Horror & Humor: Return to Oz, Baum, and How We Handle The Scary Stuff

Some critics have denounced Disney’s Return to Oz as a horror film that has scarred its child viewers, but many of the oft-criticized scenes are true to Baum’s original texts. Did Baum forget his aspirations to create a fairy tale where “the heart-aches and nightmares are left out”? Do the film’s visual depictions and blending of two of Baum’s novels change the tale? Or did Baum’s unique blend of horror and humor make the scary moments palatable and family friendly? Dina Schiff Massachi will use Baum’s Oz novels and “Return to Oz” as she explores these questions.

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