Now That’s a Horse!

“What kind of a horse is that?” you may remember Dorothy asking as she and her friends rode through the Emerald City, watching the horse that pulled their carriage repeatedly change colors. “I’ve never seen a horse like that like before.”

“No, and never will again, I fancy,” came the driver’s reply. “There’s only one of him and he’s it. He’s the horse of a different color you’ve heard tell about.”

A memorable scene, for sure. Did you ever wonder how, in the world before Photoshop, they were able to pull off the visuals of the horse changing colors while the actors and scenery around it did not?

The production team considered coating the animal with several different, colorful substances, and shooting the scene numerous times. They had high hopes for food coloring and liquid candy, but that approach proved ineffective for two reasons. The colors didn’t appear as vibrant on camera as they’d hoped, and the horse liked the flavor so much he kept licking it off.

In the end, a paste of Jell-O powder supplied the color levels the production team was looking for and, although the horse found it also to be tasty, the segment was successfully shot.

And now, a memorable scene from one of the world’s most beloved movies will forever be associated with the ages-old phrase, “Now that’s a horse of a different color.”