April 19, 2006


Honest to God, they are The Warriors of Oz. Apparently they are figurines to display on top of the console TV in the doublewide.

There should be a law against taking something so wondrous and imaginative as The Wizard of Oz, with its yellow brick road, talking apple trees, and flying monkeys and turning it into something so trite, giving it the appearance of a computer game noir complete with jiggling decoulatage and violence around every corner.

The Scarecrow, wishing for a brain where he only has straw. Where The Scarecrow in the movie was a gentle and intelligent friend, Warrior Scarecrow looks like a thug wearing a ski mask, ready to shoot anyone through the heart with his bow and arrow. He's also got the weird armadillo-looking sleeve things. The Scarecrow would never don anything but old flannel and denim.

The Tinman, longing for a heart, personified all that is sensitive and empathetic in the movie/book. The Warrior Tinman looks like some kind of robot modeled after the Jack LaLanne physique (‘60s version) with tiny little waist and broad chest. He, too, wields a weapon, which generally looks like a long, pointy, metal stick of some sort. That's a far cry from an oil can.

And who could forget The Cowardly Lion? The poor thing had circles under his eyes because he was too afraid to count sheep and hadn't slept in days. The Warrior Lion looks more like a werewolf with a horribly unmanaged coif. And what's with the pants? Please don't tell me that the Warrior Lion is anatomically correct and must be modest.

What about Dorothy? Remember that girl who lived with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry? The one with the adorable braided hair, the blue and white gingham pinafore, and the endless sense of wonder in her eyes? Warrior Dorothy is a bodacious specimen showing enough skin to make even the wise wizard blush. Her hair is gelled back and her face is professionally made up to accentuate her fine features, yet show a sense of bad-ass bitch. At her feet is little Toto, who seems to have wings, fangs, and an arrow-shaped tail, just like Satan. Dorothy restrains him with a chain, at the end of which is one of those balls with spikes on it.

What do the Warriors of Oz imply about the other characters from The Wizard of Oz? Is the whole thing contrived to create the Superman Bizzarro World where everything is the opposite as it is in real life? Would the Wicked Witch of the West have golden hair, lily-white skin, and a spiraled horn growing out of her forehead as she personifies a unicorn, the symbol of all that is good and pure? Would Glinda be the spawn of the devil? I hate to even think how the Munchkins would be portrayed.

All in all, it’s a distasteful transformation, to say the least. I have to wonder what kind of person would tamper with something as wholesome as the story of The Wizard of Oz? Worse yet, what sort of person would buy garbage like The Warriors of Oz? It’s just wrong.

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