I took my kids to see Oz The Great and Powerful recently. (No, this post is not a movie review. Nor does it contain any spoilers). The kids and I liked it. A lot actually. It helps that I was raised on the original 1939 movie. Every year, we watched as a family when it aired as a “Special Presentation” on one of the three networks of pre-cable television. I probably know the dialogue and the music well enough to be cast in the show. And, for my money, the new Oz film did a pretty nice job of “prequeling” the familiar story. (NOTE: For my fellow musical theater buffs, throw everything we learned in the Broadway production of Wicked out the window. It is of no use to you here.)
Of course, seeing this new movie brought back a big beef I had with the original film. Since the beginning, we knew we were dealing with three witches. One was good and the other two evil. Allow me to elaborate.
The Good Witch of the NORTH
- Glinda, cotton candy pink ball gown, melodious-yet-annoying voice, travels by bubble
The Wicked Witch of the WEST
- Nameless, black frock with green skin, cliche witch cackle, travels by broom
The Wicked Witch of the EAST
- Nameless, striped stockings & infamous ruby slippers, dead so no voice, travels by coffin
Do YOU notice that something is missing, too?
What the hell, 1939 Wizard of Oz movie?!!? Do you think we’re all just a bunch of simple coonass, rednecks who aren’t sophisticated enough to have our OWN witch? We have evil down here, too, you know! We just call it hurricanes … and humidity … and mosquitos … and VOODOO! Yeah, that’s right. Down in the South, we call a witch a priestess. Which would do just fine in your movie.
We were good enough for Pirates of the Caribbean!
Anyway, here’s what I’m thinking. Right now, there are already two bad witches and only one good one so it stands to reason that the South will have to represent the good side. It’s a stretch but I think we can do it. Yes, we’ll still work the Voodoo angle but what if we took one of our most harmless native daughters and put her in the position? Let’s stop and think a minute.
YOU: Sandra Bullock?
ME: Nah, she’s too busy these days with little Louie.
YOU: Julia Roberts??
ME: Mmm. I don’t think so. She would literally tower over those tiny munchkins.
YOU: Reese Witherspoon???
ME: Nope. She was way too convincing in those Blonde movies. I need someone who can help break down the dumb Southerner stereotype.
YOU: (ready to punch me for shooting down all your ideas)
ME: Holy shit, I’ve got it!
Presenting a More Promising and Prestigious Priestess
I think Ellen would kick ass as The Good Witch of the South. And she could travel by … (thinking again, this time independently so you don’t get so pissed at me) … Gator? Nope, too cliche. Pirogue? Also too stereotypical. Plus most of you guys don’t even know what I’m talking about. Oooh! What about a flying streetcar? It’s never been done before. Perfect! She could seat 52 comfortably. 75 if some were willing to stand.
I should call the Transit Authority to see if they can “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” one of these bad boys for me. Oh, and Ellen! I need to call Ellen to give her the good news. She is going to be SOOOO excited.
Now … we just need a name for her. Any thoughts?
Submitted for MamaKat’s writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word help. Because I know she shares my love for fellow New Orleanian Ellen DeGeneres.