Danielle Paige, author of Dorothy Must Die, shares her favorite Oz versions.
It was a thrill for me to write Dorothy Must Die. As a fan of the books, Oz felt like sacred ground. But stepping onto The Yellow Brick Road I saw a million other possibilities stretching out in front of me, some darker and twistier than the Oz we are used to, and I couldn’t resist. Here are some other trips down the Yellow Brick Road that I love.
The Wizard of Oz (1939, movie)
I was smitten from the very first notes of “Over the Rainbow.” The movie is just perfection. I have seen it so many times it’s almost embarrassing. It’s epic and timeless. And I still literally stop whatever I’m doing and watch when I see it on screen, because it’s just that good.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of The West (1995, book)
Love! I bow to Gregory Maguire! Recasting the Wicked Witch of the West as truly misunderstood, instead of evil, was just a stroke of genius. And the musical is just as satisfying. (I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Just a fabulous production.)
Return to Oz (1985, movie)
It borrows so many deliciously creepy and quirky details from the Baum Books and makes up some new ones of its own. Seeing Mombi and her closet of interchangeable heads floored me.
Tin Man (2007, tv miniseries)
The adorable Zooey Deschanel as DG, a descendant of Dorothy, drawn into the SyFy miniseries version of Oz complete with androids and a shape-shifting Toto! One complaint: not a stitch of gingham on Zooey!
The Wiz (1978, movie)
Just total 70’s fun! Oz looks a lot like New York City. It’s star studded and unapologetic with a young Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Diana Ross as Dorothy, and Sidney Lumet directing. And try to get the songs out of your head. “Ease on Down the Road” is so catchy. And “Home” is just one of my all time favorites. (When Kristin Chenoweth sang it on Glee a few years ago, I was so happy!)
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013, movie)
I love a prequel, and this one's visually stunning as well. The character of the Wizard has always fascinated me. He is a study of reinvention—figuring out what makes him tick and how he navigates the world of Oz with a slippery moral compass is inspiring.