Oz, He Knew Some

Sometimes a movie has a surprise scene after the credits. When my wife and I go to the movies, we like to read the song credits and filming locations, which are usually listed last. I wondered if “Oz the Great and Powerful” might have a surprise scene that connected it to “The Wizard of Oz.” It didn’t and now I think I know why.

There were three people still in the theatre when the lights came up. An older man turned to my wife and me and said that he would like to see a sequel. I thought he was jokingly referring to the 1939 classic. He wasn’t. He wanted to see more of Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz as the witch sisters Theodora and Evanora. His worry was that they wouldn’t be able to get the same actresses for another movie. I told him that Disney must already have them under contract for more films in case this one became a big hit. As I was skimming through the entertainment news online today, I saw an article in which Mila Kunis said that she and her co-stars had, in fact, signed on for a sequel.

When you first see Theodora and Evanora, you don’t know which one will become the Wicked Witch of the West. One of them wears ruby-colored clothing while the other wears a green emerald around her neck. I kept thinking that one of the sisters would reveal that she was wearing the famous ruby slippers from the 1939 film. Now I know why that didn’t happen.

“Oz the Great and Powerful” is a prequel to the first book in L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. Baum’s books are in the public domain. In the book, Dorothy wears silver slippers. Warner Bros. owns the copyright for things that were created for the 1939 film version, including the ruby slippers.

The gentleman in the movie theatre was genuinely surprised when I told him that there were dozens of Oz books. Baum wrote 14 novels about Oz. After his death, his publishers hired another author to write 21 more. It’s another tidbit of knowledge that I picked up from my job shelving books in the Crestwood Library.

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