|Video Release:||29 Sep 2009|
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For the handful of people not familiar with this 1939 classic movie, Dorothy (Judy Garland) is a young girl living on a Kansas farm. Life should be a breeze for someone this sweet, but instead it turns into a literal tornado, which sends the pigtailed lass and her dog Toto (along with her aunt's house) into the biggest spin cycle in history.
After a short but dizzying flight, the building lands with a bump right on top of one of the wickedest witches in the Land of Oz. At this point, the black and white film bursts into beautiful color -- Dorothy's first clue that she's not in Kansas any more.
Although hailed as a hero by the resident Munchkins (dwarf-sized people), the confused child's one desire is to return home. But only the Wizard (Frank Morgan) who rules the land can grant such a request, so Dorothy must follow the Yellow Brick Road to which leads to the capital city of Oz. Along the way the girl meets the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Man (Jack Haley), and Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). As each of them has a wish to ask from the great wizard too, they decide to join her quest.
There is little in this film to concern parents. Some children may find the tornado sequence frightening (even though the depiction contains many comic elements, like the old Grandma in the rocking chair who knits while riding the winds of the storm). Other anxious moments in the Land of Oz center around the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) as she does her best to regain the coveted (and magic) red shoes Dorothy is wearing.
Meanwhile, as the foursome encounters obstacles and challenges, they are forced to face their greatest fears. With Dorothy's help each discovers the characteristics they are seeking have been within them all along. And it's this self-discovery process that gives the endearing movie its heart.
The Wizard Of Oz is rated G:
Cast: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan
Studio: 1939 Warner Home Video
Website: Official site for The Wizard Of Oz.