Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Catching up

Hey, haven't really blogged in awhile, have I? Well, it's been a little busy around here. I got the rare opportunity to clean a nasty mark off of my job history, so I took it. This means that I'm switching jobs again.

Recently, I have acquired 3 new DVDs and my first commercial VCD for my Oz collection: Hello Kitty Goes To The Movies, Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories: Humpty Dumpty & Jack & Jill, and a VCD of a 1970's Wizard of Oz anime.

The Hello Kitty DVD featured "The Wizard of Paws." Kitty and her friends do a play based on "The Wizard of Oz." Based loosely on the story, Dorothy (Kitty) falls asleep and finds herself caught in a cyclone. She arrives in Oz, greeted by the Munchkins, Tin Penguin, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Bunny. The Wicked Witch threatens Dorothy and her new friends, so they go to the Emerald City, where the Wizard tells them to get the broom from the Witch. There are some spins, here and there, on the story, but this is Hello Kitty, and it's under 10 minutes long. A little laughable, and very silly.

The two Mother Goose DVDs were for some of the episodes, based on the stories in L. Frank Baum's first children's book, Mother Goose in Prose. Real children play certain roles, usually the main characters, but the rest of the cast are puppets... okay, since it's Jim Henson, "Muppets." But don't expect Kermit the Frog to cameo. The stories from Baum on the DVDs are: "Humpty Dumpty," "Little Boy Blue," "Tommy Tucker" (DVD only), "A Song of Sixpence" (DVD only), "Old King Cole," "The Man in the Moon," and "Little Miss Muffet."

The stories are quite faithfully adapted for such short running times. Each episode is introduced by a mother goose and her three goslings. The only one that is not faithfully adapted is "The Man in the Moon." In the Baum story, the Man in the Moon lives in the Moon, but here, the Moon comes to earth. It has a face and talks, but that's as man-like as it gets. It does feel warm when exposed to cold and cold when exposed to heat, just like the Baum character. And his mouth, of course, is burned by eating cold pease porridge. While the Baum story has a balloon carry the Man back to the Moon, the porridge sustains the Moon enough for it to rise. The Moon is not exposed to many people, as in Baum, but is only seen by the little boy and a couple of puppets. Still, the people the Moon meets help restore it to it's place.

Also, the episode "Pussycat, Pussycat" is not based on Baum's "Pussycat Mew." This episode has the Queen held hostage by a mouse she is terrified of, to be saved by a cat who is delievered instead of the mouse's demand of cheese. It does, however, call to mind how the Scarecrow, assisted by the Field Mice, rids the Emerald Palace of General Jinjur and her army in The Marvelous Land of Oz, except quite a switch is pulled here.

Nice for Baum fans, but some Oz fans may want to pass it by. (There is also a DVD with "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," but it's only sold in Region 2. I don't quite feel like paying for international shipping yet.)

Now, for the anime. It's a faithful adaptation of Baum's book in less than 50 minutes. Trip to the south is excised in favor of the Golden Cap calling Glinda to the Emerald City, and yes, there is a Kalidah! I didn't quite like the character design, but this is one where we get to see the Wicked Witch of the East in action. (P.S. The Wicked Witch of the West is a cyclops!)

Aaron Pacentine has sent me the narration for "Wonders 6," and I've already edited the audio. Hope to have it done by the end of the month, but we'll see. Sam Milazzo is planning another video, we'll see where that goes, and I plan to have the "Oz Club Special" Wonders episode done by the end of the year. In fact, I'm switching over to Notepad... NOW!

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