Themes that we may retrieve from a movie are viewed differently by different people. This would be because a theme is not what happens in a movie, but more of the meaning that we take from what is being portrayed in the film (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 2011). With different people, there will always be different views of what they see in something, which is what makes us unique. You have different people that talk about a film and may see a theme in a movie that someone else might not have even noticed, maybe because they were concentrating on another point of view. Let’s take the movie The Wizard of Oz; there are a lot of themes in this movie starting from the time that it starts until it ends. The Wizard of Oz is a movie that was written by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson, and was released February 25, 1939.
The main character was Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, some other well-known characters that everyone remembers from this movie would be Hunk, the scarecrow, Zeke, the lion, and Hickory, the tin man (AFI’s 10 Top Ten, 2008). This movie would be classified as a musical genre, because the songs in this film do not just accompany the action shown on-screen, but they are actually a part of it (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 2011). Instead of just dialogue from the actors, the narrative is from to time advanced by characters breaking out into song (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 2011). The major theme in this movie would be, even though you go off and visit all the wonderful places in the world, no matter how beautiful they are, or how many friends along the way you meet, there is still no place like home.
As you see in the beginning of the movie, the movie is shown in black and white while Dorothy is in Kansas. She gets upset because Miss Gulch is trying to get rid of her dog and best friend Toto. Dorothy decides to run away in order to save her dog, she also feel that her family does not understand her, and she wants to see other places. Instead of running away, she decides to go back home after seeing and talking to Professor Marvel, who by looking through a crystal ball can see your past, present, and future. On way back home she gets caught up in a storm, she can find her family because they had already gone into the underground shelter. She get hit in the head and when she awake the house is in caught in the tornado and lands in this beautiful, colorful place, called Munchkin Land.
She is welcomed by Munchkins and Glinda, the good witch of the north; this is also when she discovers that she has killed one of the bad witches with the house when it landed. From the Start she wants to go home because she is worried about her family, but in order to find out how to get back she has to go see the Wizard of Oz. Through her journey she runs into a lot of friends but the only thing she can think of is getting back to the place where she wanted to run away from in the first place. She faced a lot of danger that the witch through her way but she didn’t give up on going home and once she was finally back home everything was still the same, no one really listened to what she had to say but she didn’t care she was just happy to be back.
According to Lyman Baum, and Ilan Shrira, there is no place like home, both agree to this as being one of the major themes of this movie. Baum thoughts on this theme were that Dorothy lives in a place where most people loath to call home. The lived where there were dangerous cyclones and an absence of color and beauty (Baum, 1999-2014). Oz on the other hand was stunningly gorgeous and fantastical. Mostly everyone there was cheerful and very helpful and yet Dorothy still wanted to go home (Baum, 1999-2014).
Baum has come up with many major themes, for instance the importance of friends. At first the only friend that brightened Dorothy’s day was Toto, but on her quest to get home from Oz she acquired three more friends. Without them helping her to get back home she never would have been able to make it to even see the Wizard (Baum, 1999-2014). Ilan Shrira, along with co-author Josh Foster theme is similar to mine and Baum’s theme but worded different.
If you ever go looking for your heart’s desire, you don’t have to look any further than your own back yard (Foster and Shrira, 2010). I like the way this is worded, because it explains everything in a nut shell. In this movie Foster and Shrira feels that the contrasting values, escaping vs. embracing your roots, is what broaden the movie appeal. It allows you to take which ever appeals to you more or you can take both messages and put them together, be happy with what you have got, but you can still dream about escaping to a different place (Foster and Shrira, 2010).
The beginning of the movie where Dorothy has just saved Toto from Miss Gulch, the long shot views that this film seems to show quite a few times. You can see fields for miles and miles seem like. This shows that this could have been in the country where houses are really spaced out from one another. It also lets you know that that family had a lot of work to keep up with, far as plowing, keeping animals fed and keeping the equipment up to par. This could explain why they don’t really have time to listen to all Dorothy has to say. This contribute to my theme because it gives you an idea of the place the she lives in, how secluded that it must be and why she would even have the desire to want to go somewhere else.
I think that the lighting of the house as it lands contributes the theme, notice how it doesn’t not change as Dorothy is walking through the house. You never know that she is actually in a different place until she opens the front door and then you see all the wonderful colors. The light becomes high key to bring out how beautiful this place is compared to the other place. This different vibrant coloring in all the different props and clothing that is shown in the part, when she lands in Munchkin Land contributes the beauty of the land. By seeing this land and how pretty it is, making one ask “How could anyone want to go back to the place that Dorothy came from after seeing this place”? In my opinion the mise en scene in this film, was a work of art, being that this film was released in 1939. This movie was shown from the time I was little and is still shown today, with all the different technology that has developed over the years in films, kids and grown people still love to watch this movie.
Although this is a great movie I think in this film as far as today, if the technology would have been available, such as special effects or computer-generated imagery (CGI) the background as Dorothy is going down the yellow brick road would make this film more realistic. If you look in the back ground right before Dorothy runs into the Scarecrow you can see how fake the background is. Although she is in a fantasy land, if it was made today it would have a more real look to it. The story itself and the movie changing from black and white to color, then back to black and white makes this movie brings you right back to the theme. The grass maybe greener on the other side but there is no place like home.
In conclusion, the major theme that everyone would probably take from the movie, The Wizard of Oz would be, although we want to branch out into the world and see different and amazing things there is nothing like being at home with family. A theme for a film is the message that we take from the work that is being viewed. In a film everyone may see some of the same themes and you have some that will concentrate on other things that some people may not see. You also have those who take a lot of themes from one movie. This movie, from the start, demonstrates how home is in black and white and how beautiful and colorful Oz is.
Yet Dorothy still wanted to be in the comfort of what she found familiar to her, even though she had acquired friends and nice people being home is all she wanted no matter what obstacles she had to go through to get.
Baum, L. (1999-2014), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Retrieved from:http://www.
gradesaver. com/the-wonderful-wizard-of-oz/study-guide/major-themes/Foster, J. , & Shrira, I. (June 4, 2010), Why “The Wizard of Oz” is the most popular film of alltime.
Retrieved from: http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/the-narcissus-in-all-us/201006/why-the-wizard-oz-is-the-most-popular-film-all-timeGoodykoontz, B. , & Jacobs, C. P. (2011).
Film: From watching to seeing. San Diego, CA:Bridgepoint Education, Inc.