Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Royal Podcast of Oz: Christmas in Kansas

Garrett Kilgore reads a new Christmas story by Jay Davis. Christmas in Kansas tells of how Dorothy Gale, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry celebrated Christmas following the events of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

Anyone wishing to read the story instead is welcome to a free PDF or an EPUB (zipped).

You can listen, download and subscribe at the podcast site or use the player and links below.

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The Royal Podcast of Oz: The Movies of Oz - Virtual Oz

Jay and Sam take a good look at another adventure from The Oz Kids series: Virtual Oz. The Oz Kids wind up trapped in Otto's mysterious computer game. Can they win and get home or are they stuck for good?

You can listen, download and subscribe at the podcast site or use the player and links below.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Returning to Oz documentary on Kickstarter

Aaron Pacentine is at it again with a Kickstarter for a documentary dedicated to Disney's Return to Oz. Involved will be director Walter Murch, producer Paul Maslansky, publicist Craig Miller, cast members Emma Ridley (Ozma), Pons Maar (Head Wheeler), Justin Case (Scarecrow), and Sophie Ward (Mombi II/Dancing girl). While I've reviewed productions by Aaron in the past with a rather critical eye, the fact remains that this documentary should provide some good insight into the film.

Now, I'm rather late on sharing this Kickstarter, as it only has less than a week left. (Look, if you've seen my personal Twitter, you know my mind has been in places other than Oz lately...) But they've only got less than a thousand to go before reaching their goal.

Aaron is offering a number of Return to Oz collectibles from custom-made replica OZ keys to DVDs of the documentary and other pieces of Return to Oz merchandise, both vintage and recent (including the Disney Movie Club exclusive Blu-Ray and the 2 CD soundtrack).

If you're so inclined to contribute, go to the Kickstarter to donate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

'Guardianes de Oz' Gets a U.S. Release Date

Guardianes de Oz, an animated film co-produced in India and Mexico, finally has a U.S. release date. The film is designed and executive produced by Jorge Gutierrez, director of Book of Life and creator of Nickelodeon's El Tigre series, and was released theatrically in Mexico (and I believe in some other countries overseas as well) last year. The film previously had the working titles Save Oz! and Wicked Flying Monkeys but will be released on January 24, 2017 on DVD and digital HD in the U.S. as Guardians of Oz under Lionsgate's Grindstone Entertainment banner.

The English-language version of the film features the voices of YouTube "sensation" Jenn McAllister (billed in the trailer and on the DVD cover with her Twitter username), someone named Mikey Bolts, and actress Ambyr Childers. It's not that I dislike any of these people or their performances from what's presented in the trailer, but I do wish that professional voice actors were used instead. Speaking as someone who is bilingual and half-Mexican, I'm disappointed that the home video release will not include the original Spanish-language audio track. (Speaking of disappointments, why isn't this being released on Blu-ray? Ugh.)

Per the press release issued by Lionsgate, the DVD will include a behind-the-scenes featurette, which I am interested in seeing (although I'm not holding my breath for anything too extensive or insightful there), and for some reason, several "episodes" of Minuscle, a series of short, insect-themed animated films produced in France. The press release suggests a $19.98 retail price for the DVD, and that's currently the price listed on Amazon, but I would be shocked if that price didn't come down significantly before the release date.

I've been keeping an eye on this one for awhile, so I'm glad to see that it is being released here, and I'll definitely be reviewing it down the road. I'm thinking about getting a copy of the Mexican home video release of the film as well, which could make for an interesting review comparing the two. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer below and, if you're into it, pre-order the DVD on Amazon here.