the books, which basically turn Glinda into a monster. (Seriously, google Glinda's the villain, and see what comes up.) There is no Glinda at the beginning of the book. The southern witch is the first to see Dorothy, and she doesn't see Glinda until the end of the book. That's just one example of the creative licence MGM took, and getting into that extensively would get me off track. Just know, when the MGM movie is the jumping off point it usually doesn't end well. (Oz the Great and Powerful anyone?)
I also know Once Upon the Time has and will do whatever the they want to our childhood stories. (Unless it's Frozen.) I also know the series is basically a soap opera for my demographic: millennial/Gen X. That being said, I think there was this huge possibility the creators had, and they went in completely the wrong direction.
In Wizard of Oz canon (the book canon, not the movie canon) there is this character, rarely introduced. It is Ozma. Now Ozma is the rightful ruler of Oz. Not the Nebraskan Wizard, and not the Scarecrow. The story goes, as a baby Ozma was abducted by an evil witch named Mombie. She didn't like Ozma's family, and wanted to punish them. She needed a way to hide this baby, so she transformed her into a him. That's right. A baby girl was forced into a male body. It wouldn't be until this baby was a boy, Glinda would realize who Pip was and transform him back into a her.
I don't know about you, but L. Frank Baum hand delivers the gender issues on a silver plate. Does Ozma miss being masculine? What carries over from her years as a boy? I would love to see this character being fleshed out on camera.
Dorothy was never meant to grow up. (Yeah I want her to grow up, and I wrote about that over at Fig Tree, but Baum didn't.) Baum went so far as to move her to Oz where no one ages. She was never created to be a love interest. She was meant to remain undefined in her gender role. This gave her the freedom to become whatever she wanted.
Therefore, I think it would have been a much more compelling story to flesh out Ozma, and really explore the struggle of who she is. Unfortunately, it seems the writers didn't really dig very deep into the Oz narrative, and what I saw last night was forced, and way too easy. It is going to take more than changing the shoes back to silver to really get the true Oz fans. In a show where characters literally give away half their heart, and go to Hades for love... this one was way too rushed.
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