August 1, 1900 – The Marvelous Wizard of Oz copyrighted
August 1, 1900
The book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum was copyrighted — because, because, because, because.
Baum has also had careers as a newspaper writer/editor/publisher,
playwright and theater producer. He has written 14 novels in the “Oz” series, as well as over 40 other novels.
After his many attempts to adapt his works for stage and screen, “The Wizard of Oz” hit the big screen in 1939, 20 years after his death. Baum may or may not have approved; the film was significantly different from its original book in several respects.
- The film version features a theatrical spectacle of the wizard as a giant, menacing head lurking above pillars of flame (before he is revealed as a man operating a machine behind a curtain). But in the book, the wizard meets each of the four main characters separately to create a sense of power in their minds.
- In the film version, Dorothy’s signature slippers are ruby red in order to maximize Technicolor’s wonder at the time. In the book, her slippers are silver and are said to shine brighter than the moon.
- The book version describes a real place called Oz, not an imaginary world in a dream. Dorothy stays there for months at a stretch in the book version.
- In the film, life on Dorothy’s farm isn’t always pleasant. His dog, Toto, bites a neighbor, Miss Gulch (who in Dorothy’s dream is the Wicked Witch). The neighbor threatens to have the dog destroyed and Dorothy ends up running away with Toto. In the book, Dorothy lives peacefully with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em before the tornado takes her away.
After the 1937 Walt Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – the first animated feature – was a big hit with children, MGM wanted “Oz” in theaters as soon as possible.