Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where the Goblins Go

There's an all-new mystery afoot in the Merry Old Land of Oz, and Chris Hicks of the Deseret News is ready to investigate: 
You may have read that “The Wizard of Oz” has been rejiggered for IMAX and 3-D, and will play a one-week theatrical run next month at some 400 IMAX theaters around the country (to include Utah) before the Oct. 1 release of a 75th anniversary 3-D/Blu-ray box set. (Although this year marks the 74th anniversary of the film; go figure.)

What you may not know is that “The Wizard of Oz” has also been re-rated, and the board, in its infinite wisdom, has overturned the film’s G rating and marked it with a PG!
We here at Film Gab are generally suspicious of histrionic claims, so we keep a spare magnifying glass and deerstalker cap in the archive for cases just like this.  A bit of Googling reveals the website for The Classifications and Ratings Administration which lists two versions of Oz: the version that's been in theaters and on home video for decades and the upcoming 3-D version.  

Hicks uses this unexpected revision as further evidence of Hollywood's lack of concern for families (he has a book to peddle after all), but perhaps there's something much less sinister afoot.  Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch and her crew of flying monkeys have been terrifying kids for ages, and no matter how beloved a film may be, without the grit of a considerable antagonist, the rainbows and singing Munchkins would fall flat in a morass of treacle.  Maybe the real mistake was saddling Oz with a G rating in the first place, and the happy result of Warner Bros.' 3-D cash grab finally acknowledges the millions of nightmares fed by a remarkable witch. 

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