New Wizard of Oz movie

Will it be a prequel or sequel?

Prequel, I think. If I remember the trailer, it was about Oz, not Dorothy.

Here we go.

As far as I can see, it’s taking quite a lot from the books (even if it does have the first part in black and white). Notice the shot of the living china doll? That was in the novel The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. They could never have pulled it off onscreen in 1939.

Looks like a rather neat premise.

It’s a prequel. It’s about how the Wizard became a magician* and found his way to the land of Oz.

*He’s not really a wizard (he’s a humbug). In the books, he does just enough tricks to keep everyone (in Oz) thinking he’s wizard, then he keeps himself holed up in his throne room so that can’t see what he really is. Back in Nebraska (I think that’s where he was from) he was just side show in a carnival doing magic tricks. At some point he got himself a hot air balloon and found himself in Oz. I get the feeling the movie will end there, but I think it’s going to take a lot of liberties on it way. Shouldn’t be too big of a deal though. Baum wasn’t really a stickler for consistency to begin with. He wrote what he liked, what he thought the kids would like, what worked well and wasn’t to concerned with how it meshed with previously written materials.

One detail from the books I hope they keep in is his full name–Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs. (You’ll notice it spells out OZ PINHEAD; understandably, he just called himself Oz.) His first and middle initials were on the balloon that swept him to Oz; when the people of Oz saw it, they were convinced that he was a great wizard and the leader the land had been looking for.

The only problem this might have with the general public is that its accounts of the Land of Oz and the Wizard’s and Witches’ origins contrast with Wicked, both the novel and musical, which has become canon in many Ozophiles’ minds.

Where was the china doll in the book? I can’t remember it. Off the top of my head, the only dolls I remember where Ozma of Oz when the Nome king turned everyone into ornaments. But I don’t think anyone was a China Doll and nothing was broken.

Yup, in the first one. They meet the China dolls briefly after they killed the with and are looking for Glenda to send Dorothy home. One thing that stands out is there was the jester of the China dolls, who would always stand on his head and do tricks. The dolls can be put back together if they break but they would always have the scars. The jester’s face was full of scars.

The China Country came in after the Wizard had departed in his balloon and the Emerald City-ites suggested that Dorothy travel south and ask Glinda for help. (Yes, in the book the Witch of the North and Glinda, the Witch of the South, were different people entirely. Combining the two for the movie gave us the plot hole of “why didn’t Glinda just tell Dorothy what the shoes could do from the get-go?” and led to all those jokes about how Glinda was the real villain.)

Anyway, Dorothy and her friends, while heading south to Glinda’s country, scale a wall to land on terrain made of solid porcelain china. The small houses they come across and the people and animals who live there are also made of china. They accidentally break off a cow’s leg, causing her milkmaid to gripe about the trouble of getting her mended. A china princess explains to them how the China Country works–the people and buildings are quite fragile, and although the people can be mended once broken, the cracks can often be seen. She points out the resident clown, Mr. Joker, who’s all cracks from his habit of standing on his head and doing somersaults. Dorothy wants to take the princess home to stand on Aunt Em’s parlor shelf, but the princess explains that if any of their people is taken out of the China Country, they’d freeze in place and be no more than inanimate figurines.

I always thought that was a neat and imaginative little side trip. I rather wish they HAD been able to pull it off in 1939, and I’m glad it’s getting a representation in this new movie.

That sounds vaguely familiar. I’m actually in the middle of reading it for the second time (to my daughter this time, so it’s taking a looong time), but I still don’t totally recall it. Of course, one big difference between the book and the movie is that huge things from the movie (like the Wicked Witch of the West or the ‘Evil’ winged monkeys) might only be a few pages long in the book. In the book each chapter (which is only a few pages long) is a totally new adventure.

Now, I’ve never seen Wicked, I really don’t know what it’s about at all, I have no idea if this movie will draw from it at all, but I’d suggest that anyone who goes to see the movie, read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It’s free from Amazon on a Kindle, if you don’t have an E-Reader you can get it in HTML format from Project Gutenberg. I think it’s something like 150 pages and it’s the type of book that I think a ‘strong/fast’ reader could probably blast through in a few hours. I consider myself a slow reader and even I could probably knock it out in a week doing just a few chapters a night. My sister always tells me about when she had to read it in 5th (or thereabout) grade and the class was surprised when the teacher sent them home with instructions to read the first 60 pages in two days. She didn’t realize that it would only take about an hour to do that.
IOW, it’s an easy book to read and it’s actually a really good book. You’ll be surprised at how different it is from the movie.

I remember that totally throwing me. I read that section a bunch of times before I realized that the first Witch we meet in the movie isn’t the same as the first witch we meet in the book.

Ahhhh, I totally remember now.
IIRC, that section had the wall at the end that they had a hard time climbing because it was made of china and to slick to scale.