Friday, August 16, 2013

Original Return to Oz movie props on display at Disney D23 Expo...

Because of their legendary iconic status, every self-respecting gay man knows a pair of ruby slippers when he sees them, but not everyone would know exactly which film they belong to. Take for example this pair of jewel encrusted shoes, which are actually from Disney's sequel to The Wizard of Oz, 1985's Return to Oz, which starred Fairuza Balk as 'Dorothy Gale'.

Original props and production models from Return to Oz
Return to Oz props
Return to Oz movie props
Return to Oz Wheeler mask
This fantastic assortment of film memorabilia was photographed on display at Disney's D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 8, 2013.

Based on the original books by L. Frank Baum, the movie sequel saw young Dorothy return to a very changed Land of Oz with her talking chicken 'Billina', where she meets some new friends and sets out to rescue the 'Scarecrow' from the evil stone-like 'Nome King' who has devastated the Emerald City with the power of Dorothy's magical ruby slippers.

Included in the prop display is a pre-production model of the Nome King's hand, plus a 'Wheeler' mask worn by Peter Elliot as Wheeler #2. The Wheelers are the henchmen (a bit like the Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys) of 'Mombi', the head-changing secondary villain and accomplice of the Nome King, who have wheels for hands and feet (and used to scare the bejesus out of me as a kid).

There was also an Oz glyph key which Dorothy uses to open a secret room, some lunch box tree pails, the Powder of Life (which brought 'Jack Pumpkinhead' and 'The Gump' in the movie to life) and Tik-Tok's ornament room medal (which he's transformed into by the Nome King) on display.

Ruby slippers worn by Fairuza Balk in Return to Oz
Return to Oz Fairuza Balk Ruby slippers
Return to Oz Ruby slippers
Ruby slippers Return to Oz
In the movie the Nome King explains he used the discarded ruby slippers to conquer the Emerald City. After his defeat Dorothy used the magic slippers to restore the Emerald City and its citizens to its former glory.

Apparently there were four surviving pairs of the original ruby slippers from 1939's musical classic The Wizard of Oz, mostly known for the infamous scene where Dorothy clicks her heels together during the 'there's no place like home' scene and ones worn by Judy Garland were auctioned a couple of years ago for around $2 million.

If you're a fan of Return to Oz (like me), be sure to stick around in the days to come for some very special original costumes from the Disney movie on display at this year's D23 Expo.

Return to Oz movie poster
Return to Oz movie poster
Buy the movie: Return to Oz

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