Sunday, December 23, 2007
If ever a wiz there was
Wordcount 12/23/07: 2312
Have you noticed the plethora of holiday movies on television this season? I suppose it's no different than any other year, but what is different is that I actually watched a few of them this time. My husband and I saw Mary Poppins the other night and it was so refreshing to see a youthful Dick VanDyke and Julie Andrews. That's such a sweet movie, filled with wonderful magic. A favorite for most every child. Then last night I watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time in what's probably been twenty years.
The Wizard of Oz. Wow. I again experienced the thrill of fear when the wicked witch of the east made her first appearance. That orange smoke, and then the flames. Eeek! I cringed as I watched, reliving the emotions of childhood, and that wasn't all that had scared me when I was little (though I'd secretly loved it at the same time). The apple-throwing trees made me jump, the first time Dorothy and the gang met the lion in the forest made me shiver, and their first meeting with the wizard was terrifying! The image of those flying monkeys stayed with me my entire life. In fact, I modeled one of the gargoyles in my current work in progress after those monkeys. Except that the wings of my gargoyle are more like a bat, not feathered like the ones in the movie.
I honestly think, after watching WoO last night, that it had had a major influence on me writing the genre I write today. I've always adored fantasy stories, contemporary and otherwise. The other-worldliness of imagined creatures and old legends coming to life thrills me to no end. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite fantasy stories of all time.