What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the 1939 fantasy contains several scenes that may be scary for very young children, almost all of which involve the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West and her band of creepy flying monkeys. Most parents who've seen the movie before know that the plot includes a disastrous tornado, and an enchanted forest full of red-eyed creatures and talking trees. By today's rating standards, this Hollywood classic is downright tame, but between the twister, the mild peril, and the general menacing, murderous intentions of the witch, some pre-schoolers could be frightened.
  • Families can talk about elements of the classic movie that 70 years later can be found in contemporary films. What other popular movies follow a main hero and his supportive friends on an important journey?
  • Discuss the way that the movie combines several genres. How does the change from black-and-white to color affect the movie's tone?
  • How does the Scarecrow demonstrate his intelligence, the Tin Man his heart, and the Lion his courage? How does each one find what they need within themselves?
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