Sunday, June 28, 2015

Amazon's Lost in Oz pilot

Well, I just watched Amazon's new Lost in Oz pilot. (Not to be confused with any other project with that name ever.)

For those unfamiliar, each year Amazon releases several pilots for new shows they are considering. Taking viewer response into consideration, some of those shows could be picked up for a full season. Through Amazon Prime membership, the shows can be streamed to computers, tablets, and Amazon-equipped TVs, set top boxes, consoles and other devices.

First things first: this is a highly stylized CG animated series that is made to resemble Claymation. The look is very nice and I had no complaints about the animation.

Now the big question: does this show offer a faithful representation of L. Frank Baum's world? The answer: no.

Well then, is it a good show? Yes.

The show follows young Dorothy Gale (and her dog Toto) as she finds a mysterious notebook that accidentally whips up a magic tornado that drops her house off in Oz, where she lands in the Emerald City. She meets a young witch named West, a big for his age Munchkin named Ojo and a talking rag doll who try to help her find the Yellow Brick Line to get home. Unfortunately, things don't quite work out so easily, and Dorothy's return home isn't so quick.

Oz in this version is a modern metropolis, and a few zany designs aside, is a pretty standard looking city. There's some amusing touches, such as a security guard who is a brick wall and a giant for the Lookout, the City's guardian.

The pilot definitely takes some elements from The Patchwork Girl of Oz, as well as the standard travel to Oz trope we know from Wonderful Wizard. It's a reimagining worth watching, but from the pilot, definitely one to take on its own instead of trying to match it up with the books or any previous adaptation. I'd be interested in seeing more!

Check it out on Amazon while you can, and be sure to fill out the survey with your feedback!

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