Munchkin RIP and China’s ‘Disney for Dwarfs’

By David Schoetz

Apr 12, 2010 3:02pm

Meinhardt Raabe, among the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 “The Wizard of Oz” and one of only nine Munchkins with a speaking role, died Friday in Florida. Raabe, pictured above, portrayed the Munchkin official who pronounces the Wicked Witch of the East “really, most sincerely dead.” In all, 124 Munchkins acted in the film, which helped cement a place in popular culture for little people. The current plan for tonight is to explore that fascination, now on display at a popular theme park in China called the “Kingdom of the Little People.” There, more than 100 dwarfs from across China are paid performers in one spectacle of a show, according to the write-up from Clarissa Ward and Beth Loyd. See a full slideshow HERE. The requirements for work: “No infectious diseases, no one older than 50 and no one taller than 4 foot 3.” Of course there are some critics who call the park, and all its miniature attractions, nothing more than a glorified zoo.  You are, as always, welcome to be the judge of that. Click HERE for a previous blog about the recent death of the world’s shortest man, He Pingping. Click HERE for a previous blog about living with gigantism. ——————– UPDATE: Here is the segment, “Dwarf Theme Park in China,” which we acknowledge is a fairly bizarre “Sign of the Times.”


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