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The Wizard of Oz (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz TV Series logo.jpg
GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Based onThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum
The Wizard of Oz
by Noel Langley
Florence Ryerson
Edgar Allan Woolf
Developed byDoug Molitor
Written byElana Lesser
Cliff Ruby
Doug Molitor
Voices ofCharlie Adler
Pat Fraley
Liz Georges
David Lodge
Tress MacNeille
Alan Oppenheimer
Hal Rayle
B.J. Ward
Frank Welker
Composer(s)Tom Worrall
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producer(s)Andy Heyward
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)DIC Animation City
Turner Entertainment Co.
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 8 (1990-09-08) –
December 28, 1990 (1990-12-28)

The Wizard of Oz is a 1990 animated television series produced by DIC Animation City to capitalize on the popularity of the 1939 film version, to which DiC had acquired the rights from Turner Entertainment, Co..[1] The series aired for thirteen episodes and premiered on ABC, starting on September 8, 1990.[2] The show presented a number of stories and characters from L. Frank Baum's original Oz series.[3]

Series premise

Dorothy has decided to return to Oz with Toto using the ruby slippers that showed up on her doorstep. Upon arriving there she reunites with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, she learns from Glinda the Good Witch that the Wicked Witch of the West has been resurrected by her evil winged monkeys and that the Emerald City has been taken over by her.[1] The Wizard is in his hot air balloon, which is under a spell that causes it to be constantly blown around by an evil wind. Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion set out to rescue him and defeat the Wicked Witch once and for all. Author Jeff Lenburg mentioned an aspect of the series wherein Dorothy has to learn to believe in oneself.[4]

The ruby slippers

To combat the idea that the slippers would provide Dorothy with ultimate power against the Witch, they didn't always work correctly, apparently because she wasn't entirely sure how to use them. They often didn't do exactly as she asked, acting unpredictably. In the second episode, she clicks her heels four times to correct the Witch's damage to the Emerald City, as to imply that a fourth click has more power than three. Glinda often told her to only use them as a last resort.

Similarly, the Wicked Witch's crystal ball was unpredictable, often only working once a day. The episode "Crystal Clear" explains that this was caused by the ball's creator having intentionally stabbed/cracked it with a carving knife, during the witch's theft attempt, in order to prevent her from using its full potential.

The Wicked Witch does manage to get the slippers once in the series. However, Truckle manages to steal them from her, and she is unable to use their power to their full advantage. The Cowardly Lion also gets to wear them briefly.

Similarities to the 1939 film

The series incorporated visual elements from the 1939 film version, including the Scarecrow's diploma and Dorothy's ruby slippers.[1] At the same time, the character of Dorothy was designed with an appearance similar to those of Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid and was not intended to resemble Judy Garland, as well as Dorothy's dress being a solid blue as opposed to the gingham style from the film.[1] In addition, the series incorporated music from the original film, including a slightly altered version of "We're Off to See the Wizard".[1] Toto, as in the film, also seems to be able to "smell" the Wicked Witch or her spellwork, even when she's in disguise. A reversal of the archetype from the film was that Dorothy got herself from Kansas to Oz by clicking her heels in her slippers and saying "There's no place like Oz".

Differences from the 1939 film

While the series is mostly based on the 1939 film, there are some issues with the canon of it. In the film, it is largely implied that Oz was a head-trauma-induced delirium,[5] instead of a real place, while in the series it was a real place. The only sequel that depicts Oz as a dream is the 1974 animated film Journey Back to Oz, where Dorothy once again has a head injury before finding herself back in Oz.[6] The program could only be a spinoff, partly because it violates the rule of the ruby slippers, that they could never come off the feet of their wearer, as long as he / she is still alive.


Title Air date
1"The Rescue of the Emerald City: Part 1"September 8, 1990 (1990-09-08)
Dorothy returns to Oz and learns from Glinda that the Wicked Witch has been resurrected with magic. The Wicked Witch has taken over the Emerald City, in an attempt to rule over Oz.
2"The Rescue of the Emerald City: Part 2"September 15, 1990 (1990-09-15)
Dorothy sets out to rescue Toto and the Lion, who've been kidnapped by the Wicked Witch and taken to Emerald City.
3"Fearless"October 22, 1990 (1990-10-22)
The Cowardly Lion is tricked by the Wicked Witch and put under a spell that makes him fearless.
4"Crystal Clear"October 29, 1990 (1990-10-29)
The Wicked Witch of the West sets out to find a Crystal Ball that will always work and it's up to the Scarecrow to protect the crystal ball with or without a brain.
5"We're Not in Kansas Anymore"November 6, 1990 (1990-11-06)
The Wicked Witch of the West creates a false Kansas, and tricks Dorothy into visiting it, in hopes of getting The Ruby Slippers.
6"The Lion that Squeaked"November 13, 1990 (1990-11-13)
The Wicked Witch of the West uses her magic to steal the Cowardly Lion's roar and give it to a hyena.
7"Dream a Little Dream"November 20, 1990 (1990-11-20)
The Foursome is trapped in Lion's dreams as the Wicked Witch enters the dream to trap them there forever.
8"A Star Is Gone"November 30, 1990 (1990-11-30)
The Wicked Witch of the West is able to annul the Ruby Slippers' abilities entirely, by capturing a red Luminary (teardrop-shaped creatures who control all color in Oz) and forcing him to drain the red magical glow from the slippers, rendering them powerless.
9"Time Town"December 3, 1990 (1990-12-03)
The Wicked Witch of the West begins erasing Oz's history, thus causing Glinda and The Wizard to lose their memories.
10"The Marvelous Milkmaid of Mechanica"December 10, 1990 (1990-12-10)
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion arrive in Mechanica, where everything is made of tin.
This episode was from a story by Karen Willson & Chris Weber.
11"Upside-Down Town"December 17, 1990 (1990-12-17)
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion end up in Upside-Down Town where everything is the opposite.
12"The Day the Music Died"December 24, 1990 (1990-12-24)
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion follow the Wizard to Music Town, where they must help the town's citizen's get their music back, which the Wicked Witch has stolen.
13"Hot Air"December 28, 1990 (1990-12-28)
The Wizard's balloon is heading for Pincushion Pass, and our heroes are helpless to come to his aid!

Principal voice actors

Additional voices


International and re-airings

After its run on ABC, the series reaired on Syndication on Bohbot Entertainment's Amazin' Adventures block from 1992 until 1993. The series also aired on Toon Disney from the channel's launch in 1998 until 2002.

In Canada, the series aired on YTV from 1990 to 1995.

Home media

In 1991, Turner Home Entertainment released a few VHS tapes of the series, each containing two episodes.

  • The Rescue of Oz ("The Rescue of the Emerald City Part I" & "The Rescue of the Emerald City Part II")
  • Danger in a Strange Land in 1991 ("Time Town" and "The Day the Music Died")[8]
  • We're Off to Save the Wizard in 1991 ("Upside Downtown" and "A Star is Gone")[9]
  • Ruby Slipper Slip Up ("The Lion that Squeaked" and "We're not in Kansas Anymore")

In 1992, Buena Vista Home Video released single-episode releases of the series.

  • Fearless ("Fearless")
  • Crystal Clear ("Crystal Clear")

In 2002, Lions Gate Home Entertainment and Trimark Home Video released a DVD/VHS titled "The Rescue of the Emerald City", containing both parts of the titular episode. The DVD version also includes the episode "The Day the Music Died".

In 2003, Sterling Entertainment released "The Continuing Story", containing three episodes ("Time Town", "We're not in Kansas Anymore", "Crystal Clear") and a bonus episode ("Fearless") on the DVD. Sterling later released another DVD titled "We're Off to Save the Wizard" in 2005 containing four more episodes ("Hot Air", "A Star is Gone", "Upside Downtown" and "Dream a Little Dream").

The complete series, dubbed into Serbian, was released on four DVDs in 2006 for the region of Serbia and Montenegro.

In the United Kingdom, Anchor Bay UK released 2 DVD sets in 2004, each containing 4 episodes. Avenue Entertainment would also release 2 DVD sets in 2005, which contained 2 episodes each.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Heffley, Lynne (September 7, 1990). "A Cartoon 'Oz' for Saturday TV". LA Times. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  2. ^ See (accessed on January 19, 2011)
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 913–914. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, Third Edition. Infobase Publishing (New York, NY). p. 670.
  5. ^ L. Frank Baum, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn, New York, Crown, 1976; p. 96. ISBN 0-517-50086-8.
  6. ^ "The Wizard of Oz Production Timeline". Retrieved November 30, 2012. The first official sequel to The Wizard of Oz is released, an animated film titled Journey Back to Oz.
  7. ^ Lenburg, Jeff, The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (Third Edition), Facts on File, 2009, p. 670
  8. ^ "Wizard of Oz: Danger in a Strange Land (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  9. ^ "Wizard of Oz: We're off to Save the Wizard (1991)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-19.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 July 2020, at 13:02
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