Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ozma!

In honor of Ozma's birthday (don't ask about her age), I put together this video. It's the Japanese song "RIZ-ZOAWD!" from the game of the same name, set to clips from the Russian Priklyucheniya v Izumrudnom Gorode, or "Adventures in the Emerald City."

Yes, I kind of combined the first two Oz stories, not showing the return to Kansas.

Because this series is Russian, some people have confused the first as an adaptation of Volshebnik Izumrudnovo Goroda (Alexsandr Volkov's rewriting of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While the look is definitely inspired by that series' illustrations, this animated series went to the Baum books instead (the second story adapted was The Marvelous Land of Oz, and Volkov never introduced a character to take the role of Ozma), only incorporating a few elements from Volkov, such as Totoshka (Toto) talking. I was surprised to discover that Dorothy's name in the series was not Elli, but in fact Dolly. (And seemingly, that is the Nome King who you see in the video.)

And looking at it, I'm sure we all wish there was an English version. When Googling the series once, I was surprised to find some screen captures emblazoned with the logo "Journey to Oz," so it seems there was an English version planned at some point, but it never happened. There was also an adaptation of Ozma of Oz planned, but it also bit the dust.

From what I can tell, it seems the series was indeed being developed to be re-dubbed and released internationally, but unfortunately, no one was buying from Russia at the time. Apparently, there was high hopes for the Oz series to get picked up, but it fell through. It's too bad, as I think the animation is simply beautiful, reminding me of Max Fleischer and Walt Disney's studios.

Whatever, happy birthday, Ozma, and enjoy the video!

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