The Wizard of Oz is a classic movie remembered for its the wizard of oz shoes that the main character, Dorothy, wore. There are important supporting characters that worked in making the movie come to life; such as the wicked witches of the east and west, Glinda the Good Witch of the North, the Munchkins and Winged Monkey, and the Wizard himself, but the sparkling red shoes were so well known they became a character themselves!
Aside from the characters, there are also notable appearances of objects throughout the entire movie, like the yellow brick road and the famous magical ruby slippers that Dorothy wore with her checkered blue and white dress.
The slippers were created by Gilbert Adrian, MGM’s chief costume designer at the time. Dorothy received the shoes from Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and would fight to protect them from the Wicked Witch of the West in order to get home.
Speaking of the ruby slippers, did you know that these Wizard of Oz shoes have even more of a historical presence than you can imagine?
Dorothy’s Silver Wizard of Oz Shoes
Dorothy’s ruby slippers were a different color when first introduced in the 1900 book version of Wizard of Oz. The shoes were originally silver. However, the costume designer on the set took advantage of new color film and the shoes were changed to a sparkling ruby red color in order to stand out on the big screen.
Judy Garland was the lucky actor given the role of Dorothy and the owner of the iconic shoes. The shoes were duplicated to up to 4 pairs, one for Dorothy, one for the wicked witch of the west, and one for each stand in for the Dorothy character.
Dorothy’s Slippers Now on Display at the Smithsonian
Today, the sparkling red sequined pair of Wizard of Oz shoes topped with an equally sparkling bow still remains a famous film icon that is asked about by children and adults. The shoes are an important asset for dressing the part of Dorothy, and its historical contribution to the film world has allowed the shoes to earn a spot in the famous Washington, DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The iconic Ruby Slippers, worn by Judy Garland herself, were donated anonymously to the museum in 1979. The slippers remain as one of the most popular artifacts at the Smithsonian.
The original pair worn by Judy Garland in the movie was anonymously donated to the museum about 40 years after its debut on the big screen. The shoes have become just as popular as the actual characters from the movie and can actually be categorized as one of the favorite characters of the movie. You can view the Smithsonian’s Press release about these famous wizard of oz shoes here.
Dorothy’s ruby slippers was more than just the magical way for the young girl to return home, but also helped to further push the moral of the movie in general: “…when you are hopelessly in search of something special, you may discover that you had had it in you all along!”
Like the Scarecrow needing a brain, the Tin Man needing a heart, and the Lion needing courage, Dorothy’s search for the Wizard to return home could have been avoided if she had realized that the power of returning home lied within the shoes. The Wizard of Oz shoes can also serve as a reminder to children that no matter how far away from home you go, you can always count on it being no place like home.