He wasn’t really a wizard!

That was our daughter, after the conclusion of our Christmas Day screening of “The Wizard of Oz.” She and her brother had never seen the movie.

As she got ready for bed, we deconstructed the film. Her questions make me think she’ll be a fine film critic one day (when she’s allowed to watch more movies). I liked answering the questions, too. She made me think about the movie differently.

“Why didn’t Dorothy die when the hourglass ran out? And why did just a little water melt the Wicked Witch?”

Maybe the Wicked Witch never really had the power to hurt Dorothy. All the witch ever did, after all, was scare people and cast a spell to make people sleepy. And when she melted, her own guards were happy. She didn’t really have much going for her, maybe that’s why a little water was all it took to make her disappear.

“Why didn’t the Good Witch just tell Dorothy how to get home in the first place? Why did she have to learn for herself? What did she learn?”

Dorothy needed to want to get home–not because she was scared of not being home, but because she liked home, even after seeing so much beyond home, whether scared or happy.

“Why did the good man pretend to be a Wizard?”

That’s what he thought he needed to be, that’s what he thought the people wanted him to be. Once he was honest, he found out he could still make people happy, and that people would still like him.

“I like Dorothy–she never got really scared.”

That’s because she knew who she was and she cared for her friends. She put them before herself.

Bottom line: Fear is fleeting, and is not a good motivator for action. Honesty is best–especially about yourself. Self-awareness and loyalty make for a true friend and hero.

Wondering now if they kids are too young to see “Bringing Up Baby.”

What do you think?

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