The Wiz vs The Wizard of Oz?
Most people have seen the movie The Wizard of Oz and I would think even more have at least heard of it. I still find that there are many people who have not heard of The Wiz so of course have not watched it. When ask what's the difference between the two the simple response it that The Wiz is the Black version of The Wizard of Oz. However, that would lead someone to think that it is just a remake and it is not; it is a remix. ☚See what I did there? We are talking about musicals so I said remix not adaptation. I amuse myself. Anyway...
The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939 so it is more of a wholesome movie. A naive young woman on a farm in the middle of nowhere Kansas is swept up in a tornado with her dog Toto. They end up in a land called Oz. There she meets a cast of characters while she on her journey to find someone who can help her get home. Now I have not seen this movie since I was a kid so I don't remember that much about.
It does have a few musical numbers. I like the munchkins scene. Then that is the famous Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It is still a movie that adults can watch and little kids can get into. It was certainly a movie I watched when it came on t.v. That is until I saw The Wiz.
The Wiz is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. It was a Broadway musical then later made into a movie. As I said, I haven't watched The Wizard of Oz in years so I don't remember how many musical number it has but I'm pretty sure The Wiz has more.
The Wiz is an urban movie. Instead of being from Kansas, Dorothy is from Harlem, New York. The affects of the tornado is quite horrible but hey it probably awed people at the time. The main characters have the same names in both of the movies. The exceptions are in The Wizard of Oz he is called the powerful Oz and in The Wiz he is called the Wiz. There aren't any munchkins in The Wiz. This is where the similarities end.
The sets are different. And the feel of the movies are different. Where The Wizard of Oz is wholesome, The Wiz is more daring and urban. The land of Oz is more fairytale-ish. In The Wiz, Oz is an alternate New York.
The Wiz is my favorite movie and I watch it at least twice a year. It wins out for me because it's edgier. As a kid you like the songs but as an adult you see that it has some adult content. Right off the bat, Dorothy lands in a playground where she meets you first witch. Now as a kid the dance and the song is catchy. As an adult you realize that Miss One ran a number business (gambling). There's another scene where you have Poppy's girls who look a lot like prostitutes luring the Lion and Dorothy inside only to come out high.
Many people feel that The Wiz was a fail. They especially didn't like Diana Ross as Dorothy. They thought she was too old to play the role. First off, Judy Garland was not a teen when she played the role either. Second, Dorothy in The Wiz was not suppose to be a teen. She was meant to be a spinster afraid to leave home.
So in the end, it depends on what you are looking for in a movie as to which appeals to you. Are you looking for a film that is more on the innocent side? Or are you looking for one that is more adult in tone? Oh and I also have to mention that Michael Jackson had some great moments in this film and I'm not talking about his singing.
If you haven't seen either film then you need to give both a try. I'm sure that one will end up being a movie you'll re-watch for years.
I'm going to leave y'all with two yellow brick road scenes
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