Douglas Street (essay date summer 1984)
SOURCE: Street, Douglas. “The Wonderful Wiz That Was: The Curious Transformation of The Wizard of Oz.” Kansas Quarterly 16, no. 3 (summer 1984): 91-8.
[In the following essay, Street discusses Baum's intent to create a uniquely American fairy-tale, distinct from the European tradition, in which a sense of reality was paramount, and then examines the reasons why the story was transformed back into pure fantasy for the film version.]
L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is perhaps America's best remembered children's fantasy—or is it? After forty-five years the 1939 MGM cinematic adaptation of this tale has so saturated generations of Americans...
(The entire section is 4360 words.)