19 March 2013

Inspiration Bubbling Up

Even with the relatively awkward special effects of 1939, Glinda’s pink bubble in The Wizard of Oz is an American icon. So much so that the Wicked stage show reproduced that entrance.
The new Oz the Great and Powerful movie is not supposed to infringe on the 1939 film’s copyright, however. Fortunately for its makers, L. Frank Baum and John R. Neill portrayed travel in giant bubbles at the end of The Road to Oz. (Curiously, it’s one of the few adventures Dorothy turns down.)
With that book in the public domain, Sam Raimi and company could show people in bubbles, and even make them Glinda’s thing, as long as they weren’t perfectly round and pink. In fact, with CGI animation they could show the Wizard’s weight bending his bubble out of its spherical shape. But there’s really no doubt those bubbles are supposed to evoke the 1939 movie, not Baum’s lesser-known 1909 sequel.
For the next couple of days I’ll discuss the sources of Oz the Great and Powerful—the official sources and the real ones.

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