The Muppets Wizard of Oz

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search

The Muppets Wizard of Oz is a 2005 Made for TV Movie adaption of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with The Muppets. Staring Ashanti as Dorothy Gale, Kermit as the Scarecrow, The Great Gonzo as the Tin Man (here called Tin Thing), Fozzie Bear as The Cowardly Loin, Pepe the Prawn as Toto, and Miss Piggy as the witches of the East, North (Tattypoo), West, and South (Glinda).

Dorothy lives in Kansas and works as a waitress for her Aunt Em's diner. She dreams of becoming a famous singer, but one day, a tornado whisks her and her pet prawn to the land of Oz. The denizens tell Dorothy that the Wizard of Oz could make her dreams come true. On her way, she makes friends with the Muppets, who each have a desire for the Wizard to grant. When they meet the Wizard, he gives them a task to do before he can help them: defeat the Wicked Witch of the West.

Despite many changes to suit the Muppet cast, it is actually more faithful to the book in some places than the classic film.

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. At Rotten Tomatoes, the movie currently holds a 38% "rotten" rating. It however got 7.75 million viewers when it debuted on TV in America.

Tropes used in The Muppets Wizard of Oz include:
  • Acting For Four: Miss Piggy plays all four witches.
  • Band of Relatives: The four witches, when they sang together as The Four Little Pigs.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Munchkins, played by the rats and led by Rizzo teach Dorothy a song to summon if they are needed.
  • Broken Aesop: Dororthy eventually realizes that she shouldn't value fame and fortune more than family, so she goes back home to Kansas. Then, she accepts an offer from the Muppets to go on tour with them, subsequently leaving her family again.
    • Although, they imply that Dorothy will do a better job keeping in touch with her family than she did in Oz.
  • The Cameo:
    • In the uncut version, Dorothy steps into Dr. Honeydew's Makeover Machine to try on a punk look, and comes out played by Kelly Osbourne.
    • Quentin Tarantino appears in a Cutaway Gag to tell Kermit some plans he thought up for the fight between Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Gonzo and Fozzie dressed as the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, respectively, in the 1981 TV special The Muppets Go To The Movies, when they joined Miss Piggy (dressed as Dorothy) and Scooter (as the Scarecrow) for a medley of songs from The Wizard of Oz.
    • Kermit, Gonzo, and Fozzie previously played the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, respectively in an episode of Muppet Babies.
  • The Cast Showoff: Ashanti.
  • Conspicuous CG: Actually Invoked when the gang goes to see the Wizard for the first time.
  • Evil Is Hammy: And you thought Piggy was already a Large Ham?
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Wicked Witch of the West melts quite graphically. And she's the witch closest to Miss Piggy's normal personality.
  • I Choose to Stay: Toto stays in Oz.
  • "I Want" Song: "Kansas"
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Between Glinda and the Scarecrow.
  • Milestone Celebration: Disney tried to tie in the DVD release with the 50th anniversary of Kermit's first appearance, on Sam and Friends.
  • Race Lift:
    • African Americans portray Dorothy (Ashanti), Aunt Em (Queen Latifah), and Uncle Henry (David Allen Grier), a la The Wiz.
    • In an example more reminiscent of a Species Lift, Toto the dog is made a prawn to allow Pepe to play him.
  • Shout-Out: "Are you related to Frank Oz?"
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: After Glinda tells Dorothy she could have just used the silver shoes to return to Kansas, Dorothy glares at Tattypoo, for not telling her. Tattypoo reminds her that fantasy stories often end with the protagonist realizing what she needed was with her all along.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Wicked Witch of the West melts after landing in a tub filled with tap water. (She usually bathes in bottled water.)