As Michael Jackson used to say: THIS IS IT!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Good morning, people. I've found the answer to the munchkin suicide riddle in The Wizard of Oz. Someone actually found a scene where a very large bird is wandering around loose on the set. It looks gigantic, like some sort of dinosaur, which I guess is creepy enough. The woman on the video calls it a "peacock", but it's much too tall for that (peacocks go sideways rather than up), like a crane of some sort. It has a long neck and a very wide wingspan which you can clearly see in the background scene. Its head dips up and down and it partially turns. Now, I have no idea why they let birds wander around loose like this, probably leaving gigantic birdie-poops all over the set, or whether there were any other critters around that we just haven't ever focused on. I'd have to watch it again and be on "critter alert". It'd be interesting! Maybe there's a bandicoot having sex in the background or something.
(but I found this also, just now: Wiki sez there might be something going on:)
Hanging Munchkin Suicide Rumor
An urban legend claims that, in the 1939 film, a Munchkin can be seen committing suicide (hanging by the neck from a prop tree and swinging back and forth) far away (left) in the background, while the Tin Man, Dorothy, and the Scarecrow are singing "We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!" and skipping down the Yellow brick road into the distance. However, what is mistaken for a Munchkin can be seen to be a large bird (possibly an emu or a crane) spreading its wings; there is a black tip on the wings. However there are many thoughts thats the bird was editted into the videos and DVDs upon realisation at the view. There are known to be two clips of the scene, one with a shadow that looks like the bird and another that looks like the hanging munchkin 
We'll try to avoid analyzing all the spelling and grammar imistakes in this article - it's likely one of those entries of questionable validity. But the truth is, I DID see two clips that were very different from each other. The video where the speed slows down to a near-crawl shows what looks eerily like a small maybe-human figure, or else a sack of cement, hanging and swaying back and forth. Now the hanging camp is saying the bird was photoshopped in later to cover the macabre view (and to avoid dragging everyone back into the studio for a retake). But that leaves the mystery of the large emu or crane or whatever, bumbling around on the set in earlier scenes. My bet is still with the bird.
Alrighty then! Having scouted around amongst the hundreds of Wizard of Oz clips with dangling little people, I've found some pretty convincing truth that what we see in the background is a giant bird wandering around loose on the set, dipping its head to eat something and then stretching its wings out. The more you look at it, the more you see it.
The one I posted yesterday was just weird, as if they had somehow altered the image to look like something swinging back and forth. I think it had been doctored to match the urban/Hollywood myth about the suicidal munchkin.
I found another video that I will also post, in which we actually see the bird in another scene! I want to watch the whole movie again: probably there are lots of weird creatures wandering around to add atmosphere.