Last week I saw Oz the Great and Powerful. It had little of the charm of the original, and seemed to be aimed primarily at kids.
That aside, what I was really struck by were the racial dynamics of the casting. Roughly ten percent of the Munchkins and Tinkers were black, yet there was not a single Asian or Hispanic in sight. Hollywood is obviously uncomfortable excluding blacks, yet they seem to feel perfectly comfortable excluding Asians and Latinos. What gives?
Even worse, this movie was supposed to be a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Yet by the time Dorothy landed in Oz, there was not a black to be seen. What had happened in the intervening years? Had the white Munchkins simply killed all of the black ones? They certainly showed no signs of their intentions in Oz the Great and Powerful, even going so far as to appoint a black man as chief tinker, a position requiring great mechanical ingenuity.
I would never have guessed that the Lollipop Kids were white supremacists, but it does appear that way. (Were the Scarecrow and the Tin Man guilty as well? Perhaps Oz himself played the role of Hitler.) Somebody should investigate.
Another interesting aspect of the movie was that all of the white residents of Oz looked like cornfed Anglos straight from the 1943 cast of Oklahoma! And the good witch was played by Michelle Williams, a blonde Anglo of part Norwegian descent:
Yet the wicked witches were played by Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis, both of whom are of Jewish descent:
Was there a message being conveyed there? Are the folks who run Hollywood really that anti-Semitic?
I must confess myself greatly confused.