The Pirates of Oz

I just put on a DVD for my kids, a Warner Brothers film we paid cold, hard cash for, yet are still forced to sit through a barrage of commercials and previews that range from insipid to insulting. On the far end of the insulting side of this spectrum was a fear mongering anti-piracy clip that has me reeling. Warner Brothers re-cast The Wizard of Oz so that Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow are to be understood as pirates, and the Wizard is to be seen as something along the lines of an MPAA goon. Take a look for yourself at the 50 second spot below:

What’s crazy is how brazenly Warner Brothers is targeting attacking the young and the meek “Dorothys” of the world with their scare tactics. Despite the fact that we paid more money than we should have for the video, our kids are, nonetheless, forced by Warner Brothers to sit through this cautionary commercial if they want to get to the feature. When did a company’s preying upon their young and meek audience, while simultaneously ruining an all-time classic, become not only tolerable, but the norm?

But re-framing always cuts both ways, that’s the beauty of media, interpretation, and context. Anyone who has seen the film knows that the Wizard is a fraud who builds an elaborate front with smoke and mirrors to hide the sobering reality that he’s a homunculus whose only power is in false bravado, subterfuge, and double-talk. And therein lies the “man-behind-the-curtain” of pirating cautionary tales spawned by media interests to prey on the unassuming. A despicable tactic that has no other aim than to instill fear and terror in the hearts and minds of the young and the meek. Yet, it is the meek that shall inherit the internet, and the deceptive interests that espouse fear and terror must be exposed as soon as possible so that we can bring them and their cultural heritage into the 21st century. If you don’t feel the need to stand up against the MPAA and the RIAA because they are eroding your rights to share, copy, and interact with the culture you have been thrown into, then, for the love of God, do it for the children!!! 🙂

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10 Responses to The Pirates of Oz

  1. Steve says:

    I honestly though this was an anti RIA and MPAA spoff.

    The degree to which they don’t get it is stunning!

  2. m says:

    The wizard of oz is in public domain.

  3. Reverend says:


    Actually, the rights to the 1939 version, the most famous one with Judy Garland, are still held by Warner Brothers. The 1925 adaptation of the novel, however, is in the public domain:

  4. Leslie M-B says:


  5. How Jungian…..yet representative of the state of behavioral control in the world. The affronts to science and logic in today’s political and social agendas are summed up quite nicely here.

    We should all know better, and those who do can point out the absurdity, yet we still abide in a very “non-dude” manner. The RIAA, MPAA, global warming alarmists, political parties and other unfounded fear based agencies all flourish thanks to these types of unchecked propaganda.

  6. Morag says:

    I saw one of these today too. Mine used “Casablanca” with Rick being the law abiding citizen and Ilsa the pirate. No classic is safe it seems! This also reminded me of the people behind me at the movies last week who didn’t feel the theatre should advertise for upcoming films, etc, when they had paid good money to see the film we were at. I actually kind of enjoy the previews but I could do without the adverts for other products.

  7. Brad says:

    Spot-on deconstruction. If you don’t let ’em get to you, the irony with which big anti-free-media corporations operate is far more hysterical than any film they end up producing. All rights reversed.

  8. Reverend says:

    @Leslie M-B,

    Exactly, and that why the dig for “do it for the children” at the end of this, we always frame why we need to protect this or that child from all kinds of threats on the internet in our community, etc. Yet, what about media threats like this one which fuck with our kids minds, effectivly telling them they are pirates and are “bad.” It’s unconscionable, yet all we can think about is fake and expensive organic oatmeal and getting to the nearest gym, our society is lame.

    Wow, I have to look for the Casablanca one, haven’t seen that yet, “all my pretty ones, did you say ll? Hell kite!”

    I too love previews, and I really think of them as part of the movie going experience, I think the whole package might be a bit less without them. It is candy, and it allows me to exercise my judgment: “that one will suck” or “that will rock.” But like you, when they start selling me a Dr Pepper (like so many movies do now within the actual narrative) I feel cheated.

    Happy New Year! And I do agree that this is hysterical, but at the same time infuriating. I don;t know why, may because I didn;t take my medicine yesterday, but these bastards are so righteous about everything, and they are killing the whole logic of a shared culture. So, I guess deconstructing is all I got, which makes me ever more excited to catch both Friday the 13th (February 13th) and My Bloody Valentine 3-d (Jan 16th) with you 🙂

  9. Brad says:

    You’re on, hoss. I’m back in town, resolving to revive Judges. Let’s get this fire poppin’.

  10. Brad says:

    Oooh also, nice bavavideo. Thought you might like it.

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