Monday, April 6, 2009

Ask Toto A Question # 7

Ask Toto #7


I've done some research and see that Terry the dog, who enjoyed an eight year acting career spanning ten movies, played you in MGM's 1939 production of The Wizard of Oz. Knowing that Terry trained for two whole weeks at Judy Garland's home for the part, how well do you feel one of Hollywood's most famous canines portrayed you?

Grant in Mid-Wilshire

Hi Grant!

Well, I’m not one to slam a fellow canine, Terry did the best she could. That’s right, Terry is a bitch. What? I’m still not slamming her, she’s a female dog, that’s what they’re called! Calm down, people, sheesh.

Anyhow, Terry was fine, though I can’t help but note a distinct lack of focus in certain pivotal scenes. Check out Terry in the classic scene from Over The Rainbow.
Dorothy! Make the thing happen! The motion capture thing! I can’t work the keyboard.

Where’s Terry looking? Is it at her mistress, who’s trilling so beautifully? No! It’s her trainer just off camera. If you watch this scene like I do, keeping your eye on Terry the whole time (why would you look anywhere else?), you’ll notice that Terry is NOT connecting with Judy Garland. In fact, she’s so out of character, she offers her paw a whole moment ahead of time, at the “That’s wheeeeerrrreeee yoooooooooou’ll fiiiiiiiiiinnnnddddd meeeeeeee.” when she’s supposed to wait until the “Why, then, oh, why can’t Iiiiiiiiiiii” Part.

See, if I had played myself, you couldn’t have gotten me to take my eyes off of Judy Garland, not for a second. Not because Judy was inherently beautiful in her own right, but because she’s playing Dorothy, and there’s no person in the whole wide world that I like to gaze at more. I hardly ever take my eyes off her, that’s how much I love her.

Oh sure, they had offered the part to me, but since Dorothy wasn’t going to play herself, and they were telling the story all wrong anyway, I didn’t wanna be a part of it. Was I jealous at the final product? No, not really. Well, okay, yes, the first time we watched it I howled and howled at dismay at how they got every last thing wrong.

But then I realized how much this version, wrong as it is, has brought happiness to so many people, young and old, and who am I to stand in the way of that? Plus we’re gonna tell the story the way it’s supposed to be told, so the truth IS coming out finally. You just gotta wait for your moment. For stories to be told the right way, and for food under the table, ha ha ha.

I will say, however that Terry really did great in the scene where she barks madly at the cat in the balloon scene. That’s completely the fury I have when I see any cat. Cats are just wrong all over.

Thanks for the question!

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