Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Wizard of Oz

Next, I want to look at media that has been inspired by Alice in Wonderland and uses elements of the book to build on existing stories. Firstly, I will look at the Wizard of Oz series of books. I think it has a few similarities to Alice. For instance, both are transported from their ordinary lives to strange, fantasy worlds.

I seem to find even more similarities with Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz films. For instance, When Dorothy’s house is in the twister, you can see things flying outside her bedroom window. It very much reminds me of when Alice in falling down the rabbit hole in Disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland, which was released in 1951. Maybe the Wizard of Oz film influenced the animation?

Also, I find that Dorothy gets lost on the yellow brick road, just as Alice gets lost in the woods. In the Wizard of Oz, there are flowers that turn into people, Alice finds talking flowers in the garden…etc

I found that watching the 1939 Wizard of Oz Movie was useful for my game idea. I especially like how at the start of the film, where Dorothy is in Kansas, the film uses Sepia colours, but when she gets transported to the land of Oz, the film uses very bright and bold colours. I think this had a powerful effect on the film because the change in visuals directly affected the audience, making the difference between Kansas and the Land of Oz.

I will now talk briefly about some very recent responses to the Wizard of Oz.

Recently, I have been reading the Wizard of Oz graphic novels by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young. These comics have taken a much dark approach to the Oz books, yet it works well. The story is compelling and the illustrations are very well done. The comic books seem to cover a lot of the content that was in the original books, and pays no references to the films.

Another recent adaptation on the Wizard of Oz that I witnessed was Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” tour that I saw earlier this year. Although it may not have been obvious to the audience that the concert was Oz themed, it was certainly apparent by the various costumes Lady Gaga wears, as well as the narrative that was added to the show. In the show, Lady Gaga starts in New York City with her friends. She washes a car, goes to the subway etc. Half-Way through the show, Lady Gaga is swept into a tornado (like Dorothy) and then the stage is dramatically different, a lot more dream-like and surreal.

Writing this post has made me realise how subtly one media can influence another. I will now look further into other media texts.

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