Analysis of The Wizard of oz

Summary In this movie, Dorothy goes on a journey with her friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, to seek help from the Wizard of Oz. Along the way, they face challenges and threats including the Jitter Bug, Winged Monkeys, and the Wicked Witch of the West. The group manages to defeat the witch and finally reaches the Wizard. However, the Wizard disappoints them with broken promises and they demand to be sent back home to Kansas. The Wizard gives the Scarecrow a diploma and the Lion a medal to boost their confidence. Dorothy realizes she is still stuck in Oz and Glinda appears to offer her help, leaving the group unsure of what to do next.

Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The scene effectively sets up Dorothy's conflict and introduces the supporting characters. The emotional impact is relatively low, but the stakes are moderately high. The scene could benefit from more substantial character development and plot advancement.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay, consider adding more depth to the interactions between Dorothy and her family. Explore their reasons for not initially listening to her concerns and build on their relationship dynamics. Additionally, consider introducing a stronger obstacle or complication that Dorothy faces in her attempt to protect Toto from Miss Gulch. This could increase the tension and add more depth to Dorothy's determination. Lastly, consider incorporating more memorable dialogue and moments of humor to further engage the audience.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:


Dorothy is a caring and determined young girl who loves her dog, Toto. She is concerned about Toto's safety and seeks guidance from her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Determined and protective of Toto. Dorothy is a young girl who feels unappreciated at home and longs for adventure. She expresses her desire to leave home and see the world with the Professor. Curious and brave young girl from Kansas. Brave and kind-hearted, Dorothy becomes a hero in Munchkinland by accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East. She is overwhelmed but compassionate towards the Munchkins. Brave and determined, she stands up to the Wicked Witch and seeks a way back to Kansas. A young girl from Kansas who finds herself in the magical land of Oz and is on a quest to return home. She is kind-hearted, brave, and resilient. Dorothy is a courageous and caring young girl who has found herself in the land of Oz. She is determined to find her way back home but is also willing to help those she meets along the way. Empathetic and caring, Dorothy reassures the Scarecrow and helps him find hope in himself. Kind-hearted and determined, Dorothy wants to return home to Kansas and seeks the help of the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is a caring and helpful girl who is on a journey to find her way back home. Dorothy is a kind and supportive young girl who reassures the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. Dorothy is a determined and caring young girl who is growing as a leader and finding strong friendships on her journey. Dorothy is a brave and determined young girl from Kansas who is on a quest to find the Wizard and return home. Brave and caring. She stands up for others and invites the Lion to join them on their journey. Brave and determined young girl, stands up for her friends. Dorothy is a determined and caring young girl who stands up to the Lion's threats and defends her dog Toto. Brave and determined, stands up for her friends. Dorothy is curious and easily amazed by new experiences. She is kind-hearted and appreciates the beauty in the world. Courageous and determined. Courageous and quick-witted protagonist. Brave and determined, stands up for her friends. Brave and compassionate, willing to stand up for her friends. Dorothy is a courageous and determined young girl who stands up to the Lion and slaps his hand when he goes after Toto, showing her strong sense of loyalty and bravery. Brave and determined, stands up to the Lion and takes charge in the situation. Brave and determined, willing to stand up to the Lion and confront the Winged Monkeys. Shows concern for her friends and is willing to make sacrifices to protect them. Brave and determined, stands up to the Witch. Courageous and determined, Dorothy is focused on finding her way back home and saving her friends. Determined and brave, Dorothy is being held captive by the Wicked Witch of the West and is desperate to escape. Dorothy is a determined and resilient young girl who is facing great danger. She is held captive by the Wicked Witch but refuses to give in to her demands. Brave and determined, eager to save her friends. Persistent and determined to return home, caring for her friends. Determined and assertive, she questions the Wizard and demands answers. Brave and determined, Dorothy serves as the protagonist and leader of the group. She is dedicated to finding her way back home to Kansas. Dorothy is determined and skeptical, questioning the Wizard's promises and capabilities. Brave, determined, desperate to return home. Dorothy is a determined and resourceful young girl who longs to return home to Kansas. Through her experiences in Oz, she has learned important lessons about self-discovery and the value of home. Dorothy is a determined and hopeful young girl who is desperate to find her way back home to Kansas. She is willing to confront the Wizard and plead for his help.

Aunt Em

Aunt Em is a strong-willed and caring woman who is initially preoccupied with work on the farm. She is dismissive of Dorothy's concerns about Miss Gulch but shows a protective side towards Dorothy. She is also shown to be concerned for the well-being of the chicks in the incubator.

Uncle Henry

Uncle Henry is a hardworking and practical man in his late 40s. He has a weathered face that reflects a life of labor on the farm. He has graying hair that is always messy from working outdoors and a thick mustache that adds to his rugged appearance. He possesses a sturdy physique, showing strength built by years of physical labor. Despite his gruff exterior, there is warmth and kindness in his eyes that reveal his love for his family.


Glinda is the Witch of the North who helps Dorothy on her journey. She is kind, wise, and respected by the Munchkins. Glinda has magical powers and often provides guidance to Dorothy. She is protective of Dorothy and knowledgeable about magic.

Tin Man

The Tin Man is a compassionate and sentimental character who has longed for a heart. He is stuck and unable to move due to rust, symbolizing his inability to express emotions. He initially hesitates to join Dorothy and the others on their journey, longing for a heart but unsure of the risks involved. Despite his lack of a heart, he shows compassion and remorse for killing a bee, demonstrating his kindness and empathy. The Tin Man seeks the Wizard's help in regaining his ability to love and cares deeply for his friends, always looking for ways to help them and express his emotions. He is a loyal and protective companion, willing to go to great lengths to ensure Dorothy's safety. Over the course of the movie, the Tin Man experiences personal growth and discovers that he has had a heart all along. This realization comes when his heart breaks while saying goodbye to Dorothy, showing that love and compassion have always been within him. As a result, the Wizard appoints him to rule in his absence, recognizing the Tin Man's inherent goodness and leadership qualities.


The Lion is initially portrayed as a fearful and boastful character. However, deep down, he is insecure and longs to be courageous.

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Dorothy Dorothy goes from a caring and curious young girl who longs for adventure to a brave and determined protagonist who is willing to face great dangers to find her way back home. Along her journey in the land of Oz, she grows in confidence, learns the importance of friendship and bravery, and discovers her true strength and resilience. Her arc revolves around her transformation from a naive and innocent girl to a courageous hero who saves her friends and stands up against powerful forces, ultimately realizing that home is where her heart truly belongs. The character arc for Dorothy is solid and engaging. It effectively portrays her transformation from an ordinary girl to a brave hero. However, there could be more emphasis on her emotional growth and internal struggles. It would be beneficial to explore her feelings of loneliness and longing for adventure more deeply, as it would add depth to her character and make her journey even more relatable.
To improve the character arc, consider adding more scenes or moments where Dorothy reflects on her desires and wrestles with her internal conflicts. This could be done through introspective monologues or dialogues with other characters. Additionally, give her more challenges that test her emotional resilience and force her to confront her fears and insecurities. This will make her growth more pronounced and the resolution of her arc even more satisfying.
Aunt Em Aunt Em's character arc in the screenplay involves a transformation from being dismissive of Dorothy's concerns and preoccupied with work to standing up to Miss Gulch and showing a more protective side towards Dorothy. Initially, Aunt Em is focused on her tasks and doesn't pay much attention to Dorothy's worries about Miss Gulch. However, as the story progresses, Aunt Em's priorities shift. She becomes aware of the seriousness of the situation and scolds the farmhands for not working efficiently. This is a turning point for her character as she starts to put Dorothy's well-being above her own work. Finally, when Miss Gulch comes to take Toto away, Aunt Em stands up to her, showcasing her strong will and unwavering support for Dorothy. Throughout the screenplay, Aunt Em's character arc emphasizes her transformation from a dismissive and preoccupied individual to a caring and protective figure in Dorothy's life. The character arc for Aunt Em is well-developed and allows for growth and progression. However, the initial dismissive nature of Aunt Em towards Dorothy's concerns could be further explored and justified. Additionally, more emphasis could be placed on Aunt Em's interactions with Dorothy before the conflict with Miss Gulch arises, in order to establish a stronger emotional connection between the two characters.
To improve the character arc, consider adding a scene that highlights Aunt Em's overwhelming workload and the reasons behind her preoccupation with work. This will provide a better understanding of her initial dismissive behavior towards Dorothy's concerns. Additionally, incorporating small moments of warmth and affection between Aunt Em and Dorothy throughout the screenplay will enhance their relationship and make Aunt Em's transformation more impactful. This could be done through brief conversations or gestures that demonstrate Aunt Em's care for Dorothy even before the conflict with Miss Gulch arises.
Uncle Henry Uncle Henry's character arc begins with him being occupied with farm work and showing limited patience for Dorothy's worry about Miss Gulch. He is initially dismissive of Miss Gulch's claims but ultimately stands up for Dorothy and Toto. As the story progresses, he remains preoccupied with his work but shows support for Aunt Em. Finally, Uncle Henry is portrayed as being busy and preoccupied with work, but he also shows concern for Dorothy's safety during the storm. Through these events, Uncle Henry undergoes a subtle transformation, realizing the importance of family and the need to protect and stand up for his loved ones. The character arc for Uncle Henry is effective in showcasing his transformation from a practical and dismissive man to a caring and protective figure. However, it would benefit from more opportunities for Uncle Henry to directly interact and bond with Dorothy throughout the movie. This would allow their relationship and Uncle Henry's growth to be more deeply explored and emotionally resonant.
One suggestion for improving the character arc for Uncle Henry is to include a scene where he shares a heartfelt conversation with Dorothy, acknowledging her fears and offering words of support and comfort. This would deepen their bond and highlight Uncle Henry's growth as a character. Additionally, creating more moments where Uncle Henry actively takes action to protect Dorothy and Toto would further emphasize his transformation. For example, he could be the one to physically confront Miss Gulch and defend Dorothy in a dramatic confrontation.
Glinda Glinda starts off as a kind and helpful guide for Dorothy, providing her with valuable information and advice. However, as the story progresses, Glinda's role evolves into that of a mentor. She reveals to Dorothy that she has always had the power to return home and helps her find a way back. Throughout the movie, Glinda's character arc explores her transition from a supportive figure to a mentor who empowers Dorothy to realize her own abilities and potential. The character arc for Glinda is well-crafted and effectively portrays her transformation from a guide to a mentor. However, it could benefit from further exploration of Glinda's own motivations and backstory. While she acts as a knowledgeable and wise character, little is known about her own experiences or past. This could add depth to her character and make her arc even more compelling.
To improve the character arc for Glinda, consider incorporating moments where she shares glimpses of her own journey or personal challenges. This could be done through dialogue or subtle hints. Additionally, explore her connection to the Land of Oz and her role as a witch in more detail, giving the audience a deeper understanding of her character. By fleshing out Glinda's backstory and motivations, her arc can become even more engaging and meaningful.
Tin Man The Tin Man initially longs for a heart, hesitating to join Dorothy on her journey. As they face different challenges, he displays his compassionate nature, always looking out for the well-being of others. Throughout the movie, he becomes more assertive and proactive, actively helping his friends and showing more emotional vulnerability. He continues to search for a heart, seeking the Wizard's guidance. However, towards the end, he discovers that he has had a heart all along, leading to a profound realization of his own capacity for love and compassion. This breakthrough allows him to finally embrace his true self and fulfill his role as a loyal and caring leader. The character arc of the Tin Man is well-developed and consistent throughout the screenplay. However, the focus on his longing for a heart could be explored in greater depth. While his desire for emotions is clear, it would be beneficial to delve deeper into why he feels he needs a physical heart to experience love and empathy. Additionally, there could be more moments that showcase the Tin Man's efforts to express his emotions or attempts to connect with others despite his perceived limitations. This would further emphasize his growth and transformation when he realizes that love has always been within him.
To improve the character arc, consider adding scenes that explore the Tin Man's internal struggle with his lack of emotions. This could include conversations or reflections where he questions his worth and ability to love without a physical heart. Introduce moments where the Tin Man actively seeks ways to show compassion and care, demonstrating his desire to connect with others. These additional layers will make his realization and acceptance of his existing capacity for love even more meaningful and impactful.
Lion The Lion, initially boastful and aggressive, breaks down crying and admits his cowardice. Hesitant to join the group out of fear of being degraded, he eventually reveals his vulnerable side and admits his fears. After Dorothy stands up to him, he breaks down and confesses his lack of courage, showing vulnerability and growth. He shows concern for Dorothy's safety and tries to protect her from the Winged Monkeys. The Lion gains courage and bravery as the story progresses, eventually rescuing Dorothy and standing up to the Wicked Witch. He admits his fear but is invited to join Dorothy's group. Feeling empowered and grateful, he expresses his gratitude to Dorothy for helping him find courage. He is also appointed by the Wizard to rule in his absence. The character arc for Lion appears to be well-constructed and provides a clear progression from initial cowardice to eventual bravery. However, the descriptions provided lack specific details about the character's actions and growth, making it difficult to fully assess the quality of the arc. Additionally, there are some repetitions and inconsistencies in the character descriptions that could be addressed for improved clarity.
To improve the character arc, it would be helpful to include specific moments and challenges that Lion faces throughout the story, which contribute to his growth and transformation. Providing more consistent descriptions that focus on his internal struggles, interactions with other characters, and specific steps towards overcoming his fears and developing courage would make the arc more compelling and impactful. Additionally, clarifying the sequence of events and avoiding repetitive descriptions will enhance the overall readability and coherence of the character arc.
Theme Theme Details Themee Explanation
Self-worth and IdentityThe Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion all express their desires for a brain, heart, and courage, respectively. They believe that these qualities will give them a sense of self-worth and a true identity.This theme highlights the characters' search for self-worth and their realization that they already possess the qualities they desire. It emphasizes the idea that true identity comes from within.
Friendship and UnityDorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion form a strong bond and go on a journey together to seek help from the Wizard. They support and encourage each other in their pursuit of their individual desires.This theme explores the power of friendship and the importance of unity in the face of challenges. It emphasizes the idea that together, people can overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
Courage and BraveryThe Lion's lack of courage is a central conflict in the story. Throughout the screenplay, the characters face their fears and find courage within themselves to confront the Wicked Witch and demand the Wizard's help.This theme explores the concept of courage and bravery, highlighting the characters' inner strength and their ability to face their fears. It shows that courage comes from confronting and overcoming challenges.
Deception and DisappointmentThe Wizard's true identity is revealed, and the characters confront the disappointment of his broken promises. They realize that they have been deceived by the Wizard's grandeur and must find their own solutions.This theme explores the idea of deception and disappointment, highlighting the characters' realization that they cannot rely on someone else to fulfill their desires. It emphasizes the importance of finding one's own path and taking responsibility for one's own happiness.
Identity and Self-DiscoveryThroughout the screenplay, the characters search for their true identities and discover that they already possess the qualities they desire. They learn to embrace who they are and find fulfillment within themselves.This theme delves into the characters' journeys of self-discovery and the realization that identity is not defined by external attributes. It emphasizes the importance of accepting oneself and finding happiness from within.

Screenwriting Resources on Themes


Site Description
Studio Binder Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
Coverfly Improving your Screenplay's theme
John August Writing from Theme

YouTube Videos

Title Description
Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics Screenwriting basics - beginner video
What is theme Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.
Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts
Goals and Philosophical Conflict
internal Goals Throughout the script, Dorothy's internal goals evolve from a desire for adventure and escape to a deeper yearning for love, friendship, companionship, and a sense of belonging. The Scarecrow seeks intelligence, the Tin Man seeks a heart, and the Lion seeks courage. These goals reflect their deeper fears and insecurities, as well as their longing for self-improvement and acceptance by society.
External Goals The external goals of the protagonist and her companions revolve around navigating the challenges they face in the strange and dangerous world of Oz, seeking the help and guidance of the Wizard, and ultimately finding their way back home. They also face external threats from Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch, and other obstacles along their journey.
Philosophical Conflict The overarching philosophical conflict in the screenplay centers around the dichotomy between good and evil, the importance of facing one's fears, the power of belief and self-discovery, and the true nature of courage, intelligence, and love. This conflict challenges the characters' values, worldview, and understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Character Development Contribution: The protagonist's goals, both internal and external, contribute to her development by forcing her to confront her fears, discover her own inner strength, and learn important life lessons about love, friendship, courage, and the power of believing in oneself. The goals and conflicts faced by the other characters also contribute to their growth, as they learn to overcome their insecurities and embrace their true qualities.

Narrative Structure Contribution: The protagonist's goals and the conflicts they face help drive the narrative structure of the screenplay, creating tension, suspense, and a sense of progression and development. Each scene and encounter brings the characters closer to their ultimate goal of finding the Wizard and returning home, while also deepening their understanding of themselves and the world they inhabit.

Thematic Depth Contribution: The protagonist's goals and the overarching philosophical conflict contribute to the thematic depth of the screenplay by exploring universal themes such as the importance of love, friendship, and belonging; the power of self-discovery and self-acceptance; the meaning of courage, intelligence, and love; and the dichotomy between good and evil. These themes resonate with audiences and offer valuable insights into the human condition.

Screenwriting Resources on Goals and Philosophical Conflict


Site Description
Creative Screenwriting How Important Is A Character’s Goal?
Studio Binder What is Conflict in a Story? A Quick Reminder of the Purpose of Conflict

YouTube Videos

Title Description
How I Build a Story's Philosophical Conflict How do you build philosophical conflict into your story? Where do you start? And how do you develop it into your characters and their external actions. Today I’m going to break this all down and make it fully clear in this episode.
Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great By Michael Arndt: I put this lecture together in 2006, when I started work at Pixar on Toy Story 3. It looks at how to write an "insanely great" ending, using Star Wars, The Graduate, and Little Miss Sunshine as examples. 90 minutes
Tips for Writing Effective Character Goals By Jessica Brody (Save the Cat!): Writing character goals is one of the most important jobs of any novelist. But are your character's goals...mushy?