Friday, December 29, 2006

2006: A Good Year For Oz

Here's some really Ozzy things that happened during 2006.

  1. It was the 150th anniversary of L. Frank Baum's birth.
  2. It was the 50th anniversary of the first TV showing of MGM's The Wizard of Oz.
  3. Two animated Oz sequels were released to DVD: Return to Oz (from 1964 by Bankin-Rass), and Journey Back to Oz.
  4. Hungry Tiger Press released several wonderful books. They began The Pawprint Series, reprinting Baum's young adult books. Although their plans were to have several reprinted by the end of the year, they only reprinted Annabel, The Daring Twins as A Daring Twins Mystery: Secret of the Lost Fortune, and The Boy Fortune Hunters in China as Sam Steele's Adventures: The Scream of the Sacred Ape. Also printed Walt Spouse's comic strip adaptation of The Emerald City of Oz in a collected volume. Also, a brand new edition of Ruth Plumly Thompson's Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, her last "Famous Forty" book. They also planned on reprinting Baum's John Dough and the Cherub and Fate of A Crown, but were not able to. I hope they can next year.
  5. I joined the International Wizard of Oz Club (IWOC)!
  6. I bought lots of Oz stuff.
  7. Oz: The Manga released in a collected volume.
  8. I wrote first drafts of screenplays based on Baum's first three Oz novels.
  9. Lots of fun threads at the IWOC started!
  10. Disneyland Fourth Anniversary Show released on DVD, containing the preliminary show for the abandoned Rainbow Road to Oz.
  11. Eric Shanower's five Oz graphic novels reprinted in a collected volume, Adventures in Oz.
  12. Warner Brothers revealed to members of IWOC that they own the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz and are considering a DVD release!
  13. I saw Chapter 6 on March the 2nd and they performed their Wizard of Oz number. (Not very Ozzy, but still...)
  14. Illusive Arts Entertainment published Chapters 5 and 6 of their comic book Dorothy this year. (Added by Anna Warren Boersig of Illusive Arts.)

That's all I can think of now. If you can think of anything else, place a comment. (You can do it without registering with Blogger now, unlike the early days.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Rainbow Road to Oz

Okay, so the "Your Host, Walt Disney" DVD is out, and I have my copy, but someone's already posted the whole thing to YouTube!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Holiday Tradition

Every year I re-read The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

It's the story of Santa Claus from a baby to his old age, when he became immortal.

You can read it online here...

I also read A Kidnapped Santa Claus from The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum, published this year by the IWOC.

You can also read it online here...

I've also gone back to work a bit more on the L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz screenplay. There are now some extra scenes in which we actually see Dorothy's parents. At long last, we discover what happened to them and how Dorothy wound up living with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. I thought of doing a scene where we show how they got Toto, but I thought it wasn't neccessary, and decided not to.

I really need to get back to L. Frank Baum's Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

Next post, I'll talk about 2006 in retrospective. I hope it'll be a good post! This one and the one before were a little disappointing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Is it raining, Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Yes, it rained on Wednesday, then it snowed on Thursday, and today, I had an adventure with frozen-over puddles and snow and ice on my way to get some envelopes. (Now to pay a phone bill and sell some DVDs.) I just hope a freak hurricane doesn't strike... (Of course it won't, Springfield, MO is very inland.)

I think I'll go get some hot cocoa and re-read The Ice King of Oz.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Baum Bugle is here!

By now, all members of IWOC have probably got their copies of the Spring 2006 Baum Bugle. Mine arrived Friday, but I couldn't blog until now, what with my grandmother's funeral and all.

Every issue of The Baum Bugle sports a great cover. This one is a sepia tone portrait of L. Frank Baum. Inside the front cover is a color photo from the OZ-MANIA event that I wish I could've gone to.

In the Oz and Ends section, they have an entry on Oz blogs. I'm not there, but that's OK.

The most interesting articles are about the Baum's Castorine company, comparing The Magic of Oz manuscript to the finished book, and there's an article about L. Frank Baum and the effect he had on the Baum family by Robert A. Baum. There was also an article about Baum's failed Flying Girl series, but it was written in an uninteresting style.

The Reviews were of newly-published Oz books. (I must read Melody Grandy's Forever in Oz!) There was also a review of the 3-disc edition of last year's re-relase of MGM Wizard of Oz, but I didn't feel like it did it justice. Needed some more specific information on the special features.

Not a member of the Oz Club? Join now!

I'll look forward to the next one, but then I'll need to renew!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Rainbow Road to Oz" prelimary show coming to DVD

On December 19th, Disney will be releasing a DVD called "Your Host, Walt Disney." Among the features on the DVD will be the "Disneyland Fourth Anniversary" show. This is the famous (among Oz fans) show that had the "Rainbow Road to Oz" preliminary show on it. (For the sake of simplicity, I just call it a "preview.")

Most Oz fans haven't seen this, but the show has been broadcast on the Disney Channel, and some Oz fans have had their VCRs going. (Including one who made a copy of this clip and sent it to me. If you see this, you know who you are, thanks!)

I've researched this thing pretty well. The movie "The Rainbow Road to Oz" was planned to let the Mousketeers move to the big screen. However, eventually, only Annette Funicello became a film star, with a small role in the original "Shaggy Dog," and later movies like "Babes in Toyland," "The Misadventures of Merlin Jones," "The Monkey's Uncle," as well as the non-Disney "Beach Party" movies. Why did Disney shut down production before it began? No one knows for sure. Some think it was the budget, some think it was the Mouseketeers' TV presence would not translate well to the big screen. Others think it was the writing of the script or the songs. No one really knows, I guess.

Now, here's the kicker, do you want to buy a DVD just for a 15 minute segment? I am! Just because I want it for the "Oz" preview, I'm sure I can enjoy the rest of it! (And a lot of Oz fans bought the whole Shirley Temple Storybook set just to get her "Land of Oz" show.)

Buy the DVD from

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Tin Woodman of Oz, Emperor of the Winkies

This is a video showing the 3D model of Nick Chopper I made up yesterday. Note the ball joints. This video shows the model rotating so you can see it at various angles and how the model's design held up in all areas. (If I could have, I would've made it more detailed, but my resources are limited!)

Well, I gotta go. Got a busy day tomorrow, what with being a pallbearer for my grandpa's funeral and all that.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

UPS Package on Thursday

Last Thursday I got a UPS package with three things in it.

The first trade paperback of DOROTHY.
The Special Edition DVD of "Journey Back to Oz."
"The OC: The Complete Third Season" for my sister. (Wal-Mart didn't have it!)

DOROTHY appears to be a modern, gothic take on THE WIZARD OF OZ. The trade paperback collects the first four issues of this comic book series. However, simply calling it a "gothic WIZARD OF OZ" does not do this justice. It is really a completely new story with the "Wizard of Oz" story as a framework. The graphics are part photo, part computer generated graphics. The only things that really keep it from being an "All-Ages" comic book is the violence, blood and gore (Dorothy's face is cut by a Winged Monkey and her arm is later bit by a dragon), and the language. And the first TPB doesn't cover all the story. So far, Dorothy's just been joined by the Scarecrow, who has told her his bloody and gory origin story. (Buy it at The official website is

"Journey Back to Oz" is the Oz movie that took over 10 years to make. The vocals for this animated movie were recorded back in the early 1960's, but, due to financial difficulties, the movie was not released until 1974. It features an all-star cast, the two most interesting being Liza Minelli (Judy Garland's daughter) as Dorothy, and Margaret Hamilton (most famous for saying "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!") as Aunt Em! I feel there are too many songs, and the appearances by Dorothy's old companions get repititous. Both the Tin Woodman and the Lion offer to help Dorothy, but are dissuaded when they hear the Emerald City is beseiged by magical green elephants. The animation is very Hanna-Barbera style.

The story goes like this: Dorothy and Toto are taken back to Oz by a cyclone (but it may have been a dream), meet Pumpkinhead (not Jack Pumpkinhead. This guy's body is made of vines, and his face grew on after being brought to life by Mombi.), discover Mombi's plot to conquer the Emerald City with the magic green elephants she's brewing up, meet Woodenhead the Horse (an ex-carousel horse), meet the Scarecrow, are driven out by Mombi and her army, the Scarecrow and Toto are taken prisoner, they go to ask the Tin Woodman for help, he gets scared, he sends them to the Lion, he gets scared and sends them to Glinda, she arrives and gives Dorothy a magic silver box. I'm going to stop now so I don't spoil it for you. Clearly inspired by The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Special Features? You bet! There are interviews, audio commentary, a sing-along, and Bill Cosby "wrap-around" segments. The "wrap-around" segements were created for TV broadcast and would introduce the movie, lead into commercial breaks, and come back from the breaks. Bill Cosby as the Wizard, his pet parrot (?), and two stowaway Munchkins watch the events of the movie via telescope from the Wizard's balloon. The DVD package and the menu also note DVD-ROM material, but upon putting it in my computer, I couldn't find anything...

But it's good to know it's on DVD. (Buy it at

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ozzy mp3s

I prefer mp3 CD's and portable CD players with mp3 readers to mp3 players like I-Pod. Why? Because you can easily change your music selection by changing a disc. I have ten discs so far that I've dedicated to mp3's. One of my most recent discs was for Oz!

My first disc I filled with...
  1. The Free & Easy Song by Tele-Kele 6. Not an Oz song, but the music video was, and I happened to like the song as well. LINKS: The song's lyrics in English, The Music Video.
  2. The 2-disc soundtrack for the MGM movie. 'Nuff said. LINKS: Buy it at!
  3. The Supplemental Material from the MGM movie's 2-disc soundtrack. See above.
  4. Before the Rainbow: The Original Music of Oz. Selections from Oz/Oz related scores by Paul Tietjens, Fredic Chapin, Louis F. Gottschalk, and L. Frank Baum. LINKS: Buy it at! Buy it straight from Hungry Tiger Press! (Reccommended!)
  5. The Soundtrack for RETURN TO OZ (1985). I'll admit it: it's pretty much a bootleg I found on the internet, but it was free... The site it was from is down now.
  6. THE WIZ - Original Cast Recording. LINKS: Buy it at!
  7. The Wizard of Oz: Vintage Recordings from 1902-1918, disc 1. Vintage Recordings of songs from the Oz 1902 extravaganza, and some related recordings. LINKS: Buy it at! Buy it straight from Hungry Tiger Press! (Reccommended!)
  8. The Wizard of Oz: Vintage Recordings from 1902-1918, disc 2. See above.
  9. Wicked-Original Cast Recording. Almost all of the songs (with a few bits of dialogue) from the Musical hit, sung by the Original Cast, featuring Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith. LINKS: Buy it from!

I already have four selections for CD 2. Mostly audio I ripped from DVDs.

  1. The Wonderful Land of Oz. Overture and songs from the extremely low-budget kiddie matinee movie of 1969.
  2. "Look to the Star." The only COMPLETELY original song from the 1990 DIC "Wizard of Oz" cartoon series. Sung by Dorothy.
  3. Lion of Oz. Songs from the animated movie based on Roger S. Baum's Lion of Oz and the Badge of Courage.
  4. The Muppet's Wizard of Oz. All the songs from the "Best of the Muppets" album released with this TV movie. I rearranged the tracks so they're in the order they are heard in the movie.

Any suggestions?

Oh, and my review for Adventures in Oz is up at last!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Classics Illustrated Junior: The Wizard of Oz

Last week I got a comic book that I'd had to order four times: the reprint of "Classics Illustrated Junior: The Wizard of Oz."

What happened those four times? Let's see...
  1. I ordered it via a used seller at, but they were out of stock.
  2. I ordered it through, but then signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, which means you can choose FREE two-day shipping, so I cancelled.
  3. I ordered with Amazon Prime (at the same time I ordered "Oz: The Manga"), and when it took over a month for processing (supposedly), I recieved an e-mail asking me to approve a delay on it. I cancelled my order.
  4. I tried another used seller. They had it and sent it to me.
The funny thing is, I used to have the original! Sadly, that was with my very first Oz collection, which my mom threw away. (Do you want to know how many kids have been cheated out of BIG money because their moms threw away their comic books?)
To my surprise, this was an EXACT reprint of the original, except some of the coloring was cleaned up, the lettering was new, and Baum's biography was updated and moved to the inside front cover.
The adaptation was startling!
  1. There is no witch under Dorothy's house when it lands! Where are the Silver Shoes?
  2. The Good Witch of the North does not identify herself, so, supposedly, she is a Munchkin in this one.
  3. All the Munchkins (plus the Good Witch of the North, if that's what she is) vanish after telling Dorothy to go to the Emerald City.
  4. The story goes through pretty quickly: Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion. The Tin Woodman steps on a beetle, the Lion has to carry them across a gap, and the Tin Woodman has to chop down a tree to bridge a larger gap. (No Kalidahs!)
  5. Upon reaching the Emerald City, all four are shown to meet the Wizard, who is...
  6. ... a man on a throne.
  7. He tells them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
  8. The Wicked Witch, seeing Dorothy & Co. with her telescopic eye, calls for the Winged Monkeys. (No Golden Cap, and it's shortened to "Zizzy, Zuzzy, Zik!")
  9. Dorothy's friends are merely captured and imprisoned.
  10. Toto tries to bite the Witch, who tries to hit him, but Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her, melting her, leaving behind...
  11. ... the Silver Shoes...
  12. They return to the Emerald City, where the Wizard assures Dorothy's friends that they have brains, heart, and courage. He also gives them physical representations of these. (Brains in Scarecrow's head, a heart pinned on the Tin Woodman, and the Lion drinks "courage.")
  13. He tells Dorothy how to use the Silver Shoes to go home, which she does.
Following the story is an Aesop's fable, a page about Koala bears, and an Oz coloring page.
For die-hard Oz fans only. More casual fans might want to overlook this.
EDIT (8/25/2012): Sam Milazzo has also reviewed this comic.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Y'all can comment now!

Just wanted to let you know that I finally set the comment settings so non-Blogger users can comment on my blog now.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

He's the Wizard!

Okay, so I recently got a copy of the Original Cast Recording of The Wiz on CD. My only previous exposure to these songs were in that gosh-awful 1978 movie.

The Wiz was first produced in 1974, and was an adaptation of Baum's original Oz book. It sticks very faithfully to the story, despite a few break-downs of scenes (Glinda arrives after the Wizard leaves, but she is summoned by Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, this time, not appearing like someone to answer all of Dorothy's problems.), and a few touches for an African-American setting. The play won seven Tony awards. You can read the script for the play here.

When a film version was produced, the producers and the director decided to do a whole new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, to avoid comparision to the 1939 movie. In my opinion, the end result looks much more like the Judy Garland musical than the play did. Most of the characters were miscast. In fact, on a documentary found on the DVD, it sounds like the casting went like this:

  • Diana Ross calls and says she wants the part of Dorothy, thus Dorothy becomes an adult. (They state "the book never mentioned Dorothy's age," but in several places in the book, she is referred to as a "little girl.")
  • They make a wish-list of who they want to play who, despite the actor/actress' adeptness. Somehow, they got them.

One touch was to take Dorothy's home from Kansas and put it in New York City. That would've been okay, but then Oz is a dressed-up version of NYC as well! Allen Eyles in his book The World of Oz says that they overdid it on that, as well as designing the sets without affection. Oz looks dark and uninteresting.

Making Dorothy an adult majorly hurt the story's themes. Especially when Aunt Em tells Dorothy she needs to find her own home, why would she want to go back home after she gets to Oz? I mean, I'm in the process of moving out from my parents' house, but if I got a chance to move to OZ (Baum's Oz), I'd take it! Leonard Maltin goes so far as to call the movie "confusing." You can read the dialogue for the movie here.

Usually, when songs are reproduced for a movie, they sound better. Such is not the case in the film version of The Wiz. Just compare DeeDee Bridgewater's version of If You Believe to Lena Horne's Believe In Yourself. Lena Horne was a good singer, but this song was not written for her talent, nor was it arranged for her to sing it.

All of the original cast songs sound more lively than the movie. Once again, the songs were not written for the film's cast.

Stephanie Mills sings all of her songs infinitely better than Diana Ross, and Hinton Battle's I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday sure beats Micheal Jackson's You Can't Win. In a post on the IWOC message board, Eric Shanower stated that more "whining" was not what this movie needed.

Be good to yourself and order a copy of the Original Cast Recording.

(EDIT: Got some last names wrong. Sorry. Fixed them up.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New direction for the blog...

Hey, I'm thinking of widening the scope of this blog. Yeah, I'll still talk about the screenplays and how they could be made into films, (blah, blah, blah, Bob Loblaw) but I don't really talk about my other interests in the Oz field. (For example: I've never mentioned my stories about the early history of Oz on this blog.) Maybe get some reviews up for Oz/Oz-related items I've bought, show some of my Oz artwork, and just really have a lot more fun with this blog than I have had in the past. (Just a little over 10 posts in almost a year? Not good!) Comment and tell me what you think. The blog may have a new name and theme soon!

EDIT: Test-run!

Anyhow, I'm putting this up here: it's a copy/paste and edit of a post I put up on the IWOC message board, so those of you who post there and also look here, this will seem familiar...

Making ROAD work...

Okay, for anyone who has kept up with this blog, I recently finished my screen adaptation of OZMA OF OZ, and have decided to take a break before leaping into DOROTHY AND THE WIZARD IN OZ.

DOROTHY AND THE WIZARD contains some great dramatic moments, what with a city of heartless vegetable people who want to kill our heroes, a valley of invisible bears and people (imagine that dinner scene with all the food flying around...), the wooden gargoyles, baby dragons! The Wizard's story was already told in WONDERFUL WIZARD, basically, and not a lot else needs to be told, and I did some editing to absolve Oscar Zoraster Phadrig Issac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs from all blame for the kidnapping of Princess Ozma. (Mombi tricked him.) The trial of Eureka and the race between Jim & the Sawhorse I'm not sure about, they would make great scenes, but on the other hand, they're not very dramatic, though humorous. Still, it shouldn't be too hard to adapt.

Now, comes the harder one: THE ROAD TO OZ. Considered by many to be the weakest of the Oz books, though it is a favorite with many, it has the least really dramatic scenes. Pretty much all that's there that would look AWESOME in a movie is the Scoodlers and the Sandboat. Ideas for adapting... perhaps adapt insert plots from some of Baum's short Oz stories? Maybe change it to guests at Ozma's party telling stories? (Then we could have abbrievated versions of QUEEN ZIXI OF IX, JOHN DOUGH & THE CHERUB, etc.) Any ideas on how this story could work?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New video, Ozma's done, Adventures!

Hey! I got a new vid on YouTube! It doesn't have much to do with my Oz screenplays, but it's cool and Ozzy nonetheless.

Now, let me give some "Behind The Scenes" information: the Rainbow Road to Oz song was recorded directly from a video that a fellow Oz fan sent me. The TV I was using had a headphone jack, and I had a Sound Recorder that could record from a stereo cable, which can plug into a headphone jack and a microphone jack at the same time. The early clips were from clips on the Dorothy & Ozma Productions website, my own Oz website. There were also some I'd found online and simply had to convert to a usable format. However, the clips from Return to Oz and the 1939 Wizard of Oz were DVD rips I made especially for this video. I made all of the 3D-animations here.

Okay, so I finished L. Frank Baum's Ozma of Oz in the wee hours of last Saturday morning. There's a few revisions to do, yet, but I read through it and it looks like it could be a fun, fast paced film! I especially had fun with the character of Roquat, the Nome King. At the beginning, he's a nice, smooth-spoken guy, but as his enchantments are broken, he turns into a hate-filled monarch! In the scene where Dorothy and Evring are hearing the bell tolling that Billina is breaking the enchantments, Roquat raises his hand to hit Dorothy, saying "Shut up!" He is swiftly kicked in the stomach by the Sawhorse!

One character I altered was Kaliko, the Nome King's chief steward, who actually wasn't named until The Emerald City of Oz, but it doesn't hurt to give someone a name early. He's still a little haughty towards Roquat, but Baum's description of him doesn't sound a lot like the nome who will be Roquat's successor. (As revealed in Tik-Tok of Oz.) I altered his description to be a bit more elegant.

I originally decided that after Ozma, I would take a break from writing Oz screenplays, maybe work on getting more petitions for my first one. (Sebastian has already offered a way to get more.) However, I got a nice idea for the opening of L. Frank Baum's Dorothy & the Wizard in Oz, so I'll keep you posted on any developments.

I recently got my copy of Eric Shanower's Adventures in Oz. Perhaps you think this has nothing to do with my screenplays, but actually, Eric's "standardization" of Oz is really the same as what I've been going with on my screenplays! In an interview I did with Eric S., I even asked if he might be interested in doing conceptual art for a new Oz movie. I also sent a review of this book to Eric Gjovaag (click on his name to see his Oz blog, and don't confuse him with Mr. Shanower!) to put on his reviews page at his website. Whether or not Eric G. puts it up is completely up to him.

Friday, August 25, 2006

More from Sebastian!

Wow! This has to be the fastest I've posted a new entry! It seems my last entry made Mr. Sebastian Certik (sorry about the mess-up below) a little more popular in the Oz circle. (I had that power... Wow...)

Anyhow, Sebastian has a few casting suggestions...
  • Dorothy: Anna Sophia-Robb, most recently in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sebastian says, "My first impression of her was that she had the right looks to play Dorothy, and she could always assume a different personality in that role, rather than the showy, arrogant person she was in CATCF." Strangely, I thought Miss Robb looked a lot like Dorothy as well, except probably by the time a new Oz movie (using my screenplay or not) would start production, she'd be a bit too old to continue playing Dorothy for any sequels. My own idea was perhaps CGI characters against actual photographed backgrounds: only the voices needed to be cast. Good suggestion, buddy, but not quite what I was thinking.
  • Glinda: Drew Barrymore. Interesting suggestion! "She is very attractive, and she has red hair, which would be nice for the whole setting of the Quadling Country." Not to mention Baum actually mentions her hair color. I'd thought of the casting of Glinda myself, and came up with Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables), or Julie Andrews (Princess Diaries, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music). Someone else also suggested Kate Winslet. Setting aside my CGI idea (why state it again?), I personally think any of these could work. Except, maybe Julie Andrews could be cast as the Good Witch of the North, because she's probably getting to retire, and the Good Witch doesn't appear in many other books afterwards. (Present at Ozma's party in Road to Oz, then becomes Queen Orin in Thompson's Giant Horse of Oz.)
  • Wizard: Jack Nicholson. Sebastian says Johnny Depp is too young. I don't really think Mr. Depp would have a big role in my idea for an Oz film series, but perhaps could be cast as Fiyero in a film version of Wicked. Or maybe the Guardian of the Gate or the Soldier With The Green Whiskers? (Omby Amby) My own idea for an non-CGI Wizard would be Robin Williams.
  • Jellia: Julia Winter. Another Charlie & The Chocolate Factory actress, she played the spoiled Veruca Salt. In my opinion, Jellia should be a bit older, but as earlier stated, time could take care of itself on this one.
  • Tip (Yes, he went beyond Wonderful Wizard here!): Jordan Fry. He was Mike Teavee in Charlie &... . Earlier on in my blog, I mentioned perhaps Freddie Highmore, who played the title character in the same movie. But perhaps we should see about getting Wonderful Wizard made first!

Also, I've recently gotten some support from Aaron Pacentine, owner of Check his site out sometime, it's a very nice site!

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Petition Video, Manga, Oroz, and Strasheela!

Hey, I finished my Oz petition video. So far it has gotten me ONE new signature!

Like? Sign the petition at

The signer was Certik Sebastian, who said this on the IWOC message board, "In this day in age when we graphitti "Git'r done" on military equipment used on behalf of the war in Iraq, we need a little enlightenment. We can't keep believing these stupid, and morally incorrect notions that Oz is a dream, or that Dorothy had Ruby Slippers. These notions are leading studiousness, and education to go down the tubes, and thus, we need a good, and wholesome movie like "The Wizard Of Oz" to be added to our scope of knowledge to make us healthier, and smarter.

"I signed Jared's petition, which is to make a more educated 1900's style Oz movie, and I urge every one of you to do the same. you can see the address for the website of the petition on the movie that Jared so kindly bestowed upon us."

Certik has said it better than I could myself! (Hey, if you need to start a petition to get a new edition of "Wonderful Wizard" with your illustrations published, I'll sign!)

Last Wednesday I got my copy of "Oz: The Manga." A manga-style retelling of the first Oz book, it was surprisingly faithful, though somewhat darker. There were also some touches I wish I'd put in my screenplay. Too late to do it without copyright agreements...

Recently, I went ahead and watched a backlog of foreign Oz/Oz-inspired films. There were two Russian faithful excellently animated films based on "Wonderful Wizard" and "Marvelous Land," the first using some touches from Alexander Volkov's "The Wizard of the City of Emeralds." (This book was Volkov's translation of "Wonderful Wizard," but he put in a lot of new things himself, and later wrote original sequels.) Another was a televised play of Volkov's "Wizard," which rearranged the plot. None of these had English overdubbing or subtitles.

Also was "Tramps & The Wizard of Oroz," which is an extremely loose adaptation of the original book. I just took it as a comedy with a few Oz touches and characters. This one had subtitles.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

It's been awhile, but I'm blogging again!

Hey! I have been blogging for awhile, but I'm back!

Why the abscence?

What was there to say? I'm working on Ozma of Oz still.

I would like to mention some words on the adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to the MGM Wizard of Oz as compared to my screenplay.

1. In the MGM movie, Dorothy wants to get out of Oz pretty much to escape the Wicked Witch of the West, and she realizes that her home is a pretty nice place after all. In my screenplay (which is what I believe was in the book) she doesn't want to be seperated from her family for a long time, so she tries to get back.

2. Because the MGM movie set up the Wicked Witch of the West as the major villain, (her early appearance in Munchkinland, her appearances along the Yellow Brick Road, her creating or poisioning of the Poppy Field...) her death was the film's climax. In the book, and my screenplay, she is much more of a secondary character. The climax is Dorothy's return home. (Which is strange, since the story is named after the Wizard, but he leaves the story about 3/4 of the way through! One might be misled into thinking he was the main character...)

3. I'm not quite sure... but is the MGM movie updated slightly? Is Dorothy's home one of 1900, or 1939? In my screenplay, it's exactly how it's described in the book.

4. The MGM movie set the story up as a dream. As a result, who could really believe that Oz was real? In my screenplay, I tried to make Oz as believable as possible, when you set aside the magical incidents and the creatures that could reside only in a fairyland. Baum did not describe a vibrant fantasyland, but instead "a country of marvelous beauty. There were lovely patches of greensward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious fruits. Banks of gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and birds with rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered in the trees and bushes. A little way off was a small brook, rushing and sparkling along between green banks..." This description was so vivid that I copied it in my screenplay. I'd love to see this version of the Munchkin Country on screen instead of the extremely (and some may say sickeningly) cute Munchkinland of the MGM film.

And just so you know, I don't hate the MGM movie, I own the 3-disc DVD release and the 2-disc soundtrack, I don't believe in the hanging man, and I also think it's a great, classic film. I just think there should also be a version out there that is very close to Baum's Oz!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ozma of Oz

Hey, I started on L. Frank Baum's Ozma of Oz last week. There's something about Oz that's so addictive...

And I have some character designs for the Nome King, in black and white and color. I'm thinking of making some storyboard art for Wonderful Wizard and making some videos and putting them on If I do, I'll embed them in the blog!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Marvelous Land of Oz" finished & Oz movie rumors

Last Sunday Princess Ozma was restored and wrested the throne of the Emerald City from Jinjur and was crowned by Glinda (who else would be resonsible for such an honor?) ... as I finished the first draft of L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz.

The Marvelous Land of Oz is one of my favorite Oz books, which is why I wanted to start on a screenplay for it right away. I have made quite a few changes.

  • Mombi admits that she tricked the Wizard into handing Ozma over to her.
  • Jinjur is passed off as a good girl at heart, she can just get obsessed and confused over what she wants.
  • Jinjur intends to turn Mombi over to Glinda after the Jellia Jamb=Mombi deception, so Mombi hides not only from Glinda, but also from Jinjur, so she turns herself into a rose.
  • The ant transformation was left out of Mombi's series of transformations in her attempt to escape from Glinda.
  • There is only one Wishing Pill, and it is found in a packet that was in with the Powder of Life.
  • The whole bit about flying over the Munchkin Country was excised so we could hurry and get to Glinda.

There are also some additions I made. One of my favorites is Ozma saying to Jinjur after Captain Ruby and General Scarlet capture her, "The Emerald City has been ruled by men long enough."

There is a new crop of rumors for a new OZ film to come to the cinema.

The most likely one to appear is a film version of the musical Wicked. Having heard quite a bit about it, it sounds like a great story and I'd really like to see it.

Disney is supposedly working on a prequel to The Wizard of Oz that sounds darker than Return to Oz. (Have they learned nothing?)

Steven Spielburg is rumored (note: he has had rumors about him in the past that were not true) to be working on a remake of The Wizard of Oz. As he also has the film rights to Wicked, that choice may be more likely.

There was also a rumor of a new Wizard of Oz movie coming out in 2008, but all I found were rumors on a message board. If any of these films are actually in production, it could be that they were actually seeing something about one of them.

A pitch that has been making rounds is called Above Kansas, a sequel to the MGM movie. (When will they ever learn that you can't really do a sequel to that one?)

So, like I have said, there seems to be great interest in an Oz movie. I just hope I can get some of my screenplays out there so we can finally have a talkie that presents Baum's Oz just the way it should be.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Current Benign Changes in OZ

The L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz screenplay is continuing! But currently I've made a few changes.

1. Jellia Jamb was dismissed from her position by Jinjur, but her keys were not take from her. She uses these to open the doors of the palace for the Scarecrow.

2. Jinjur locks up the palace. As a result, she is surprised to see the Scarecrow & Co. enter, but not worried.

3. Mombi appears and tells Tip that she's going to turn him into marble, instead of Jinjur threatening everyone else.

4. The Scarecrow lets the Field Mice free to stop Mombi. As a result, all females flee the throne room.

In addition, the posititioning of some speeches and events are altered for better drama.

Comment and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tip Vs. Charlie

Here is a casting idea: Freddie Highmore (Charlie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Tip. While I believe Freddie could play the role when he's a bit older, I believe Charlie and Tip are two very different characters.

TIP is a young boy (probably in his early teens) who doesn't know the exact truth of his past, but he is bold and is not afraid to speak his mind. He takes hold of his own destiny and makes his own decisions. A very independent young man. It turns out that he is really Princess Ozma under an enchantment. Even though he would prefer to remain a boy, he puts aside what he wants for the good of the people of Oz and becomes their rightful ruler.

CHARLIE is an even younger boy (preteen?) who lives with his family. In fact, he is a bit more comparable to my take on Dorothy than Tip. He respects and cares about them, even though it's just his parents, and four older people. He resists the temptations to misbehave in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, and thus turns out be the only kid who won a golden ticket who wasn't "rotten." He is then bequeathed the Factory.

So, as you see, they are different characters, but the same actor could play them. I just think we'd better wait 'till Freddie's a little older.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

First Chapter of WWOZ online for viewing

As of today, I uploaded my adaptation of the first chapter of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to my Oz site: EDIT - The PDF has been removed from the site. It no longer reflects how I want to do this adaptation. The adaptation I am doing will not be exposed to the public.

The PDF was created with a great bit of free software called "OpenOfficeOrg."

Feel free to comment on it.

And once again: if you want to see a new Oz movie on the big screen, sign my petition!

In the meantime, in L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz, the Sawhorse and Jack Pumpkinhead are about to run away from Tip, who shouted the wrong thing at the wrong time.

I watched a bootleg DVD of the Lost in Oz pilot yesterday. Watching that helps to warn me not to make Oz too dark...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"Dorothy: Viva La Simplicity!" & The MGM movie

Dorothy Gale is a very simple character in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She doesn't need to be placed under a microscope to find out why she does what she does. When she gets to Oz, all she wants is to go home to her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em so they won't worry about her. She has no other motives. This simplicity is why her character is so charming in the book. (In later books as she grew older, her character got a little more complicated, but not too much.)

In many film versions of Oz, this simplicity is lost, and, sadly, so is the charm of her character. (The MGM film did not lose it but simply enhanced it!) This is obviously a big strength of her character, and that is why I retained it in my screenplay for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I hope that I can get this screenplay to someone who can make it into a major motion picture (with a chance for a sequel?) with the publicity that this is not to replace the MGM movie (it's a classic and there's no replacing it!) but to offer a cinematic version of Oz that is very close to Baum's original spirit and story. That is why I put "L. Frank Baum's" at the beginning of each title.

Please, if you're reading this, sign the petition! It only has three signatures so far (one of them mine) and that won't be enough to convince anyone! The link is Please sign and give the link to all of your friends who like fantasy movies and Oz!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sequel started

Well, I couldn't wait to start the sequel...

So I did!

L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz opens in Kansas, where Dorothy and Aunt Em talk about Oz. Aunt Em is a little skeptical, saying "I'm sure that cyclone took you somewhere, but are you sure that you didn't just have a dream?" Dorothy assures her that Oz is real, she has friends there, and then she wonders what is happening in Oz now. Moving up to the sky is used to transition the film from Kansas to the Gillikin Country of Oz.

I've also made this one more humorous than Wonderful Wizard. When Mombi tells Tip she intends to make him into a marble statue for her garden, he says "I hope they (the flowers) all wilt." Mombi responds with "I'll have no more of that talk! Especially when you become a statue!"

Keep you posted!

P.S. If you're reading this blog, please comment to let me know you're out there! I'll be more likely to keep you informed of my Adventure adapting the Oz series into films if I know someone's interested.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Screenplay finished

I've finished my screenplay. Oz was not easy to adapt without making it seem like the MGM movie. It feels like a very nice film already, and it's also kind of fast-paced. I'm thinking of, however, doing something to give the Wicked Witch of the West some more screen time as she is not introduced until the Wizard tells Dorothy & Co to kill her. (Just like the book.) I've started my petition (to send with my screenplay to show that there is an audience for a new Oz movie) and here is the link:

I really like how this screenplay turned out just in it's first draft! I wish I could just send it to someone because I want to get started on the sequel: L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I haven't updated my blog in awhile.

I've actually started writing my own screenplay for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and so far have actually gotten pretty far into it. The Wicked Witch of the West is dead, and they're just about to re-enter the Emerald City. I cut out the Winged Monkey's story because it doesn't work in a film. I left in the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman's stories (the latter expanded with information from The Tin Woodman of Oz) because they are principal characters, and showing their stories makes the fulfillment of their wishes from the Wizard all the better. While the Winged Monkeys obviously want to be free from the power of the Golden Cap of Queala (as I call it in the screenplay), they are not principal characters, and thus their story will not be as meaningful as that of Dorothy and Co. (Perhaps a short about them would work, though, climaxing with Glinda presenting them with the Golden Cap, and they promise to be of service.)

I set up the character of Dorothy as a young girl who loves her guardians very much, and thus doesn't want them to worry about her, which is why she wants to go back to Kansas, as she tells the Scarecrow...

"DOROTHY: It's not Kansas I want to go back to. It's where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry live, and they care about me, and I care about them. I want to go back so they won't worry about me. It's because our homes are where there are people who love that we'd rather live there than anywhere else. There is no place like home.

"SCARECROW: I don't really understand."

To help this theme throughout the screenplay, Dorothy carries with her a portrait of Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on their wedding day. The picture is introduced in Kansas, where Aunt Em tells Dorothy about all the dissappointment they've had with living on the prarie. (This is all in Baum's book, I just had to bring it out.) Dorothy finds the portrait when she is packing her basket to leave the "crashed" house to follow the Yellow Brick Road. The Tin Woodman later comments that "If I had a family like that, I'd want to go back." When Jellia Jamb shows Dorothy her room in the palace and Dorothy is left alone, she unpacks her basket and finds the picture and says "I'm coming home as soon as I can, Aunt Em. You, too, Uncle Henry."

There are many little "enhancements," but the characters all do the same things (unlike the new Narnia's treatment of the character of the Fox) they do in the book. They just do some extra things, too. Example: when they are attacked by the Witches' wolves, the Lion stands between them and Dorothy, the Scarecrow distracts them, and the Tin Woodman axes them.

I was tempted to go overboard on the violence and disgusting content (Tin Woodman killing a total of 41 animals, the Scarecrow versus the crows, the Lion's battle, an old woman dissolving into a puddle of ooze) but abstained. I even had the Tin Woodman not kill the Wildcat who is chasing the Queen of the Field Mice, but instead throws it in the River where it swims to the surface, but is swept away by the current.

When I complete the screenplay, I'm thinking of starting a petition to show the results to film companies I'd send it to, so they'd know that this screenplay has some interest in it, and interest means these people would want to see a finished film, and likely tell their friends, relatives, etc. To promote the petition, I'm thinking of making a video with my own artwork of scenes from OZ with the track "Flying" from the 2003 film version of Peter Pan playing. Screens of text, "The story that readers have loved for over 100 years returns to the screen with new life. YOU'VE NEVER SEEN OZ LIKE THIS! Support the screenplay. Sign the petition."

Well, here's to Baum!