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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Actors: Margot Kidder, Morgan Hallet, George Morris, Neil Shee, Richard Dumont
Directors: Gerald Potterton, Tim Reid
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
NR     2004     1hr 33min

Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 06/01/2004 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: Margot Kidder, Morgan Hallet, George Morris, Neil Shee, Richard Dumont
Directors: Gerald Potterton, Tim Reid
Creators: Tim Reid, Elizabeth Klinck, Micheline Charest, Ronald A. Weinberg, Don Arioli, L. Frank Baum
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Animation
Studio: Lightyear Video
Format: DVD - Color - Animated
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Anime of the 80's..
Rebecca Lakey | Clearlake, CA USA | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember this verison well from back in the day when it was on tv. I think it may have run on the Disney channel in the form of a series but I am not sure. In this telling of the tale Dorothy has curly brown hair and Toto is a loveable ball of fur drawn in a 70's style anime way.The Scarecrow in this adapton is very loveable and skinny looking as well. The other two films in this series are entitled "The Wonderfull Wizard Of Oz" and "Ozma of Oz". These films are somewhat "darker" than some tellings of the stories but are very true to the books in that way."
One of my favorite takes on the WIZARD OF OZ!
Rebecca Lakey | 02/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Margot Kidder is the narrator of this wonderfully spectactular animated film of the Wizard of Oz. This movie is the first part of an Oz series based on the books. The animated movies were released as a miniseries on the Showcase channel. This has been one of my favorite children's movies ever. Definitly a five-star movie. Also watch the Marvelous Land of Oz, narrated by Margot Kidder. That is probably one of my favorites of the series."
The best Oz cartoon that has ever been made
Greg Tutt | England | 03/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This cartoon is the best oz cartoon ever made. The music is great, the story is presented wonderfully and the characters are fantastic. I thought the wicked witch of the west was the best, she was scary, powerful, and different from usaul witches you find in cartoons. I really hope one day I will be able to buy this video again. I may be older now but its still my favourite cartoon and oz movie!"
(Most of) The Original Book Comes to Life!!
Sam A. Milazzo | Sydney, N.S.W Australia | 08/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I got this DVD in the 'Animation Collection/4-Volume Gift Set' and I was so happy that I could now KEEP it instead of returning the video to stores just like I used to years ago - even if the picture quality, sound, lines/writing, (terriblely-designed) front cover and some of the editing wasn't done so well. Considering how much more faithful the entire animated series was, 1 hr 33 mins is too short - 1 hr 45 mins would have been much better, especially since there are bits that should've been cut out of the video instead of the more important things. But what's impressive even in its short version is that a few shots look almost EXACTLY like a Desnlow picture from the ORIGINAL BOOK (e.g. Dorothy looking at Kansas, saving Toto from the cyclone cellar, etc.)! The following review shows what's on the final Video/DVD (*along with the major deleted scenarios from the TV Show *) . . .
After the opening 'Searching for a Dream', Dorothy lives in Kansas with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and Toto (*who was given to her by Uncle Henry*). A tornado appears just after Em and Henry go out, leaving Dorothy and Toto alone (again, just like most films). Toto's hiding underneath her bed causes them to be picked up, and after Dorothy saves Toto from being lost in the cyclone, they find themselves in Oz, where they see the Wicked Witch of the East under their house, the Munchkins happily set free and the Good Witch of the North trying to explain where they are and solve their problem (but not quite well). (*Aunt Em, unlike Uncle Henry refuses to believe that their beloved niece is gone forever *) Dorothy is magically given the shoes and sent off to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in hopes of getting back to Kansas. (* A Munchkin couple give Dorothy and Toto their hospitality. *) Soon Dorothy meets and frees Scarecrow, who has a problem with birds and brains, and joining them tells his story. They find (*an old wooden cottage for the night and *) a Tin Woodman rusted in the forest, and allow him to come along as they listen to his tragic love story. Lion scares them, but after Dorothy scolds him, his lack of courage gets him invited to see the Wizard too (* which is lucky because they encounter a ditch, and only Lion can get them across*). After camping in the forest at night, they came to a large(r) ditch with the Kalidahs behind them. Lion and Scarecrow distract them as Tin Woodman cuts down a tree for them to cross. After escaping the Kalidahs and the forest, Scarecrow gets caught in the middle of a river which cuts them off from the Yellow Brick Road, but luckily Mrs Crain saves him. A Deadly Poppy Field puts Dorothy, Toto and Lion to sleep, but they managae to escape (*thanks to some help from the Mouse Queen and her subjects after a rescue from a wildcat*). (*After meeting people in a town terrified of the Lion*) They arrive at Emerald City the next day, and the Good North Witch's kiss lets them in. A Soldier, not the Gate Guardian, can be briefly seen giving the friends a room before a Maid Girl calls them. The Wizard sees them one at a time, telling Dorothy as a Giant Head, Scarecrow (*Lovely Angel-Like Lady*), Tin Woodman (*Terrible Beast*) and Lion (*Fire Ball*) that they must kill the Wicked Witch of the West, and good thing too because she is (* forcing the Winkies *) build a new fortress which she will use to conquer Oz. She senses the friends coming, seeing them in a magic mirror (*and sends out wolves, crows and an Army of her Winkie Soldiers, which Dorothy's friends easily beat * - I definitely remember the Witch being shocked at her wolves' defeat). The friends meet an old Winkie, the former Mayor. The Witch uses her last command of the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys, who manage in destroying the straw and tin men, capturing Lion but spare Dorothy & Toto thanks to the Good Witch's kiss. Dorothy is forced to be the Witch's slave, but Lion refuses to work (* who gets visited by the Witch and Dorothy *). As he escapes, the Witch plots to trick Dorothy in losing the shoes, but Lion inteferes. Later, there is a final confrontaion, and victory is gained, with a lot of (*extra*) help from Toto - just like the 1982 anime, Dorothy uses a large water jar/tank, and not a bucket, against the witch, which is much more effective and pleasing (* and all her evil work dies with her. The grateful Winkies then help Dorothy find her friends *). Soon the friends are together again and Dorothy takes the Golden Cap (*But Mombi, a bad witch from the North, wants and tries to steal it just as Dorothy finds out who to use it. During the Winkies' Celebration, the Tin Woodman is asked to stay and be their new Ruler. The friends make their way back to Emerald City, but instead get lost in a forest and struggle against a giant spider and after then the Winged Monkeys take the friends back *). They return to Emerald City to find the Wizard not only invisible but unwilling to grant their wishes. Toto reveals the Wizard hiding, who tells them his story (I Really Like how this version actually has Dorothy connect with the Wizard in their dilemma; the music is great too) and eventually decides to give the friends what they want (* as well as making Scarecrow King in his place *). Unfortunately when the Wizard tries to help Dorothy Toto chases a mouse (instead of a cat). Even the Winged Monkeys are unable to return her to Kansas, so then they go to see Glinda the Good in the South (* And in doing so they encounter a fighting tree, a living China Country, escape the Hammer-Heads by a dark cave of tiny mischievous Gnomes before reaching the South Quadling Country. *) Glinda (* after takes the friends around her palace as they tell her their story *) plans to make Dorothy a Princess, but then decides to not only return Dorothy and Toto home to Kansas, but also appoint her friends Scarecrow as the new King of the Emerald City of Oz, the Tin Woodman as the Ruler of the Winkies and Lion as the King of the Beasts in the forest. After so long and so much, Dorothy bids her friends good-bye, finally returns to her home in Kansas with Toto, and is reunited her beloved Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. (*Eventually, Dorothy and Toto are reunited with the Wizard at a circus!*) 'Searching for a Dream' plays again during the End Credits, clips from the movie replaying during the music.
Out of the entire series of 52 epsiodes, 'Wonderful Wizard' took up 18 episodes, while only 14 of those adventures were edited onto the English Video/DVDs. The only thing I didn't like about this version is how 2 scenes imitate MGM: "These flowers (poppies) might be under a Witch's spell!" and "The Wicked Witch of the East was my sister!". Also the opening 'Searching for a Dream', although nicely animated, would have been better with the Original Japanese Opening (where the friends appear alongside the Yellow Brick Road, which can be seen in the 'land van oz' fan-site and the Chinese/Japanese Box Sets from YesAsia).
CHANGES: There are just a few changes in bringing this animated adventure from video to DVD: 1st - the sneak peak of 'Emerald City' is not seen here; 2nd - the opening song, which had sound effects of a Kansas breeze and the tornado whirling, are no longer heard; and finally, when the Wicked Witch has Lion prisoner, her laugh has been almost completely muted out. Unless a Special Anniversary Collection is released of the Movies and ORIGINAL EPISODES or viewers can still see a video (at home or from a video-rent-out), these three bits will never be heard on DVD.
"But Scarecrow is right: Dorothy and all her friends in Oz will meet again." . . . in 'Cinar's the Marvelous Land of Oz'."