The Wizard of Oz has become a fixture in popular culture. There are books and movies and even Broadway plays now that derive from L. Frank Baum's works. It would be interesting to hear what everyone has to say about these retellings, off-shoots, and media adaptations.
Even the community of religious entertainment has capitalized on the success of TWoO. For instance, Big Idea productions, the guys that do the "Veggie Tales" movies and shows, recently came out with "The Wizard of Has," a comical re-telling of the story, with enough differences to pass as a farce or parody of sorts.
Of course, since it is done by the Veggie Tales group, the off-shoot has a moral lesson to it, but it's funny enough for even the most agnostic watcher to get a few laughs out of it.
In response to #4, the book is very politically driven. The play is a sugar-coated version that is about as similar to the book as "Wicked" is similar to "Wizard of Oz". I love retellings, as I think they explore the basic idea of a story to it's fullest. I love seeing or reading the ideas that have stemmed from one author's work. "Wicked" is not meant to be anything like "Wizard of Oz" -- in fact, Dorothy is hardly in the book at all, and she's coming from an outsider perspective that doesn't understand the complexities of Oz. I can understand how some people can't get into these alternate versions, but I honestly don't mind people messing with the original as long as its done respectfully.
I've actually just started watching "Tin Man" for the first time, and it hints just enough at the original to keep me interested. It was made-for-tv, and at times has some hokey bits (the sorceress' outfit). But I think its more a of a nod to "Wizard of Oz" than it is a remake. I'm just having fun seeing how they interpreted different characters for a Science Fiction audience.
My all time favorite, however, is "Return to Oz." Has anyone seen this movie?
I have the "Wicked" book but haven't read it yet. Which one is politically driven--the play or the book?
I have seen "Tin Man," but was disappointed in it. Maybe I didn't pay close enough attention to it because it was a little difficult for me to follow. I didn't enjoy it much.
Have you read the "Wicked" books? Actually very different from the play, very politically driven.
I saw Wicked at the Apollo theatre in London last summer. It is wonderful! I love how it focuses on the witch's earlier life and how she was always on outcast, caring for her crippled sister, feeling special emotions for the animals in the kingdom who were persecuted, etc. It is a fabulous pre-quel.
Don't forget about "The Wiz" either. It is more of a soul version of this story with all black characters. The dancing, of course, is fantastic. It was produced in 1978 with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson among the main characters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wiz
I read "Wicked" a few summers ago and struggled to finish it. In general, the writing was okay, but there were so many inconsistencies when compared to L. Frank Baum's work--simple plot problems like when the Wicked Witch of the West found out her sister was dead....simple stuff that deflected my attention from the reading and made me focus on the "mistakes." It's actually the first book I've ever loaned to someone that I really didn't care if I got it back. I went so far as to tell the person to not bother returning it to me--I knew I'd never miss it! I am tempted to read the subsequent books, though because I'm such a sucker for almost all books...We'll see if I actually cave in some day. I've also heard that the musical is "a horse of another color" and something to definitely NOT miss.