Why was Wizard of Oz such an iconic movie?

Judy Garland plays Dorothy Gale, a young child who winds up leaving her home country and entering a strange, enchanted place. She must escape a cruel witch with the help of her dog, Toto, and return to Kansas and her family. Why is the movie still so well-liked now given that it is pretty antiquated?

Bryant Washburn in The Wizard of Oz

Ten Reasons

1. Catchy Songs

Some of the most memorable tunes in musical history may be found in The Wizard of Oz.

Whether it is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the film has simple songs to comprehend and memorize. The melodies are simple enough to hum even if you do not know the whole lyrics, and the lyrics are simple enough to become stuck in your brain. If a musical’s tunes are not memorable or catchy, they won’t often endure over time. They will not be appealing to a large audience if they are challenging to sing. The songs in the film are easily understandable by everyone, including adults and children. It helps that Judy Garland also sings the majority of the songs. One of the greatest and most identifiable voices in musical history belongs to her, in my opinion. She contributed to the film’s songs being as well-known as they are. Even if you have never seen the movie before, you would probably recognize one of its more well-known songs if you heard it.

2. Quotable Lines

The movie has a ton of memorable quotes. The lyrics “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog, too,” “There’s no place like home,” and “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” are still often used today. Since the phrases are so well-known, many individuals now incorporate them into everyday conversation. People frequently use the Kansas line, for instance, when they feel out of place or are not where they should be. The phrase entered common usage in America due to its popularity. It does not help those other films have also made fun of the movie’s memorable sequences or borrowed the words directly. For instance, it is typical to hear a movie character say something like, “I’m not in Kansas. The phrase “my pretty” has also been parodied in several films. The Wizard of Oz is so well-liked because many of the movie’s phrases have entered American slang and are still frequently used. People continue to return to it.

3. Its Meaning Changes with Time

The popularity of The Wizard of Oz is also because its themes are timeless. Real issues were being faced in America at the time the film was originally broadcast. The nation was under the Great Depression’s control. Farmers were destitute and frequently went hungry as a result of the Dust Bowl, which destroyed their crops. In terms of American history, it was not a good period. They saw the film and concluded that it captured the struggles and aspirations of farmers trying to make ends meet. The United States was on the verge of entering the Second World War. However, there was a lot of opposition that prevented the nation from joining the conflict. The desire to stay at home rather than risk traveling to dangerous places might have been symbolized by the movie, which was all about Dorothy attempting to find a way home. The movie’s significance evolved as the years went by. It is viewed from the views of a new audience, who take new meanings from it. Some people can see the movie as a protest against materialism and industrialism. Others might only view it as a friendship story. The movie’s significance continues to evolve with each generation who views it, thus you might say it is timeless. While some people only view music as enjoyable entertainment, others find deeper value in it. Because of this, the movie has aged well. Other older films have lost their appeal because the things they tried to convey no longer apply or are even relevant. They are forgotten in time because viewers don’t connect with them. The Wizard of Oz is iconic because it has managed to remain relevant with each generation.

The Wizard of Oz Frank Morgan 1939

4. Pits Human Survival Against Great Odds

Another reason The Wizard of Oz is iconic is that it tells a gripping tale of human survival against great odds.

It is a humanist tale. Dorothy never seeks assistance at a church. She does not supplicate a deity. Instead, she makes an effort to resolve the issue on her own. She does receive assistance, but it comes from non-religious living things. Her tale may thus be related to a wide range of individuals. Anybody can identify with a tale of triumph over adversity. Everyone has faced a challenge in life at some point, no matter how minor or huge. They needed to come up with a remedy for the issue they were experiencing. the success of Dorothy is equally the triumph of the audience. When she comes home, they join her in celebrating because it serves as a reminder that they are also capable of conquering challenges. When people work together or put their minds to something, they are capable of doing amazing things. Regardless of the audience’s generation, that message is still important today. Because Dorothy’s battle to reach her aim may be identified, the movie is iconic as it is.

5. Emphasizes the Importance of Friendship

The Wizard of Oz is also iconic because it shows the power and importance of friendship. The strange creatures Dorothy sees throughout the movie eventually agree with her wish to talk with the Wizard of Oz. Despite the group’s many diversities, Dorothy develops close friendships with every individual. They rapidly pick up on how to assist one another and make up for one another’s shortcomings. One is not left behind when they run into difficulties. Together, the friends attempt to save their comrade from the difficult situation. Even though they are aware that they would never see Dorothy again, the friends assist her in leaving Oz. Although Dorothy may have traveled to Oz on her alone, having her companions there undoubtedly gave her the confidence she needed to succeed. This kind of story is well-liked since it is relatable to many individuals.

Anyone’s life is greatly impacted by their friends. When life is difficult, they are there to provide an ear and a shoulder. They can also help you release tension. A vacation with your buddies may be exactly what the doctor ordered when you are anxious. Even shared moments with pals may be your most treasured ones. Even people with weaker social networks can find the movie enjoyable. It helps people develop an image of their ideal friendship group. They may briefly empathize with Dorothy and feel the affection and encouragement she receives from her friends during this period.

6. Strong Female Lead

The fact that a woman plays the title role in The Wizard of Oz adds to its iconic status. It is critical to keep in mind that the film debuted in 1939. Women still did not enjoy the same rights and equality that men had at that time. Women were frequently used in movies as props or story devices rather than as fully formed people with objectives. That was not the norm, though it was beginning to change. The movie showed what a female lead could be like. Judy Garland was not the first pick for the character of Dorothy Gale. Since Shirley Temple was at the time the most well-known child performer, the studio first wanted her for the part. However, the directors insisted that Garland take the part and adhered to their guns. The next scene in the movie featured a young Dorothy Gale being cast into a mysterious place, distant from her home. She endured various terrors and challenges before returning home, traveling with just her dog for a portion of the time. At its core, The Wizard of Oz is a feminist story. It demonstrates the resilience, heart, bravery, and fortitude of women. Dorothy was not flawless. She committed errors. But the movie showed her development. Its significance in terms of cinema history is what has made it popular. It demonstrated to the movie business what kinds of roles women might take on given the chance.

7. An American Fairy Tale

The Wizard of Oz is a purely American fairy tale. Many of the fairy tales that are adapted for the big screen are of European origin. Over the years, film and television have frequently adapted European fairy tales. There are not many American fairy tales. This is mostly because white filmmakers create the majority of movies. They are the stories they are most familiar with because their families are from Europe. The effort put into adapting American indigenous peoples’ stories has not been sufficient. However, The Wizard of Oz showed that America was just as capable of creating a fairy tale as Europe was. The movie is all American. In Kansas, Dorothy lives on a poor farm. The Emerald City is a metaphor for the realization of the American Dream even in the literature, on which the film was based. There’s no starvation and everyone has plenty of money to spend on what they want. The movie has several very American elements. Because American audiences can connect to it, this makes it popular. The movie has a familiarity about it that makes it soothing. There is a small amount of pride as well. As with many things manufactured in the country, there is a great deal of pride in the fact that this fairy tale was born here. Some individuals regard watching a movie as being patriotic. It serves as a method to honor being American.

8. Use of Color

One of the coolest parts of The Wizard of Oz is when it shifts from brown and white to full-blown color.

Another factor contributing to the movie’s popularity is its use of color. Color movies were not all that common while the movie was being made. The technology was not quite finished. Engineers were still working to achieve even sound. The movie used more than simply color, too. They pushed it all the way. The goal was to create a fantastical impression of Oz. Rich hues gave it a dreamlike quality that set it apart from the lifeless Kansas that Dorothy had left. The film’s use of color, in addition to being a visual feast, is another factor in its continued popularity. Black and white movies are not something that many people want to see. It can be difficult to immerse yourself in the story because there is not any color. Black and white movies are sometimes perceived as being uninteresting. The use of color in the movie makes it more approachable for viewers. They might not be interested in watching it if it were still in black and white It has aged even better due to the application of excessive color. Nowadays, it is normal to watch movies or television shows that make extensive use of color. It’s even what some viewers may anticipate. As a result, the movie has held up well over time and has kept up with changing spectator tastes.

9. Ideal for Every Family Member

The Wizard of Oz is a family movie. It does not have any material that kids should not watch, either. Despite this, the film has some dark humor and adult-oriented gags. Because of this, everyone in the family may enjoy the film, regardless of age. The goofy melodies and vivid colors may appeal to kids. Young adults and teenagers may be able to relate to Dorothy or one of her pals. The darker, scarier themes and ironic quips will appeal to adults. The attraction is universal. There is not much debate about watching it because it is suitable for family members of all ages. Everyone will benefit from it in some way.

10. It Often Airs During the Holidays

A final reason why The Wizard of Oz is popular is that the film industry does a good job of keeping it relevant. During the holidays, you can frequently catch the movie playing. Even though it is not a Christmas movie, many families include watching it in their holiday rituals. Because it is a humanist tale, it is also a wonderful tradition for families without religious beliefs. Families typically spend time together during the holidays. It is a terrific technique to do it to watch movies. People frequently watch and appreciate the movie as it normally airs around the holidays. It will always be exposed to new generations and sustain its appeal because it is broadcast every holiday.