If you’re a baby boomer, you’ve likely watched the Wizard of Oz a hundred times. I can clearly recall it being a big deal when I was a kid. Once a year, it would play on TV. It took two nights and was a special event. Wizard of Oz was one of the first movies to be shown in technicolor in the 1930s. If you open the Google home page this week, you’ll find something very special if you search “Wizard of Oz.”
This year just so happens to be the 80th anniversary of this iconic film. Google wanted to commemorate this special occasion. Movie theaters across the country celebrated the anniversary back in January. Nearly 700 theaters or so ran the film for three consecutive days. At the end of this post, I’ll share instructions so you can tap into the fun that Google has created to honor this timeless, wonderful family-friendly movie. (I say family-friendly now but when I was young, I was terrified of those monkeys!)
A 1940 Blockbuster Hit
On its first go-around, Wizard of Oz was nominated for six Oscars and it won two of them. From that time on, I highly doubt there was a year when some little girl, somewhere in the U.S., didn’t dress up in a blue-checked/gingham jumper and ruby slippers for Halloween. I remember braiding yarn for my own daughter’s “Dorothy braids.”
Wizard of Oz musical score, still loved
Judy Garland is a legend. To this day, her rendition of “Over the Rainbow” is still perhaps, one of the most popular film scores of all time. Hawaiian musician, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole delighted Over the Rainbow fans with a new, ukulele version before he died in 1997. Other superstars, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand and Josh Groban have thrilled audiences with this song, too.
Wizard of Oz has something for everyone
Wizard of Oz is often the first “thriller” kids see. I must say though, I’m surprised at how many youngsters have never watched the movie! It’s a film that has it all: Great music, suspense, a tender message and a never-dull good versus evil theme.
Fun Wizard of Oz facts
Buddy Ebsen went down in history as the Scarecrow but did you know he was originally supposed to play the Tin Man? He had a severe adverse reaction to the aluminum in the makeup and had to switch roles. (Keep that in mind, parents! Aluminum is still used in lots of products today!)
Google celebrates Wizard of Oz
Okay, here is what I promised at the beginning of this post. If you want to see how Google has chosen to commemorate the Wizard of Oz during its 80th anniversary season, go to Google’s home page. You’ll see a pair of ruby slippers near the Wizard of Oz title on the right side of the page. Click it!
Your page will flip into a whirl (as in “tornado”) and quickly change from color to sepia. You’ll hear Dorothy calling Aunt Em, too! When you want your page to return to normal, click the tornado you’ll see where the ruby slippers had been — I’ll leave the rest as a surprise. Enjoy!
P.S. Not sure about Wizard of Oz (If you know, fill us in, in the comments!) but word has it, some Hollywood stars who acted together hated each others’ guts. Check out Amy’s Hot Mess article here to find out who!