Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rob Roy MacVeigh's "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" slideshow

At the 1991 Winkie and Munchkin Conventions, part of the programs was the 1948 Capitol Records adaptation of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. But rather than just have people listen to it, Oz artist and animator Rob Roy MacVeigh was asked to provide visual accompaniment. Rather than just provide some art or adapt Neill's illustrations, Rob provided a large number of water color paintings. The effect almost looks like elaborate storyboards for an animated version!

To preserve Rob's wonderful slideshow, the presentation was put on videotape. A number of copies were made, but reportedly were not offered for sale, so as not to infringe on Capitol Records' copyright, if it was still active. As you can see in the above picture, the tape was produced in 1993, after Rob's unfortunate death due to AIDS.

It seems that over the years, the tapes made their way into private collections. At this year's Winkie auction, one was made available and I knew that if I won one thing in the live auction, that was what I wanted. Luckily for me (not exactly wanting to be tied down to the auction waiting for one item), it was one of the first items put up on the block. I eagerly held my bidding number up as auctioneer Bill Thompson was still describing the offered item. He mentioned that this was the next to last copy, the last one set to be auctioned off next year. I wound up bidding against my friend Anthony Tringali before he stopped. The final bid was $60, which also happened to be exactly the amount of cash in my wallet. (I have always told Bill that one day the Winkie auction will leave me bankrupt. This took all my cash, but I still had money in the bank.)

Upon returning home, I realized the VCR I've had under my scanner for awhile no longer worked, and the VHS to digital video capture device I was using had rusted. Fortunately, I found a working VCR at a thrift store and ordered a new device from Amazon. After some frustration in getting it all to work, I sat down not only to watch it, but also video capture it so I could watch it without putting any extra wear on the tape in the future.

The audio, which I'm already quite familiar with, was as delightful as ever, and Rob had based his characters off of John R. Neill's depictions, but was still in his own whimsical style, matching the audio. To be honest, I don't think his characters match the audio perfectly. Ozma sounds much older than the girl ruler of Oz that Rob depicted, and the Wizard's voice sounded like it would fit Skottie Young's Wizard much better. Not to mention that I never thought Eureka would have a big black nose.

For anyone wanting to see it, I am helping prepare some video programs to play at next year's Winkie Convention and Rob's Dorothy and the Wizard slideshow will be among the videos shown. You can find out more information at the link in the sidebar. Until then, here are some screencaps showing Rob's wonderful art.
Dorothy arrives at Hugson's siding as the train departs.
"I'm still the Wizard of Oz! The wonderful Wizard of Oz!"
"All right! You've forced me to do this!"
A wooden gargoyle.
The Braided Man offers to help Dorothy and her friends escape.
"Of course I can see in the dark!"
Dorothy and her friends almost panic when they are
not instantly transported to Oz.
"I was back in the Land of Oz!"
"We're all together again!"
"It's Jim and the Sawhorse! Neck and neck!"
"I want to stay."


Cindy said...

Thanks for posting this. I love Rob's art!

Sam A M said...

I would like somebody else to have done Zeb's voice rather than Particia Jenkins (and was "Zev" a typo on the packaging they didn't notice?)

Hope to watch+hear this someday.

Jared said...

"Zev" is actually directly from the original album's liner notes. I'm very sure that Rosemary Rice's Dorothy says "I hope ZEB's waiting for me."