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 Amazon.com) The official website is www.dorothyofoz.net

"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 Amazon.com)

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 Amazon.com!
  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 Amazon.com! 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 Amazon.com!
  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 Amazon.com! 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 Amazon.com!

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 Amazon.com, but they were out of stock.
  2. I ordered it through Amazon.com, 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.