Thursday, March 08, 2012
Adventures in Oz with Cheryl
Well, in 1999, Oz entered the fitness field with Adventures in Oz with Cheryl, a fitness program for kids consisting of a coloring book that came with a set of three video tapes or one DVD. (Guess which one I picked up?)
The three programs (Munchkidland, Yellow Brick Road, and Emerald City) tell a story loosely based on Baum's book, interspersed with lively song sequences featuring dance/exercise movements children are encouraged to move along with. The bits of plot in between the songs allow kids to have time to cool down and regain their normal heart rate so they don't overexert themselves.
Yeah, so Dorothy stays in Oz to encourage everyone to have healthy life styles. Everyone gets a happy ending.
This is a very different take on Oz, so it's best not to expect it to follow Baum's original story closely. The character designs are interesting if not especially great. They certainly play on your familiarity with the MGM film while not being derivative.
The camera work is okay, but some wonky shots might upset those who experience motion sickness from odd camera angles. (You can see some tilted shots in the screencaps I linked to. By the way, clicking on them will enlarge them.)
The songs I find nice, but not particularly memorable. There's some fun lyrics ("I want to live vicariously, to read along hilariously, of those who lived nefariously, I'd like to read with you."), but it's not easy to pick up on the lyrics right away.
So, Adventures in Oz with Cheryl, very good for what it is, a video exercise program for kids. As a take on Oz, it's interesting if not especially notable.
You can get the DVD on Amazon here.