The Wizard of Oz (TV series)

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The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz TV Series logo.jpg
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Written by Elana Lesser
Cliff Ruby
Doug Molitor
Voices of Charlie Adler
Pat Fraley
Liz Georges
David Lodge
Tress MacNeille
Alan Oppenheimer
Hal Rayle
B.J. Ward
Frank Welker
Theme music composer Tom Worrall
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Heyward
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) DiC Enterprises
Turner Entertainment
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel ABC (1990-1991)
Toon Disney (1998-2002)
Original run September 8, 1990 – December 1, 1990

The Wizard of Oz was an animated television series produced by DiC in 1990 to capitalize on the 50th anniversary of the 1939 classic film.[1] The series featured thirteen episodes and premiered on ABC, starting on September 8, 1990.[2] It also aired on YTV from 1990 to 1995 in Canada. Reruns aired on Toon Disney from 1998 to 2002.

Series premise[edit]

Dorothy has decided to return to Oz with Toto using the ruby slippers that showed up on her doorstep. Upon arriving where 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 evil winged monkeys and that the Emerald City has been taken over by her.[1] 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.[3]

The Ruby Slippers[edit]

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 potention.

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 film[edit]

The series incorporated visual elements from the 1939 classic film, including the Scarecrow's diploma and Dorothy's ruby slippers.[1] 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.[1] In addition, the series incorporated music from the 1939 classic film, including a slightly altered version of "We're Off to See the Wizard".[1] 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 slippers and saying "There is no place like Oz".

Differences from the 1939 film[edit]

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,[4] 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.[5] The program is also in no way a sequel, 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. It could only be a spinoff.

Episodes[edit]

  1. Rescue of the Emerald City (Part 1) (September 8, 1990) - Dorothy returns to Oz and learns from Glinda that the Wicked Witch of the West's loyal Winged Monkey Truckle has led the other Winged Monkeys loyal to the Wicked Witch of the West into performing a ritual that resurrected the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wicked Witch of the West has cast a spell on the Emerald City, stolen the gifts belonging to Dorothy's friends, and cast an evil wind spell that constantly blows the Wizard of Oz's hot air balloon around.
  2. Rescue of the Emerald City (Part 2) (September 15, 1990) - The Witch is successfully booted from the Emerald City.
  3. Fearless (September 22, 1990) - The Cowardly Lion gets tricked by the Wicked Witch of the West who gives him a spell making him fearless.
  4. Crystal Clear (September 29, 1990) - The Wicked Witch of the West sets out to find a Crystal Ball that will always work.
  5. We're Not in Kansas Anymore (October 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. Lion and Truckle the flying monkey, wear the slippers in this episode.
  6. The Lion that Squeaked (October 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 (October 20, 1990) - The Foursome is trapped in Lion's dreams.
  8. A Star is Gone (October 27, 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. However, the slippers regained their powers after the Luminary escaped.
  9. Time Town (November 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 (November 10, 1990) - This episode was from a story by Karen Willson & Chris Weber. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion arrive in Mechanica, where everything is made of tin.
  11. Upside-Down Town (November 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 (November 24, 1990) -
  13. Hot Air (December 1, 1990) -

Principal voice actors[edit]

Additional voices[edit]

Crew[edit]

Home video releases[edit]

VHS releases[edit]

The Wizard of Oz was first released on VHS in 1991 by Turner Home Entertainment, shortly after the series ended. 11 episodes of the series were released on VHS between 1991 and 1995.

VHS releases:

  • The Rescue of Oz ("The Rescue of the Emerald City Part I" & "The Rescue of the Emerald City Part II")
  • Fearless ("Fearless")
  • Crystal Clear ("Crystal Clear")
  • Ruby Slipper Slip Up ("The Lion that Squeaked" & "We're not in Kansas Anymore")
  • Danger in a Strange Land in 1991 ("Time Town" & "The Day the Music Died")[7]
  • We're Off to Save the Wizard in 1991 ("Upside Downtown" & "A Star is Gone")[8]
  • The Marvelous Milkmaid of Mechanica
  • The Rescue of the Emerald City Part 1
  • The Rescue of the Emerald City Part 2

DVD releases[edit]

DVD releases:

  • The Rescue of the Emerald City in 2002 ("The Rescue of the Emerald City Part I", "The Rescue of the Emerald City Part II" and "The Day the Music Died")
  • The Continuing Story in 2003 ("Time Town", "We're not in Kansas Anymore", "Crystal Clear" and "Fearless")
  • We're Off to Save the Wizard in 2005 ("Hot Air", "A Star is Gone", "Upside Downtown" and "Dream a Little Dream")

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Heffley, Lynne (September 7, 1990). "A Cartoon 'Oz' for Saturday TV". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  2. ^ See www.tvguide.com/tvshows/wizard-oz/205567 (accessed on January 19, 2011)
  3. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, Third Edition. Infobase Publishing (New York, NY). p. 670. 
  4. ^ L. Frank Baum, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn, New York, Crown, 1976; p. 96. ISBN 0-517-50086-8.
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ Lenburg, Jeff, The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (Third Edition), Facts on File, 2009, p. 670
  7. ^ "Wizard of Oz: Danger in a Strange Land (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  8. ^ "Wizard of Oz: We're off to Save the Wizard (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 

External links[edit]