Saturday, October 28, 2006

UPS Package on Thursday

Last Thursday I got a UPS package with three things in it.

The first trade paperback of DOROTHY.
The Special Edition DVD of "Journey Back to Oz."
"The OC: The Complete Third Season" for my sister. (Wal-Mart didn't have it!)

DOROTHY appears to be a modern, gothic take on THE WIZARD OF OZ. The trade paperback collects the first four issues of this comic book series. However, simply calling it a "gothic WIZARD OF OZ" does not do this justice. It is really a completely new story with the "Wizard of Oz" story as a framework. The graphics are part photo, part computer generated graphics. The only things that really keep it from being an "All-Ages" comic book is the violence, blood and gore (Dorothy's face is cut by a Winged Monkey and her arm is later bit by a dragon), and the language. And the first TPB doesn't cover all the story. So far, Dorothy's just been joined by the Scarecrow, who has told her his bloody and gory origin story. (Buy it at The official website is

"Journey Back to Oz" is the Oz movie that took over 10 years to make. The vocals for this animated movie were recorded back in the early 1960's, but, due to financial difficulties, the movie was not released until 1974. It features an all-star cast, the two most interesting being Liza Minelli (Judy Garland's daughter) as Dorothy, and Margaret Hamilton (most famous for saying "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!") as Aunt Em! I feel there are too many songs, and the appearances by Dorothy's old companions get repititous. Both the Tin Woodman and the Lion offer to help Dorothy, but are dissuaded when they hear the Emerald City is beseiged by magical green elephants. The animation is very Hanna-Barbera style.

The story goes like this: Dorothy and Toto are taken back to Oz by a cyclone (but it may have been a dream), meet Pumpkinhead (not Jack Pumpkinhead. This guy's body is made of vines, and his face grew on after being brought to life by Mombi.), discover Mombi's plot to conquer the Emerald City with the magic green elephants she's brewing up, meet Woodenhead the Horse (an ex-carousel horse), meet the Scarecrow, are driven out by Mombi and her army, the Scarecrow and Toto are taken prisoner, they go to ask the Tin Woodman for help, he gets scared, he sends them to the Lion, he gets scared and sends them to Glinda, she arrives and gives Dorothy a magic silver box. I'm going to stop now so I don't spoil it for you. Clearly inspired by The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Special Features? You bet! There are interviews, audio commentary, a sing-along, and Bill Cosby "wrap-around" segments. The "wrap-around" segements were created for TV broadcast and would introduce the movie, lead into commercial breaks, and come back from the breaks. Bill Cosby as the Wizard, his pet parrot (?), and two stowaway Munchkins watch the events of the movie via telescope from the Wizard's balloon. The DVD package and the menu also note DVD-ROM material, but upon putting it in my computer, I couldn't find anything...

But it's good to know it's on DVD. (Buy it at

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