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Modes of transportation in The Wizard of Oz, ranked

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The dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

The Wizard Of Oz Photo by LMPC via Getty Images

9. Tornado

By far the worst way to get around in The Wizard of Oz. First of all, it’s loud. Second of all, it has a tendency to destroy everything in its path. But the real reason it’s the worst way to get around is the high propensity for involuntary manslaughter when, for instance, the tornado abates and drops your house on an unsuspecting bystander. Unfortunately, this method of transportation is likely only to become more common as “global weirding” from climate change continues.

8. Being carried by flying monkeys

Even as an adult, the flying monkeys are scary. How good is their grip? I mean, truly, you’re relying on the grip strength of flying monkeys so you don’t hurtle to your death. Jetpacks are safer — at least they have straps! The US Department of Transportation would not approve of the safety risks, either to the passengers or the people below, although it appears Oz has no DOT, which, frankly, explains a lot. No wonder Dorothy freaked out. Monkeys and heights do not mix.

7. Flying on a broomstick

Look, it’s true there’s not a lot of traffic up there besides the flying monkeys and the hot air balloon, and it’s also true that flying is cool. The broomstick seems to be emission-free except when skywriting “Surrender Dorothy,” so points for environmentalism. However — and this is a pretty big however — the broomstick appears to have no straps to secure one to it. (This is something of a theme in Oz? I guess they didn’t have a Ralph Nader.) If you lose your balance, you fall to your death, and since you are falling from a height, you’re likely to take someone else out as well. The only consolation is that flying on a broomstick is lighter than a flying car and less likely to have a lithium-ion battery that can catch fire and explode, doing damage to the surrounding area.

Two rather dangerous methods of transportation: a broomstick and a flying monkey.
Image: Getty Images

6. Skipping

Like walking but more tiring, skipping appears to be the preferred method for starting a hike down the Yellow Brick Road. As portrayed in the film, one must skip arm-in-arm with one’s companions. This requires a high degree of coordination, and it seems likely I would faceplant. No thanks.

5. Being pulled in a green cart by a horse of a different color

Horse-drawn carriages are an excellent old form of transportation, though this appears to be a slower way of traversing Oz than flying, being carried by a tornado, or a hot air balloon. Still, it’s not very dangerous, and the horse is cool. The only real downside is having to clean up the horse dung.

4. Hot air balloon

Hot air balloon trips have the same downsides as the other methods of flying portrayed in the movie: risks to the traveler should something go wrong, risks to the people below, as well as an apparent lack of air traffic control. However, hot air balloons are speedier than walking, bicycling, skipping, or taking a horse-drawn cart, and Oz appears to be fairly large. Besides, maybe one day that hot air balloon will provide Oz with internet — once Google conquers Earth, it’ll necessarily have to look elsewhere.

3. Walking

Walking is an excellent way to get from point A to point B, though it’s slow. Most of us use it daily. Especially in a place as crowded as The Emerald City, it seems like the most convenient way to get around, and you can go places the horse-drawn cart can’t. One potential downside to walking is getting caught in a magic field of poppies and falling asleep, so it’s not entirely without risk. Still, it’s a strong way of getting around, assuming everyone gets on board in time.

2. Bicycling

Okay, yes. If you ride a bicycle, you will sometimes be chased by dogs that will sometimes bite you. That’s true. But biking is very fun, and it’s also a quick way to get where you’re going. Plus, you aren’t going to be dropped from a height by flying monkeys, which seems like a win. Also, let’s admit it: Miss Gulch’s bike basket is pretty handy.

Ruby Slippers From “The Wizard Of Oz” Taken Off View From The Smithsonian’s National Museum Of American History
No possible downsides here.
Photo by Kris Connor / Getty Images

1. Ruby slippers

This is teleportation, right? That owns. No possible foreseeable problems.