Before "The Jacksons" officially moved on in 1976, Michael Jackson was invited to a Hollywood rendition to a Broadway musical "The Wiz". In turn a Funky adaptation to "The Wizard of Oz".
Allow me to compare and contrast the two versions.
- Both involve an innocent setting.
- Following "The Yellow Brick Road" was essential to find Dorothy's way home.
- Dorothy unknowingly destroys the wicked witch of the east.
- Both witches from the west are allergic to water(what a world).
- Both wizards demand the death of the wicked witch of the west.
- The two versions have a good witch of the north(does anybody have a clue about The Witch of The South?)
- Both Dorothy's click their heels and chant "There's no place like home".
- One was based in Kansas. The other in Harlem, NYC.
- The 1939 adaptation gets her picked up by a twister and thrown to Munchkin Land. The Funketized rendition has a snowstorm transport her to an alternative Universe-A different New York City in Suburbia.
- The first Dorothy was bold adventurous, and naive. While "The Wiz" make her more of a soft-spoken, shy, introverted type of gal.
- On this version, Dorothy has no socks. Plus her shoes are removable. The original-Those puppies were sealed on tight with a good old pair of orange stockings.
- The Lion hides in a statue at The New York Library. Wheres the original had him hiding behind trees in a forest.
- The "Poppies" on this set are animated hoes, instead of flowers.
- The wizard is a politician banished from the south-side of town(Jersey City District). The other was a politician from Kansas.
- the witch is a slave-holder(sweatshop owner) among the sewage system of NYC. Dorothy emancipates her slaves to freedom. The other version, she owns her own castle.
- The old rendition has her waking up in bed. The newer version finds her walking home to her apartment in Brooklyn NYC.
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The Wiz Review
The film was very draggy and really amounted to nothing more then an acid trip to a Funky dimension of The Big Apple. Much too laced with Disco to even remotely capture the essence of the original 1939 classic.
Now Michael on the other hand was the only parts worth watching throughout the whole film. His raw voice coupled with flamboyant acting skills clearly discloses the ambition this kid had in his heart.
Other then having Michael Jackson and a bit of Diana Ross on the scenes, I felt "The Wiz" was a big disappointment.
Next, we'll look at their fist album from the post-Motown sessions-The Jacksons Album...Don't Go nowhere!