‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ First Look
The Wicked Witch, now and then (Photo: Entertainment Weekly/Everett Collection)
What, no ruby slippers? They may be in the Smithsonian, but they are not in the Disney prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" because Warner Bros. has the copyright to those sparkly shoes that popped so vividly in Technicolor. In fact, Dorothy wore silver slippers in the Frank L. Baum novels and, since she doesn't even get a mention in "Oz The Great and Powerful," no ruby kicks. Warner Bros. were such legal sticklers that you won't even see a wart on the chin of the Wicked Witch of the West (her identity in this movie is supposed to be a secret, but squint at the Entertainment Weekly cover and you'll probably figure it out) -- and while she does turn green, it's a different shade from that immortalized by Margaret Hamilton in the original, directed by Victor Fleming.
No ruby slipper in this "Oz" (Everett Collection)
The Wizard is a whiz of a wiz and, now, a womanizer
No one could have accused Frank Morgan's magician turned Wizard of being a ladies' man back in 1939. And there was no hint of any affair linking him and Glinda (Billie Burke) and no backstory between him and that warty Wicked Witch.
The prequel's strangest twist is that the younger Oscar Diggs is basically run out of town on a balloon, chased by a jealous circus strongman and his angry clown sidekick. He has this caddish habit of seducing women with music boxes and waltzes. Oscar works his way through farm girls in Kansas and the witches of Oz, stirring a twister of jealousy wherever he missteps. It's a lot more boy-meets-girl-meets-girl-meets-girl B plot than we're used to in the fantasy. OK, maybe Judy Garland's Dorothy had a thing for Ray Bolger's Scarecrow, but that was, according to legend, trimmed in the final version (she does tell him, "I think I'll miss you most of all").