are you a good witch or a bad witch?
There's the obvious reasons first: the flying monkeys, which were every nightmare I ever had given wings; the Wicked Witches, both of whom remind me of too many teachers and babysitters I have known; the Munchkins, who looked like they would just as soon push you into an oven than be helpful; and that horrible, nasty lady on the bicycle who stole Dorothy's dog and turned into a witch right in front of my eyes.
Those are all the usual suspects. Anyone who tells you they don't like this movie will name the above as reasons. But there were other, less obviously sinister thing that creeped me out. First of all, that damn lion. I never liked walking, talking animals, especially ones who stand on their hind legs and don't wear clothes. Looking at him made me nervous in the same way that accidently seeing your cousin taking a leak on the side of the house when you're nine years old does.
What kind of parent would force their child to watch a movie that has man-eating trees, evil blue monkeys, ugly green witches, killing machine soldiers and sinister little munchkins? Oh sure, you thought those munchkins were nice, but I knew better. I just knew that, if given the chance, they would kidnap all the children of the world and make slaves out of them. And didn't it bother anyone that Dorothy was hailed as a hero for murdering the witch? Just because someone is bad does not give you the right to go killing them all willy nilly!
I was sure that my mother, who plunked us in front of the tv every spring (it used to be shown right around Easter) and made us watch the film as if it were some wonderful family experience, was trying to make us get some morality lesson out of the movie. Like, appreciate your mother, because poor Dorothy doesn't have one. Or, don't ever get a dog because some rotten neighbor will just come and take it away and then you'll have to go battle some witches to get him back. Or, don't go in the woods because there are monkeys with wings there.
Then one night, while lying in the dark trying to figure out how I would kill a human-like naked lion if one pounced on me when I least expected it, I got it. There's no place like home! Yes, that was the moral of the story! That's why my mother made us watch it. So when she was chasing us around the house and hitting us with shoes or throwing spatulas at us, or when we were forced to eat brussel sprouts, or when we were punished for leaving crayons in the back seat of her convertible when it was really hot out, we would not feel angry or sad. We would just think hey, I could be Dorothy and have to go into the scary woods and talk to a big piece of tin and wear that horrible gingham dress while skipping along through a crowd of midgets. Tis much better to be here, in my room, grounded for life.
And there was a time, when I had taken a road trip with my sister and her car broke down and we were in some crap part of Baltimore, stuffed into the front of a tow truck with a driver we were sure was going to kill us or worse, when I tried tapping my heels together and whispering, there's no place like home. But in that state of fear I got confused and instead said Candyman two times before my sister elbowed me in the ribs and I corrected myself by saying Beetlejuice, but Michael Keaton never showed up and it was ok, because the tow truck driver didn't want to kill us at all, he was actually very helpful and kind and I thought that maybe, in the great Emerald City of life, he was my Glenda the Good Witch.