Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flying Monkeys

Is it just me or do the flying monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz" still scare the bejeezus out of you too?

I'm watching this classic on TNT, and the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West is calling out the flying monkeys is on...she's standing at the window yelling "Fly! Fly!" and suddenly, the sky is darkened by the winged primates. To this day, that scene still makes me shudder!

I think I was 4 or 5 the first time I saw this movie. I actually cried at that very scene. I remember feeling the panic and fear surge through my belly.

Many years ago, my parents took me to a theme park on Beech Mountain NC called "The Land of Oz" for my 8th birthday. I remember traveling down the Yellow Brick Road with a group...and our "Munchkin" guide prepared us for the possibility of sighting flying monkeys, and I was terrified! As I recall, I think he told us to duck down, place our hands on our heads, and shout the warning "Flying monkeys!!" Of course, we would see no flying monkeys, but I didn't know that...I was only 8! I cautiously checked the skies about every 15 seconds or so. As we prepared to enter the haunted forest, our guide kindly reminded us that the Wicked Witch would capture anyone wearing red shoes. I burst into tears as I looked down at my bright red Converse sneakers.

Come to think of it...maybe "The Wizard of Oz" isn't appropriate for young children after all? Or maybe I was just an overly-sensitive kid who was too literal and believed everything I was told?

I went on You Tube to see if I could find some footage of the flying monkeys. Instead, I found a family's home movies from a trip to this same park, also in the 1970's (which is when I went...turned 8 in 1975). Even better! So I'm posting it here so that you can see the place. The images are a little fuzzy, but remember the film is 30-some years old.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

I think the flying monkeys are very scary too! And here I thought I was the only one that was bothered by them. That ruined my enjoyment of that movie :(..silly scary flying monkeys.