With Disney's new 3-D film "Oz - The Great and Powerful" coming out on March 8, (2013), lots of video companies are releasing or re-releasing DVDs with the Oz theme. This 47-minute documentary was produced in 2010, and aired on the Smithsonian Channel, but is making its home DVD release now. It's really a must have for "Oz Fans"
The Smithsonian connection is that the SI Museum of American History holds the "ruby red shoes" that Judy Garland wore in the 1939 MGM film. (Actually there were multiple pairs but the SI has theirs on public display - as well as others in their "Oz Movie Collection".
I'll admit up front that I've seen the 1939 film many times but have never read any of the 14 "Oz" books penned by author L. Frank Baum. Baum also wrote a musical play in 1903 (and I do own the CD reissue of the songs from that show) as well as three silent "Oz" films in 1914 (these I have on DVD - part of the Warner's DVD release of the 1939 film.).
But I learned a lot about Baum and the parts of his real life that found their way into his 60 books - yes, there were 46 others besides "the WoO". The interviewees here are Baum's great-grandson and his great-granddaughter, Dwight Bowers from the SI, and a few authors. I'm not sure of the connection, but singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant (formerly of 10,000 Maniacs) is here commenting on how Dorothy - the Judy Garland character in the '39 film - was "the first feminist character in American literature. ( we learn that Baum was influenced by his mother-in-law who was a suffragette. Oh yes, we get double-duty from John Lahr who is both a theater critic as well as the son of Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in the film.
I don't want to share too much info you will learn in the documentary so I'll end here and just recommend it. There are NO additional "bonus features" on the DVD.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.