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Fridge / The Wizard of Oz

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Fridge Brilliance

  • In the Emerald City, the city's doorman, the guard to the Wizard's sanctum, and the cab driver with the "horse of a different color" are all played by the same actor: Frank Morgan, the guy who played the Wizard himself. This seems like just getting extra-mileage out of an actor, until you realize that it's all probably part of the Wizard's con. Since no one can be allowed to see how ordinary the Great Oz really is, in order to govern the Emerald City he puts on a disguise, pretends to be one of his own subordinates, and "relays" orders from the Wizard to the rest of Oz.
    • This also lets him see and hear what's going on for himself instead of relying on messengers and such. This way, people will be amazed at the Wizard's omniscience.
    • And makes him the first-ever Undercover Boss.
  • One complaint by Cinema Sins and many others is how Miss Gulch got the order to have Toto euthenized, without any proper investigation by law enforcement, and with her carrying out the order herself, rather than the Sheriff. But if you listen closely, Aunt Em mentions that Gulch owns "half the county", making this a clear case of Screw the Rules, I Have Money!.
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  • This didn't hit me until later. In the books, they can see the green glow of the city a mile away and it's easy to assume the entire city is made of emerald. You might wonder where they got all that rock. Then you realize that when they actually get to the city, they have green-tinted spectacles locked to their eyes that aren't taken off until they leave. In fact, *everyone* in the city wears those same specs.
  • When I was a kid, I always wondered why the Witch expected Dorothy to surrender just because she demanded it via skywriting. As an adult, I realized that the message wasn't "Surrender, Dorothy" but "Surrender Dorothy"—she was demanding that the residents of Emerald City hand over the girl, with an implied threat should they not comply. Dorothy was a stranger to the city, but they all knew how powerful and dangerous the Witch was.
    • The original version filmed was, "Surrender Dorothy or Die". The final cut cut it down to "Surrender Dorothy."
  • Scarecrow's "brainy" statement when he gets his diploma: "the sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side." This is incorrect mathematically (should say a right triangle, should be "square" rather than "square root", and "any two sides" isn't correct as the remaining side has to be the one opposite the right angle) and I always assumed it was writer error. However, it is made clear that the Scarecrow was already intelligent and the diploma did not change anything other than his confidence. And his intelligence does not come from book-learning or schooling of any kind, so he wouldn't know the correct formula. He just said it to FEEL smart. The other explanation is that the whole story is Dorothy's dream, and she's the one who got the math wrong, being a kid and all.
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  • Professor Marvel seems like a shameless conman at first. But then realise he encounters an emotional teenager running away from home and makes up a story about a family member worrying about her and possibly falling ill. In doing so he convinces the child to safely return home instead of running off into Kansas on her own.
  • Dorothy's surname Gale is a term for very strong wind, and she arrived in Oz with the tornado.
  • Why is the Wicked Witch of the West killed with water? Water is believed to be sacred, which is why vampires can't cross it and witches can't be drowned: the water rejects them.
  • Why were the Scarecrow and the Tin Man not affected by the poppies? Because they're not organic beings.

Fridge Horror

  • As if the Wicked Witch wasn't scary enough on her own, they had to add in all the scenes of her watching the heroes in her crystal ball...making it abundantly clear that she can see you wherever you are. And if she wants to hunt you down? She can teleport anywhere instantly. Whenever she wants.
  • Even if the WMG is wrong and Glinda isn't a Villain with Good Publicity, she's certainly no angel. First, she swipes the Wicked Witch of the East's shoes and pawns them off on Dorothy - thus depriving the WWotE's only remaining relative (the Wicked Witch of the West) of her sister's last remaining possession, which is pretty repugnant. And Glinda's just warming up, too. She then taunts the Witch of the West and makes sure her rage is focused on Dorothy - who, let's remember, might've committed manslaughter but certainly didn't ask to be brought to Oz via tornado and didn't exactly aim for anything when her house landed. She then sends Dorothy on a fairly pointless quest to the Wizard of Oz; yes, it's important to the story and yes, Dorothy learns a lot about herself and gains several new friends. But Glinda's excuse for not telling Dorothy, right off the bat, that she was now the owner of a pair of slippers that could teleport their wearer? "You wouldn't have believed me." As if that excuses not mentioning it anyways. Yep, you wouldn't have believed her, Dorothy - never mind that you just splatted one Witch with your house, witnessed a pair of spectacular entrances by both the Witch of the West and Glinda, got threatened by the WWotW, and were lauded for your house-fu skills by Munchkins. Nope, no reason to believe that your ruby slippers might teleport you anywhere. It's due to Glinda, in fact, that Dorothy is placed in life-threatening danger several times throughout the movie - the Witch of the West would have gone away quietly if she'd been given her sister's slippers, after all, and it's Glinda who sends Dorothy on a quest outside of Munchkinland...which is also a zone of protection that the Witch of the West can't harm Dorothy within. This also combines with Adult Fear when you consider the fact that most parents probably worry about their kids falling into the hands of some pleasant-faced stranger who'll happily sell them down the river.
    • In the original book, The Good Witch of the North in Munchkinland and Glinda the Good Witch of the South are two different characters: the Good Witch of the North knows very little about the Magic Slippers, and Dorothy does not meet Glinda (the wisest of all Oz witches) until near the end of the book. Apparently, this was also reflected in the earliest drafts of the screen play, but someone quickly decided to combine the two good witches into one.
    • For heavens sake! Glinda isn't a Villain with Good Publicity! She should be in the Fridge Brilliance section because she is the Obi-Wan Kenobi/Master Yoda of the Land Of Oz! She never did anything malicious or sinister! Also, the quest she sent Dorothy and her friends was not pointless. Dorothy needed to undertake it in order to unlock the power of the Ruby Slippers. Glinda was just Dorothy's teacher. She's just very very subtle about it, that's all.
      • Also, if you've read the book (like this troper has) you'll realize that possibly in the movie, Dorothy wasn't in any real danger as well. In the book, The Good Witch of the North in Munchkinland kisses Dorothy on the forehead, thus casting a charm spell of protection on Dorothy. If you watch the movie & watch carefully, Glinda The Good Witch of the North, after she says, "...the sooner you get out of Oz, the safer you'll sleep, my dear..." she kisses Dorothy's forehead. This may be a Call-Back to the book, which folks in 1939 may have been more familiar with. Thus the whole cynical, postmodern "Glinda was the real villain/Why would Glinda put Dorothy through all this crap to begin with?" is really silly. Glinda was like a Zen Master, Guru or The Mentor, she wanted Dorothy to figure out the lesson by herself & save the Land Of Oz in the process. Real character-building!
      • At the time the movie came out, the book was incredibly popular, and one of the fears of the people involved in the film was that they would fail to live up audience expectations from the book.
      • "Dorothy needed to undertake it in order to unlock the power of the Ruby Slippers." This is just WMG. It's never stated that the Slippers wouldn't have worked without the quest. Also, "she never did anything malicious or sinister!" Did you read the comment above you. Though if what the troper above me said is true then it probably should have been made clearer, it's bad writing, but not Fridge Horror.
      • It's unlikely that the Witch would have "gone away quietly" with the Ruby Slippers. After all, her sister had just been killed by Dorothy's house; in fact, her first words to the girl are a threat of violence: "I can cause accidents too!" And this is before she tried to reclaim the Slippers. The witch had it in for Dorothy from the moment they met.
      • Notice that Glinda does not put the slippers on Dorothy until after the Wicked Witch has threatened Dorothy and begun to advance on her menacingly. Only then does Glinda remind her about the Ruby Slippers. The moment that the Witch sees those slippers on Dorothy, she switches from threats to a (slightly) more conciliatory tone, stating that Dorothy should give her the slippers because they are no use to her rather than outright threatening her. It seems fairly obvious that Glinda put the slippers on Dorothy to protect her from the Witch (and, in fact, Glinda was right: those slippers do protect Dorothy from the Witch, who is reduced to empty threats and bullying, as well as enabling her to acquire the companions she needs).
    • One explanation that might make things worse? If the 2013 film is canon with this one, Glinda might have intended Dorothy to save Theodora. Most likely believing that Dorothy's All-Loving Hero nature as a means of restoring Theodora to original good self through the magic of the Ruby Slippers, and her kindness. And the fact that she doesn't show this regret towards Dorothy when they meet again? She didn't want Dorothy to feel guilty about it. That woman has Nerves of Steel.
    • Some parts of the first comment are kind of correct (taking the slippers from the W Wo W, for instance), but nobody, not even Glinda, knew the Wizard of Oz was a conman. Glinda genuinely believed he could get Dorothy back home.
    • And if Glinda hadn't been there, when the witch showed up she would have killed Dorothy there on the spot for dropping the house on her sister - and then taken the shoes immediately.
  • What if Dorothy hadn't run into Professor Marvel? She would have been out in the open in the middle of a tornado storm.
    • And if the storm didn't get her, who knows what sort of fiend she would meet elsewhere? Young kids are not safe on their own.
    • For that matter, what happened to Marvel after Dorothy left him? He lives in a wagon that wouldn't have offered any shelter from the tornado, and he was just passing through the area so wouldn't know where to find cover.
      • He caught a ride to Oz. That or he lay flat on the ground, which is what people are instructed to do if they get caught out in the open when a tornado comes at them.
    • Er he's shown in the ending, dropping in to see how Dorothy is. So clearly he was fine.
  • If the 2013 film is a part of the same continuity as this film then it puts the Wicked Witch of the West into a whole new (and very tragic) perspective. To think that the cruel and vindictive Witch was once sweet and gentle Theodora, who was lied to and used by her sister. Also, considering how kind she is and the fact that she already felt bad about killing her, it almost makes you glad that poor sweet Dorothy never learned of the witches past and eventual turn to darkness.
    • Also, Oz in the 2013 film harbored feelings for her (not necessarily romantic, but feelings regardless) and unlike in the book, Oz of the 1939 did NOT ask Dorothy to kill the Witch, he only asked for her to bring back the Witch's broomstick. The Scarecrow just made the assumption that this meant they'd have to kill her, and Oz frankly seemed to expect them to either not attempt the mission or fail. Knowing that he accidentally got Theodora killed would likely weight heavily on his conscience.
      • That might also explain why he started shouting so much after he was informed of her liquidation, he probably wanted time to think over what had just happened (as well as having no way to get Dorothy home at that moment).
  • If we're assuming that in the real world the tornado never picked up Dorothy's house (it never got close enough; if it had she probably would have died). After it passes can you just imagine how frantic Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Hunk, Hickory, and Zeke looking for Dorothy? Plus being worried sick trying to revive her.
  • Everything Wrong With brought this up, the Tin man spent most of his time chopping down trees, fair enough but not even two minutes before we saw that the trees of Oz are alive and completely self aware. Imagine how scared the trees must have been to see Dorothy essentially bring their version of a serial killer back to life.
    • Are all trees that way, or just some? Only those apple trees and some of the trees in the forest around the Witch's Castle seem to be.
    • Didn't the Witch cause the trees to come to life (technically just move and speak since trees are already alive)?
    • The Witch didn't bring the trees to life. She was only spying on them when she was hiding behind the tree. From the Scarecrow's "I'll show you how to get apples" line, it seems this is the normal way of getting apples in Oz.
    • In the book, this was specific only to a particular locale in Oz, visited after the Wizard failed to get Dorothy home. Dorothy took a trip to meet Glinda the Sorceress, who in the book she had not yet met. The movie gives no indication if this is normal tree behavior or not. It may well have just been one of the many indications that the Scarecrow was far smarter than he and others thought.
  • This troper had a horrible thought, the characters and their Kansas counterparts are all alive and well after Dorothy gets home. Except one. Miss Gulch is nowhere in sight in Kansas after that. Then this troper realized that the Wicked Witch was Gulch's Oz Counterpart, and she's dead. If we go by believing that Oz is real, then she simply got swept up in the tornado and died.
  • The Talking Tree scene becomes a little more horrifying when you think about it from the standpoint of the trees. They are trapped in place, unable to move, and every now and then, people come along to snatch off pieces of their body and eat them. What makes it even more terrifying is that since apples carry seeds, the trees are forced to watch people steal and eat their BABIES.
    • Granted, that's actually the point of the apples. The animals who eat it simply have the seeds pass through their digestive system and eventually grow into new trees. If anything, it'd be like an egg-laying animal watching a wildlife warden assist its chick's efforts to break out of a difficult egg.
    • The apple itself is more like a womb than the actual "baby". And a tree kind of wants its seeds carted off, so that its offspring isn't either shaded by its parent, or competing for nutrients with that parent.
    • Also consider that for a tree, the inability to move is perfectly normal. It seems frightening for a human, because we've grown up with the ability to walk, but a tree would have never known anything else.

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