At least for my age group I think a large part of the universality of the Wizard of Oz was simply that it was a nearly annual TV tradition and there weren’t a lot of options. If I had kids, with all of the options I don’t know how long it would be before I got around to Wizard of Oz.
My wife didn’t see it until she was 40 or so. We were walking past the local theater and it was showing the 75th Anniversary re-release and it came up she’d never seen it. So we fixed that right then.
I’m here to agree with there being too many options to expect every kid to have seen it. Now, within my own family…my sister would be well within her rights to give me a hard time for not showing it to my kids. It’s a part of our traditions.
When we started watching it it was the annual Easter showing YaraMateo mentioned. I’ve posted about it before. It was an event! For weeks before hand my mom would keep us in line with “Knock it off or you won’t be allowed to stay up for Wizard of Oz”
At that time though, we got the three major networks, on local channel and one PBS. No options to watch a recorded version.
I watched it very recently with my son. The story still holds up, it’s entertaining. He was amused by some of the “effects” in an “oh how quaint” sort of way. He was the same about King Kong (the 1933 version).
I like The Sound of Music. My ex and I had been living together for a very short time when she came home from work one day, and instead of playing Nintendo with Elvis Costello on the stereo, I was watching TV, singing merrily “I am sixteen going on seventeen, I know that I’m naive . . .” She was, umm, surprised.
The only thing I don’t like about OZ is that I’m from Kansas. When I was in the military, or the three years I lived in Michigan, and told folks where I was from, I’d always get some bright comment like “So how’s Dorothy?”
When I was little and watched it I was scared by the witch and especially the flying monkeys. I’d hind behind the couch and peek around it.
And before we got a color TV I didn’t know Kansas was B&W and that the picture changed to color when Dorothy opened the door into OZ. So I didn’t understand the joke about “a horse of a different color” I mean, I understood, but didn’t know why it was being used, because I couldn’t see the color change.
The movie may not be according to the book, but it’s still a wonderful show, and will never be stale to me.