Anne Hathaway is nothing short of masterful in her narration of Baum’s beloved classic. As she guides listeners through the world of munchkins, winkies, and quadlings; witches; and the humbug Oz, Hathaway’s impressive vocal repertoire shines. As narrator, she is lithe yet precise; her voice sounds lilting or emphatic, as the story details require. In character, she is spectacular. Each character is filled with personality - a light-voiced Witch of the North; a brusque soldier at Oz’s palace; a monotone, robot-like Oz; and a usually cheerful and genuine Dorothy. The variety enriches the listening experience. Yes, one may know the story well, but Hathaway makes this recording a definitive one.
Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration - Female, 2013
One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Academy Award-winning actress Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.
Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they get swept away into the magical land of Oz , where they encounter characters and places you may remember from the movie – and several more that never made it to the big screen – on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City.
“It’s such a wonderful book and I was so happy to be a part of bringing it to life”, Ms. Hathaway said. “There are a lot of great voices in it. The more fun you have with it, the sillier and the more free you get with it, the better it is because it’s a story that can handle it. It’s amazing to be able to discover something new about something you feel you know so well.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Anne Hathaway is nothing short of masterful in her narration of Baum’s beloved classic…As narrator, she is lithe yet precise; her voice sounds lilting or emphatic, as the story details require. In character, she is spectacular. Each character is filled with personality—a light-voiced Witch of the North; a brusque soldier at Oz’s palace; a monotone, robot-like Oz; and a usually cheerful and genuine Dorothy. The variety enriches the listening experience. Yes, one may know the story well, but Hathaway makes this recording a definitive one.” (AudioFile)
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I bought this book in preparation for a long car ride with my 4 year old. She was riveted (and I enjoyed it too). I read (or had read to me) all the L. Frank Baum Oz books (I didn't get through all the Ruth Plumly Thompson books) when I was a kid and I was happy to carry on the tradition. The book has so much happening and works just as well in 2012 as in 1984 as in when it was written in 1900. Since so little happens in the "real world" there is little to date the book and there were no cringe-worthy phrases or beliefs that dated the book.
The narrator was a little strange, I thought her raspy Scarecrow was a little distracting. Most of the time she was fine and the characters were clearly distinguishable from one another. My daughter had no complaints.
We are now reading the book together and my daughter is enjoying it, seemingly just as much the second time.
My daughter just loves the movie, I had to take her to a "wizard of Oz" Play, not she loves to hear the book and mimic Anne Hathaway's narration...
Middle high on my scale, but I have listened to many, many audiobooks.
Dorothy, because of Anne Hathaway's spot on performance of the lost little girl.
I did listen to her reading of the Princess Diaries, but this performance is much better.
I did laugh at a few points. The story is so familiar and cute.
Anne Hathaway is an excellent narrator, and I would like to hear her perform many books in the future.
Ms. Hathaway is a gift to the listener. Her talent for voice and characterization provides a lyrical and engrossing experience to the listener of this otherwise simple story. Plus she is perfectly paired with the stylistic content and range of the story. The result is magic.
Anne Hathaway brings the story to life. Children will be instantly engrossed into this timeless classic.
Not this particular audio edition...I love the melodic and resonant quality of Anne Hathaway's voice in general, so I had high expectations for her narration of this classic. Unfortunately, it seemed that either not much though went into her "voice" for many of the characters, or she relied too much on the movie version to dictate where she went with each character. There were all-too-evident glimpses of Bert Lahr's cowardly lion, Billie Burke's Glinda, and Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West; at other times, she slipped in and out of "character," most notably while narrating lines as the queen of the field mice. Her narration of this character ranged from rapid, ultra-high pitched mousey squeal to haughty, nouveau riche Chipette. There were also a few instances where her voice just didn't seem to fit the character, most notably the stork who rescues the scarecrow from the river, which I can only describe as somewhere between eighties valley girl and Saturday Night Live recurring character!
That's a tough one, since there were so much inconsistency. I think I like Dorothy's portrayal the best because Anne didn't try too hard, i.e., she didn't attempt to make her sound especially young or give her a 1930's movie star lilt in imitation of Judy Garland's portrayal on the big screen.
melodic and resonant (natural qualities) but inconsistent (as a narrator)
not really, since I was very familiar with the story
If you like Anne Hathaway, you will probably enjoy this audio presentation despite her obvious limitations as a narrator. Narrating an audiobook is a labor intensive endeavor, and not everyone who can read and speak fluently, or who has acting credentials, can do it well. Anne's performance, while not terrible, was adequate at best.
Anne Hathaway is a good actress, but I didn't care for her reading of this book. Or maybe it was the book itself. Either way I really liked the movie so much better. I had a hard time liking anything about this book.
I LOVE this book and story. I was excited to see Anne Hathoway performing the narration... I could only get half-way through this book. She was terrible... just terrible. Not worth the time.
No way... NEVER again.
Stay at home mom, former library assistant & cataloger, book lover...
Anne Hathaway did a wonderful job narrating. Her love of the story shone through her performance. Every character was brought to life beautifully.
What's not to like? Adventure, danger, witches and wizards, friendship...The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has it all. Pure fun.
My favorite scene was when Dorothy accidentally melts the witch of the west.
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