Saturday, June 25, 2016

Warner Brothers and Oz

Angelo posted a blog recently wondering why Warner Brothers doesn't do more with their ownership of the MGM film, The Wizard of Oz. This coincided with the latest entry in their direct to video Tom and Jerry movie: Back to Oz. Angelo reviewed that here, and since he does a good job of keeping it spoiler-free, I'll save my review until Sam and I review it on the podcast.

I did purchase and watch Back to Oz and found it to be surprisingly well-done. Tom and Jerry could easily have been written out and the entire thing presented as a direct to video animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Paul Dini (veteran writer for Filmation and Warner Brothers animation including DC Comics properties, and co-creator of Harley Quinn) did a very good job of bringing in elements from the Oz books and mixing them with elements from the MGM movie.

I suspect the Tom and Jerry mix with Oz was to lend the project a bit of grace in the eyes of fans. It wouldn't be a direct sequel to a movie classic, it was a sequel to a previous Tom and Jerry movie. But it really didn't need to be. You get people who care about telling a good story and who are respectful to the source material and the fans, and that's all the grace you need.

So, am I saying Warner Brothers should consider doing a line of animated Oz movies for direct to video? Yeah. Back to Oz was basically proof that they could do something good with the right team. All I'll ask is that they keep them as family films, and try not to appeal only to the very young.

1 comment:

Sam Milazzo said...

I was going to say that WB is also being CAREFUL.

The market is almost overflowing with Oz works, after all, what with Disney's "Once Upon a Time", NBC's recent "Wiz LIVE" plus the forthcoming "Emerald City" TV Series (which, unless I'm mistaken, is borrowing from "Game of Thrones") and Universal's movie plans for 'Wicked'.

So if they had done a REAL "MGM's Oz II" movie, who's to say how successful it would be with everything else?
Not only does making it animated give them liberty, but adding T&J to the mix also prevents people from being too picky and judgemental with a "Wizard of Oz 2".