Friday, March 26, 2010

Oz In Other Lands

I was just thinking a few days ago how different countries have accepted Oz. In Japan, they've been extremely receptive, and there's been many different adaptations in artwork, literature, anime, and even film. It also seems that Return to Oz was well-received there, as was The Oz Kids series. Over in the UK, you'll find Oz aficionados.

Just about any country with an animation studio has made some sort of Oz adaptation, and both Brazil and Turkey have made Oz films. It seems the Turkish Wizard of Oz is a fondly remembered by the Turkish people, and is often aired on television.

And now to Russia. Most Oz fans know that Alexander Volkov rewrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a Russian fairy tale, then wrote a series of original sequels, ironically ending at six, where Baum had meant to end his series. Just like the Oz books, the series has been expanded by other writers, and adapted for stage, television and film. And proper translations of the Oz books have appeared in Russia, and they've even produced an animated hybrid adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Volkov's version, which was followed by an adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz. Recently, it seems that a Russian studio is working on a movie called The Wizard of Oz.

My question is, what makes this American fairyland so popular overseas? Are the adventure and the story and the personal quests so universal that it doesn't matter what country is enjoying them?

Feel free to discuss.

1 comment:

alancook said...

That's a cool post folks.

I didn't know it was rewrote.
I think that Baum wrote so well and from the heart...You can tell he cared about the reader.

The books hold up very well today.