The Wizard of Oz (TV series)
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The Wizard of Oz is an animated television series produced by DIC Animation City in 1990 to capitalize on the popularity of the 1939 film version, to which DiC had acquired the rights from Turner Entertainment, Co.. The series featured thirteen episodes and premiered on ABC, starting on September 8, 1990. It also aired on YTV from 1990 to 1995 in Canada. Reruns aired on Toon Disney from 1998 to 2002.
|The Wizard of Oz|
|Genre||Action, adventure, comedy, family, fantasy, musical|
|Based on||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|
by L. Frank Baum
The Wizard of Oz
by Noel Langley
Edgar Allan Woolf
|Written by||Elana Lesser|
|Voices of||Charlie Adler|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Heyward|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DIC Animation City|
Turner Entertainment Co.
|Original release||September 8 –|
December 28, 1990
Dorothy has decided to return to Oz with Toto using the ruby slippers that showed up on her doorstep. Upon arriving there she reunites with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, she learns from Glinda the Good Witch that the Wicked Witch of the West has been resurrected by her evil winged monkeys and that the Emerald City has been taken over by her. The Wizard is in his hot air balloon, which is under a spell that causes it to be constantly blown around by an evil wind. Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion set out to rescue him and defeat the Wicked Witch once and for all. Author Jeff Lenburg mentioned an aspect of the series wherein Dorothy has to learn to believe in oneself.
The ruby slippersEdit
To combat the idea that the slippers would provide Dorothy with ultimate power against the Witch, they didn't always work correctly, apparently because she wasn't entirely sure how to use them. They often didn't do exactly as she asked, acting unpredictably. In the second episode, she clicks her heels four times to correct the Witch's damage to the Emerald City, as to imply that a fourth click has more power than three. Glinda often told her to only use them as a last resort.
Similarly, the Wicked Witch's crystal ball was unpredictable, often only working once a day. The episode "Crystal Clear" explains that this was caused by the ball's creator having intentionally stabbed/cracked it with a carving knife, during the witch's theft attempt, in order to prevent her from using its full potential.
The Wicked Witch does manage to get the slippers once in the series. However, Truckle manages to steal them from her, and she is unable to use their power to their full advantage. The Cowardly Lion also gets to wear them briefly.
Similarities to the 1939 filmEdit
The series incorporated visual elements from the 1939 film version, including the Scarecrow's diploma and Dorothy's ruby slippers. At the same time, the character of Dorothy was designed with an appearance similar to those of Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid and was not intended to resemble Judy Garland, as well as Dorothy's dress being a solid blue as opposed to the gingham style from the film. In addition, the series incorporated music from the original film, including a slightly altered version of "We're Off to See the Wizard". Toto, as in the film, also seems to be able to "smell" the Wicked Witch or her spellwork, even when she's in disguise. A reversal of the archetype from the film was that Dorothy got herself from Kansas to Oz by clicking her heels in her slippers and saying "There's no place like Oz".
Differences from the 1939 filmEdit
While the series is mostly based on the 1939 film, there are some issues with the canon of it. In the film, it is largely implied that Oz was a head-trauma-induced delirium, instead of a real place, while in the series it was a real place. The only sequel that depicts Oz as a dream is the 1974 animated film Journey Back to Oz, where Dorothy once again has a head injury before finding herself back in Oz. The program could only be a spinoff, partly because it violates the rule of the ruby slippers, that they could never come off the feet of their wearer, as long as he / she is still alive.
|1||"The Rescue of the Emerald City: Part 1"||September 8, 1990|
|Dorothy returns to Oz and learns from Glinda that the Wicked Witch has been resurrected with magic. The Wicked Witch has taken over the Emerald City, in an attempt to rule over Oz.|
|2||"The Rescue of the Emerald City: Part 2"||September 15, 1990|
|Dorothy sets out to rescue Toto and the Lion, who've been kidnapped by the Wicked Witch and taken to Emerald City.|
|3||"Fearless"||October 22, 1990|
|The Cowardly Lion is tricked by the Wicked Witch and put under a spell that makes him fearless.|
|4||"Crystal Clear"||October 29, 1990|
|The Wicked Witch of the West sets out to find a Crystal Ball that will always work and it's up to the Scarecrow to protect the crystal ball with or without a brain.|
|5||"We're Not in Kansas Anymore"||November 6, 1990|
|The Wicked Witch of the West creates a false Kansas, and tricks Dorothy into visiting it, in hopes of getting The Ruby Slippers.|
|6||"The Lion that Squeaked"||November 13, 1990|
|The Wicked Witch of the West uses her magic to steal the Cowardly Lion's roar and give it to a hyena.|
|7||"Dream a Little Dream"||November 20, 1990|
|The Foursome is trapped in Lion's dreams as the Wicked Witch enters the dream to trap them there forever.|
|8||"A Star Is Gone"||November 30, 1990|
|The Wicked Witch of the West is able to annul the Ruby Slippers' abilities entirely, by capturing a red Luminary (teardrop-shaped creatures who control all color in Oz) and forcing him to drain the red magical glow from the slippers, rendering them powerless.|
|9||"Time Town"||December 3, 1990|
|The Wicked Witch of the West begins erasing Oz's history, thus causing Glinda and The Wizard to lose their memories.|
|10||"The Marvelous Milkmaid of Mechanica"||December 10, 1990|
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion arrive in Mechanica, where everything is made of tin.|
This episode was from a story by Karen Willson & Chris Weber.
|11||"Upside-Down Town"||December 17, 1990|
|Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion end up in Upside-Down Town where everything is the opposite.|
|12||"The Day the Music Died"||December 24, 1990|
|Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion follow the Wizard to Music Town, where they must help the town's citizen's get their music back, which the Wicked Witch has stolen.|
|13||"Hot Air"||December 28, 1990|
|The Wizard's balloon is heading for Pincushion Pass, and our heroes are helpless to come to his aid!|
Principal voice actorsEdit
- Liz Georges - Dorothy Gale
- David Lodge - Scarecrow
- Hal Rayle - Tin Man
- Charlie Adler - Cowardly Lion
- Frank Welker - Toto, Hyena (ep. 6)
- Tress MacNeille - Wicked Witch of the West, Miranda (ep. 10)
- B.J. Ward - Glinda
- Alan Oppenheimer - Wizard of Oz
Home video releasesEdit
In 1991, Turner Home Entertainment released three VHSes of the series, each containing two episodes.
- The Rescue of Oz ("The Rescue of the Emerald City Part I" & "The Rescue of the Emerald City Part II")
- Danger in a Strange Land in 1991 ("Time Town" and "The Day the Music Died")
- We're Off to Save the Wizard in 1991 ("Upside Downtown" and "A Star is Gone")
In 1992, Buena Vista Home Video released three single-episode releases of the series.
- Fearless ("Fearless")
- Crystal Clear ("Crystal Clear")
- Ruby Slipper Slip Up ("The Lion that Squeaked" and "We're not in Kansas Anymore")
In 2003, Sterling Entertainment released "The Continuing Story", containing three episodes ("Time Town", "We're not in Kansas Anymore", "Crystal Clear") and a bonus episode ("Fearless") on the DVD. Sterling later released another DVD titled "We're Off to Save the Wizard" in 2005 containing four more episodes ("Hot Air", "A Star is Gone", "Upside Downtown" and "Dream a Little Dream").
The complete series, dubbed into Serbian, was released on four DVDs in 2006 for the region of Serbia and Montenegro.
- Heffley, Lynne (September 7, 1990). "A Cartoon 'Oz' for Saturday TV". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- See www.tvguide.com/tvshows/wizard-oz/205567 (accessed on January 19, 2011)
- Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, Third Edition. Infobase Publishing (New York, NY). p. 670.
- L. Frank Baum, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn, New York, Crown, 1976; p. 96. ISBN 0-517-50086-8.
- "The Wizard of Oz Production Timeline". Retrieved November 30, 2012.
The first official sequel to The Wizard of Oz is released, an animated film titled Journey Back to Oz.
- Lenburg, Jeff, The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (Third Edition), Facts on File, 2009, p. 670
- "Wizard of Oz: Danger in a Strange Land (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- "Wizard of Oz: We're off to Save the Wizard (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19.