The Last "Big" Oz Anniversary


Yep, I'm going to talk about Oz stuff again.  We're still deep in the Baum books - Book 6, The Emerald City of Oz, to be exact - and around us, there are celebrations surrounding the MGM film, which turns 75 this year.  This week only, you can see it in 3D at IMAX theaters (no, I won't make it), and a fancy new Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray 3D/DVD collector's edition boxed set will be released on October 1.  I saw the newly-restored film when it was re-released in theaters for its 60th anniversary in 1999, and I remember the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary ten years before that.

I want to go back to 2000, though, my first year as a bookseller.  While it didn't receive as much attention as the milestone anniversaries of the movie, that was the year that the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, turned 100 years old.

I remember a few notable books in the store, as we geared up for the holidays.  I was a fan of the movie from as far back as I could remember, but I hadn't read the books yet.  Now a big fan of the books, I happened to come across a couple more Oz-related titles released for the centennial anniversary at the library recently, and thought they were worth sharing.





100 Years of Oz: A Century of Classic Images
from The Wizard of Oz Collection of Willard Carroll by John Fricke.  Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999.













100 Years of Oz is a look at Oz memorabilia by decade, beginning in 1900.  Screenwriter Willard Carroll is acknowledged as having the largest private Oz collection in the world.  Many of the items I recognized from our spring trip to The Oz Museum:  different editions of the books, posters and sheet music from the first stage musical, soaps, peanut butter tins, cottage cheese glasses, merchandise related to all the different film and TV incarnations.  However, this collection is even more extensive, and while it isn't the same as seeing the stuff in person, it is pretty cool to read about.








[Confession time:  If I were an extremely wealthy person with lots of room, I would probably be an Oz hoarder collector, too.  It could compete with my Alice collection, and my crazy collection of rare fairy tale books.  Oh, and my trolls.]





Oz, The Hundredth Anniversary Celebration: Thirty Favorite Artists and Writers Celebrate One Hundred Years of Oz.  Edited by Peter Glassman, Books of Wonder.  HarperCollins, 2000.

















As regular readers know, I collect the Books of Wonder facsimile editions of the Baum Oz books, published by HarperCollins.  Peter Glassman and Books of Wonder also oversaw this beautiful project.  Among the authors and illustrators providing memories and interpretations of Oz and its characters are Maurice Sendak (the cover), Tomie dePaola, Jerry Pinkney, Paul O. Zelinsky, William Joyce, Robin McKinley, Leo and Diane Dillon, Madeleine L'Engle, Kinuko Y. Craft, Natalie Babbitt, and Eric Carle.  And that's just an abbreviated list.  There are many very prestigious Oz fans featured in this book!






The first book is out of print, but there are many used copies floating around.  The second book is also readily available.  Of course, you can always check the library!

Comments

  1. Awesome. Going to watch The Wizard of Oz tonight! ;)

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    1. Yay! I love it. My DVD is a little scratched, because of little fingers, so we have a little trouble playing it. I would probably go see it in the theater again if it wasn't in 3D.

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  2. MGM films must do something fantastic for their 75th anniversary! Oh my dream collector room would look a lot like yours :) Except I am not a super addict of Oz. I liked the movie but I am not obsessed... about Alice... it's another story :P

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    1. The movie was a favorite of mine from back in the days when it still aired on network television once a year. We recorded it in the early '80s, while my parents dragged us to a PTO meeting at school. I learned to watch it slightly edited for content, with the opening in black and white instead of sepia, and with commercials like this oneinterspersed throughout.

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  3. Oh my heavens will you look at all this! This is fantastic! I had NO idea there was a book like this, with all the different contributors. You are the coolest, and I've loved every one of your Oz posts!

    Ok here is something a bit sad about our jaded digital age. So the Oz movie was my favorite thing ever when I was little, and I looked forward to it so every year. When Julia and I finally watched it this past spring, she was like.......meh. She didn't LOVE it! (I don't know if the witch scared her but she said that she wasn't scared) She just wasn't very enthralled! I was so disappointed.

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    1. I didn't know about it either, despite the fact it was right there on the Books of Wonder website, which I've looked at many times before.

      Aww, I'm sorry! I kinda made Big Sis love it. I showed it to her before she even turned two, and I was super obnoxious, singing all the songs and saying lines with the movie and making it a game. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was already her favorite song. I sang it to her from the time she was born. But she started going around singing, "Aaaaay up hiiiiiigh." Those were the only words she knew.

      I'm dead serious when I tell you that Little Sis only liked Return to Oz. After my sister showed her that one, she refused to watch The Wizard of Oz because it made her mad that "Dorothy was big." She preferred little Fairuza Balk. She only gave the 1939 movie another chance last year!

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  4. Wow, the 100th anniversary book looks fantastic! The whole post looks fantastic,actually. You're really an Oz expert! :)
    I just read the previous comment- I was the same as your little one as far as Dorothy is concerned- preferred little Fairuza because she was little!

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    1. Haha! Yeah, it makes sense. And I'm no expert - I just love the books and movie so much. Growing up in Kansas, I learned to either get really sick of the references or to embrace them!

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