04 September 2009

Is The Wizard of Oz (1939 film) a musical?

The last time we got together to play cards, an interesting topic presented itself and soon became a heated debate. The conversation always flows like wine during poker night at the Wheeler's. Whether it be about a song that is playing, rekindling memories of card games past, or just playful banter, someone always has something to say, and it's usually good for a laugh.

I don't know how we got to talking about it, but the movie genre of the musical became the topic of discussion and Michael and Marty were declaring how much they disliked the musical, and how they refused to watch them. I, for one, am fond of musicals. By no means do I deliberately seek them out, but I don't avoid them or turn a movie off if a character breaks into song.

In fact, some of my favorite movies are musicals, mainly one's starring Danny Kaye; I have my mom to thank for that. Some Danny Kaye musicle favorites include Up In Arms, Wonder Man, The Court Jester, and White Christmas.

Plus, how can you go wrong with Mary Poppins or The Wizard of Oz? And that's when things really got interesting. When I mentioned The Wizard of Oz, Michael and Marty looked at me like I was crazy and told me The Wizard of Oz was not a musical.

Huh? There are about twenty times during the movie where the characters break into song. How could it not be a musical? Still, they stood their ground and Valerie even went on the internet to see if she could find the definitive answer. While she couldn't find anything that stated The Wizard of Oz was definitely a musical, she did find the definition of a musical film on wikipedia. It states...

"The musical film is a film genre in which several songs
sung by the
characters are interwoven into the narrative. The songs are usually used to advance the plot or develop the film's characters."

Well, if that doesn't sound like the formula The Wizard of Oz used, I don't know what does. Still, Michael and Marty were not convinced. I don't think it would have been such an issue if they didn't like The Wizard of Oz so much; Michael even said it is one of his favorite movies. How could one of his favorite movies be a musical when he despises them so much? My point is, don't dismiss a movie just because of the way it is labeled. So what if they sing a few times, as long as the story is good, what's the difference?

Since we could find no absolutly difinitive answer, I'd like to know what you think. Is The Wizard of Oz (1939 film) a musical? Please feel free to comment on the subject. Thanks!


  1. I'm absolutely convinced that its a musical, Luke! Great article! Love the photo of Danny Kaye!

  2. Um, yes. End of story. Viva Mary Poppins!!

  3. It’s a great post,you really are a good writer!

  4. I just bookmarked your blog and will come back in the future. Keep up your great job, I hope you have a nice day!



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