The Wizard of Oz Turns 75: How It Might Be Different Today
Would the whole mess have been avoided if Dorothy had a GPS-enabled phone? Possibly
It’s hard to believe that it was 75 years ago when we first heard the phrase, “There’s no place like home.” But the beloved Wizard of Oz is celebrating its diamond anniversary this year, and the film will be recognized with a tribute at this Sunday’s Oscars.
In the 75 years since the movie hit, though, a lot has changed. We have the Internet, cell phones and iPads, oh my! Plus, you know, commercial air travel, microwaves, color TV and a whole host of other inventions we’re surely forgetting. So, how would access to these technologies have changed things in Oz? Well for starters, it might not have even ever happened
1. Judy Garland’s Dorothy Gale would still say “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” after the terrifying twister strikes – and then she’d pull out her GPS-enabled phone, book some plane tickets on Kayak and head back home, no Munchkins or yellow brick road necessary. And uh, no story necessary, we guess?
2. And actually, it’s possible Dorothy wouldn’t have been displaced at all. Checking weather.com, then seeking proper shelter with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry could’ve maybe kept her from flying away with Toto.
3. Speaking of Toto, there’s no way he’d be a purebred Cairn terrier if the film took place today. He’d either be a designer dog – think goldendoodle or maltipoo – or a cool rescue mutt.
4. As for Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, we’re guessing that these days, their farm might be a little more hip. We’re picturing them as urban agriculturalists in Brooklyn, growing organic lettuce and kale on their roof instead of produce and meat products in Kansas. A little less tornado-prone, too.
5. No need for a wizard to help the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. Open-heart surgery would give Dorothy’s creaky pal a new ticker in no time (and make for a pretty great story). The Lion would find his courage through weekly therapy sessions, then someday write a best-selling memoir about his journey. And all the Scarecrow would really need is a laptop. Who needs a brain when we have Google?
6. Nowadays, Glinda the Good Witch wouldn’t have to travel in a bubble; she could have a private jet or helicopter, a Segway, a town car or pretty much any vehicle she’d like. Give it a few more years and she could even try a flying car.
7. We’d still want the Wicked Witch of the West to have that green skin – keep the scary! – but in this case it’d probably just be a temporary tint from a green tea or clay face mask, revealing a fresh complexion underneath as she starts mellllting!