Angela Lansbury I believe had said it best when speaking of the highly acclaimed 1939 MGM movie of the Wizard of Oz on the documentary that is on the 2005 DVD and 2009 Blu-Ray release of "The Wizard of Oz". As I quote ďItís amazing how you can watch a bad movie, and only once is enough. In the case of the Wizard of Oz, one hundred times may not be enough.Ē This rings true with not only the classic tale of Oz from 1939, but also with its book release from thirty-nine years before in 1900. Baum also published 13 sequels up to his death in 1919. Other sequels were also published by different authors including Ruth Plumly Thompson. The original concept all started with the very first book, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It is a wonderful, yet brilliant tale of a young girl named Dorothy Gale who travels down the Yellow Brick Road and meets friends and adventures. Amazingly this lovely story has traveled down quite a long road indeed. Fans of the oz book series and the public were finally able to see Oz in Technicolor movie theatres thirty-nine years later starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale from Kansas. Judy Garland would forever be compared to her Oz counterpart for many generations. Her genuine nature was comparable to Dorothy Gale the character, and fans loved her regardless. Re-issues of Oz to theatres showed about every ten years to the big screen. However it wasnít until November 3, 1956 when Oz became stapled into the hearts for new generations to come. The classic tale for the first time was seen on television, and it wasnít until three years later when Oz was shown on television once again. It was shown that Oz was a monumental part of growing up, and still continues to be with every broadcast on television to date. The Wizard of Oz for so many years has etched and echoed in our hearts and mind for so long. Oz is home for so many of us. Fans ranging in age from 3 to 93 have undeniably cherished this tale. Yet there still is so much more than this 1939 tale! Manic fans started collecting memorabilia as far back as 1939. Other fans drew from its creativity and imagination and became authors. Walt Disney even stated Oz was one of his influences for Walt Disney World. Oz is a fixture of American culture indeed. And so much in fact others have used its imaginative creativeness and produced other Oz related media. The 1960ís brought us the animated Journey back to Oz which starred Liza Minnelli as the voice of the famous Dorothy and 1939ís Margaret Hamilton who portrayed the Wicked Witch was now Aunt Em. The 1970ís took us to new heights with Charlie Smalls production of The Wiz a stage musical. In 1978 The Wiz was brought to the big screen starring Diana Ross as a naÔve young hearted Dorothy. Michael Jackson was contracted to portray the Scarecrow. It wasnít until the mid 1980ís when Oz would come back alive to critical and cult acclaim with Disneyís sequel Return to Oz. Nine year old Fairuza Balk won the role of Dorothy Gale opposite Nicol Williamson who would play the Nome King. Devoted fans of this movie today remember Return to Oz with warmth and fervency. Oz yet again began to touch another generation. This only pushed Oz forward even more. The 1990ís brought author Gregory Maguire much claim to his new book Wicked the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Oz became a best seller. The legacy of Oz at this point was still going strong. The year 2000 the story of the Wizard of OZ was dealt with great acclaim. The novel of the Wizard of Oz had officially been one hundred years old. In 2003 Stephen Schwartz, known for his contributions as a composer put together a new kind of Oz. One that was seen through the eyes of a young green girl from Shiz University named Elphaba Thropp. Idina Menzelís portrayal of a young witch of the west was told to us about what happened in Oz before Dorothy literally dropped in. Late 2007 another version of Oz was brought to fans. Tin Man the miniseries itself would be highest-rated miniseries of 2007. For quite some time fans of Oz decidedly started to come together. The National Wizard of OZ Club sends out magazines and updates along with festivals and such. The EverythingOz Club is also an accredited internet club established on Yahoo Groups alongside descendants of the Baum family, historian John Fricke and many others fans galore. Many websites decorate the internet with news and updates, clip art, and many other attractions online. Oz has made quite a milestone for itself through the years.
2009 was quite a remarkable year for for the Oz community and the Oz fans. It puts a permanent mark on the iconic 1939 movie. M-G-Mís Wizard of Oz celebrated its Seventieth Anniversary in a fashionable and ageless manner with festivals, and new memorabilia and plus a north American production traveling on tour. This is definitely a cherished world of Oz to love. So much in fact that creator Aaron Pacentine of VideosForFamily.com has taken Oz into amazing and talented new heights. His radio shows based on Oz are radiant to listen to. The fascinating brilliance of ReturningtoOz.com is genius and genuine and based on the sentiments of what Oz is based on in the first place. So,in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary (from last year) of the "Wizard of Oz" 1939 film, we are pleased to present to you, directly from VideosForFamily.com a brand new additional web site, titled "ReturningToOz.com" which is the new home for all our talk shows from the Returning To Oz radio series, that begin with Aaron Pacentine, Celia Foster, and Aaron Schultz in 2006! Here you will be able to view and download all our past shows, video episodes, and even the brand new shows that we have for you this spring season of 2009! Please note that this site will be directing you to both areas of the series, both, "RETURNING TO OZ" and "Ozcast". We hope you enjoy your visit, my pretty, so come back again and relive Oz for a whole new generation! - Sara Alexia Starr