This is one of those movies that everyone has seen a little bit of (usually Garland singing ‘Over the Rainbow’), even if they have never seen the actual film.
It’s the stuff of Hollywood legend – made in 1939 when Judy was seventeen (her budding cleavage had to be taped down so she’d be more convincing as a prepubescent girl), it’s a magical fantasy adventure that was actually considered a financial disappointment when it was first released.
Dorothy realises she isn’t in Kansas any more after a tornado whisks her off to the magical, Technicolor Land of Oz, where she meets the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, who accompany her down the yellow brick road that leads to Emerald City and the mysterious Oz.
Any little girl watching will covet the glittery red slippers Dorothy is given by Glinda the good witch, while kids and grown-ups may find themselves cowering behind the couch when the Wicked Witch appears (even freakier are the Munchkins, while some adults have very traumatic memories of the first time they saw the flying monkeys).
Brightly coloured, funny and even frightening, it’s a must-see for every kid with a sense of wonder.
Is The Wizard Of Oz suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The Wicked Witch of The West is very frightening, as are the flying monkeys.
As mentioned above, the munchkins are a little creepy. And the scene when the group finally meet Oz is quite scary, too.
Not recommended for children who have nightmares after watching fantasy movies. If your child is scared but wants to continue watching, it may be worth telling them that Margaret Hamilton, who plays the Wicked Witch Of The West, was actually a kindergarten (nursery) school teacher in real life who adored children and even went on TV to explain that she wasn’t really the witch.