A million dollar reward has been offered to anyone with information on the whereabouts of the red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.
The slippers were stolen ten years ago from a museum in Garland’s hometown of Minnesota.
Covered sequins, the slippers became iconic in the 1939 cinema hit which was one of the first films to take full advantage of technical advances in Technicolour films.
The film was released in 1939 to critical acclaim and catapulted Garland to stardom.
Three other pairs of the ruby shoes still exist, including one on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Terrifying children's movies
Terrifying children's movies
1/10 Watership Down, 1978
Who knew that a film about fluffy little bunnies could be so darn horrifying? If the sound of Art Garfunkel’s “Bright Eyes” sends shivers down your spine then chances are you were exposed prematurely to the Martin Rosen animation in which psychic rabbit Fiver sees his warren filled with blood and dead cottontails. As if escaping from Hrududus, Efrafans and dogs weren’t enough, the only female to avoid the underground hell envisioned by Fiver is killed by a hawk. The nightmarish bunnies with blood running out of their eyeballs, noses and mouths are enough to send one running for the nearest zombie movie. Much more inviting, thanks.
2/10 Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988
Dear old Bob Hoskins’ character looks on horrified as the much-feared judge of Toontown, Judge Doom, quite literally meets his namesake as he is crushed by a steam roller agonisingly slowly, limbs flailing. As if this alleged kids’ film weren’t pushing the boundaries enough there, the flattened Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) stands up like a ghastly approximation of Flat Stanley, re-inflates himself using helium, and then turns his hellish visage (complete with bright red, juddering eyeballs) to address the audience in a terrifying cartoon squeak (we’re not sure if it was the helium, or not). *Shudder*
3/10 My Girl, 1991
This otherwise innocuous-looking film devoid of haunted houses, scary witches or anything other than all-American kids looking squeaky clean and very cute is scary for two reasons. Firstly, Thomas J (Macaulay Culkin) dies. He actually dies! Off-screen and in the most traumatically surprising of manners – as a result of bee stings. Secondly, for the number of dead bodies that are in full view. It isn’t just Vada creeping into her undertaker father’s basement to look at a cadaver. She (a small child) actually gets to see Thomas J dead in his coffin, offering the opportunity for her to cry “Where are his glasses! He needs his glasses, he can’t see without his glasses!” Terrifying in that is impossible to stop crying while watching.
4/10 The NeverEnding Story, 1984
No, the scariest thing about this film is not its catchy theme tune. Although you will be humming it for some time. This is a dark, dark, dark, dark, dark tale involving a nemesis described quite simply as “the nothing”. What could be more disturbing than a foe that has neither form nor motive and leaves simply emptiness in it’s wake? Particularly chilling is the moment our hero Atreyu loses his beloved horse Artax when he is swallowed by the bog of despair. Deep. His raggedy-voiced cries of “Atreyu!! Aaaaattttreeeeyyyuuuu!” will haunt you for some time.
5/10 Dumbo, 1941
One of the more remarkable things about Dumbo is that the film predates widespread psychedelic drug use. But the drunken baby elephant who sees pink elephants on parade (not to mention the severed head of a very dubious-looking pachyderm) is not the most terrifying element. What sends this reviewer into howls (not an exaggeration) is the cruelty shown to Dumbo’s mum by the circus folk. The strains of “Baby Mine” as the little elephant tries to reach his shackled mother, ending up cradled in her trunk through the bars, gets me every time. OK, so it might not be a fright fest, but who wouldn’t cower at the sight of their mother in chains. Now, where did I put those tissues?
6/10 The Wizard of Oz, 1939
“I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog, too!” If you think that’s the most frightening part of this story then you’re wrong. It isn’t the old hag at the beginning/Wicked Witch who should strike fear into your heart (although she does look a little green around the gills). No, it’s the crazy flying monkeys that look like a cross between a Planet of the Apes ape and Tommy Cooper (OK, that’s a bit unfair, but the monkeys do wear a Fez). That and the implicit knowledge that a house might fall on you at any time.
7/10 Return to Oz, 1985
If the original journey to Oz was worrying childhood cinema, the Eighties sequel bats the crazy into another league. Not only is poor Dorothy subjected to electroshock therapy in a mental asylum, she’s also chased by half-man-half-trolley monsters called the Wheelers and very narrowly avoids becoming part of evil Princess Mombi‘s gallery of sentient disembodied heads. What with auntie Em subjecting poor Dotty to heinous treatment for suspected paranoid delusions, we definitely, definitely are not in Kansas anymore.
8/10 Labyrinth, 1986
“Everything that you wanted, I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous?" So speaks David Bowie in his legendary turn as the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s puppet-tastic fantasy movies. As if surly New Romantic teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) were not disturbingly heartless enough as a babysitter, the scariest moment comes when her stolen baby brother crawls on the ceiling (Is this where Danny Boyle got the inspiration for that scene in Trainspotting?). The Muppet relations might have looked cute and comical at times, but when Sarah finds herself in a magical mocked-up version of her own stuffed toy filled room, the creeps begin to outweigh the laughs.
9/10 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968
If the rest of the movie is truly scrumptious, the existence of the child catcher in this Dick Van Dyke classic is all the more horrifying. Played by professional ballet dancer Robert Helpmann, the character is all the more disturbing for his light-footedness. With his long, pointed noise and exaggeratedly camp manner he is employed by the Baron and Baroness to catch and imprison children on the streets of Vulgaria. Created by the films screenwriter Roald Dahl, the child catcher did not appear in the original Ian Fleming book. He is so sinister I used to dive behind the sofa whenever his sing song voice and overly sniffly nose appeared onscreen.
10/10 Bambi, 1942
“I made it mother! Mother?! Mother!” Leave it to Disney to casually teach your children about death why dontcha. Even as an adult the subtle bang of the rifle that put paid to Bambi’s mama strikes true. Possibly the fluffiest packaging for any of the horrors discussed in this piece, no sooner has Bambi’s mum been despatched then we see our cute little deer and his rabbit friend thumper transformed from sing song sweetness to gravelly-voiced maturity. Death, puberty, twitterpating. You name it, it was terrifying.
The $1 million reward has been offered to anyone with credible information which can lead to the discovery of the footwear, including the exact location of the slippers and the perpetrator’s name.
The tenth anniversary of the slippers’ disappearance is this August. They were insured for $1 million at the time but experts believe that they may be worth closer to $2 million or $3 million now.
With additional reporting by Associated PressReuse content