(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an Oz fan for years and this DVD is great! The story is based on the 1990's cartoon show "The Wizard of Oz" aired on ABC, HBO, and Disney chanel.The Wicked Witch of the West returns and takes over the Emerald City and has stolen Scarecrows diploma, Lions metal, and Tin Mans heart.Dorothy and Toto return to Oz to help her friends and the Wizard who is still in his ballon to get back Oz. This DVD is definately one that should be aded to youre colection!!!!!!"
Lame Series Gets A Lame DVD
Paul Rudoff | http://spookcentral.cjb.net | 09/08/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a review of this product: The Wizard of Oz: Rescue of the Emerald City DVD. Amazon may display this review on the page of another version of this product, for which this review may not apply. After reading this review, please click on the link so that you can be assurred that the product this review applies to is the same one you thought it was for.
This DVD contains the following three episodes of the DIC 1990 animated series in this order:
1. Rescue of the Emerald City - Part 1 (09/08/1990) (ep 1)
2. Rescue of the Emerald City - Part 2 (09/15/1990) (ep 2)
3. The Day the Music Died (11/24/1990) (ep 12)
Purists be forewarned that the original DIC logo at the end of the show has been replaced with the new "The Incredible World Of DIC" logo.
Although the colors are bright and the sound is great, the overall quality of the episodes is rather poor as there is a lot of dirt and debris in them and the picture jumps a little on more than one occassion. It would have been really nice if they cleaned up the episodes when they transferred them to DVD.
The disc contains absolutely NO bonus features, save for a lame (nee VERY easy) six question trivia game. If you win it, you're treated to a commercial for the DVD releases of "Sherlock Holmes In The 22nd Century" and "The Wizard Of Oz." Yeah, that's such a great prize! Plus on start-up there's an ad for other DIC properties and on the main menu the DIC logo brings up a few more ads.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Inspector Gadget provides help on ALL of the menu screens (and appears on them). This "feature" is meant to help little kids, for whom this disc is targeted. But it comes off as really lame since this isn't an Inspector Gadget DVD and that's not Don Adams providing his voice. For the record, all of DIC's DVDs from this time period (2001) contain the Inspector Gadget Help option (I have the Sabrina The Animated Series disc and it's on there too).
The only REAL bonus feature that could actually be of use to someone are English subtitles, which of course is good if you're deaf or hard of hearing as the episodes are not closed captioned. The audio is stereo (2.0 channel) and the runtime is 63 minutes.
Now let me give a review of the series itself. I have mixed feelings about this series. On one hand I really like The Wizard Of Oz (1939) movie and I fondly remember watching this series Saturday mornings back when ABC actually showed GOOD cartoons (The Real Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, etc.). On the other hand, this series is a slap in the face to all fans of the original 1939 movie. For starters, it's damn near impossible to make a decent series based on the movie featuring ALL of the memorable characters since the movie ended with the hero (Dorothy) back home in Kansas, the villian (the Wicked Witch of the West) melted to oblivion, the Wizard floating off to parts unknown (presumably back to his homeland), and the three friends (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion) being left to take care of Oz and the Emerald City.
I suppose you could set it in Kansas and do stories about the life of the teenage Dorothy ala "As Told By Ginger," but that would leave out all of the Oz characters. You could do stories about the travels of the Wizard, but since he's a con man, it's hard to see him as a "good guy" and a good role model for kids. The only thing left would be to do a show about the citizens of Oz with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion presiding over the whole land like royalty or something. I've never read the Oz books, so I don't know how many more different Oz residents there are, but since Oz is a wacky place all by itself, the writers could let their imaginations go wild, and create new characters. The problem with this idea is that it leaves out three main characters: Dorothy, the Wizard, and the Wicked Witch of the West. The creators of this series would have none of that. They MUST have ALL of the main characters, the ending of the film be damned!
And so we got a series that totally ignores all character development from the film and carefully disregards certain parts of the ending. Dorothy is inexplicably back in Oz. The title sequence suggests that her ruby slippers glowed in her closet back in Kansas, thus sending out a distress call that she was needed back in Oz, and so she used them to return. There goes the whole "it was only a dream" plot device that the film laid out for us at the end. OK, no biggie, I can suspend my disbelief for this to be possible. Next the title sequence shows us that the Wicked Witch wasn't melted at all, but merely turned to wood! The winged monkeys bring her back to life by putting her hat back on her head and putting her broomstick back in her hand. Now I'm starting to get worried.
Remember at the end of the film the Wizard gave the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion some items (diploma, heart clock, badge of courage - respectively) to reflect the attributes that they felt they were missing, but told them in no uncertain terms that they didn't need these items because they had those attributes all along (as they demonstrated numerous times throughout the film)? Well, they must have been missing the attribute of "paying attention" because in this show they lack all of those attributes they "had all along" simply because all of their "special items" are locked up in storage at the Emerald City where the Wicked Witch is keeping guard over them. The three friends are constantly complaining throughout the three episodes on this DVD (and probably throughout the entire series) about not having those attributes because they don't have the items, yet as in the film they display those attributes numerous times. What they DO have is a total lack of self-esteem as they are constantly discrediting themselves when they display those supposedly "lost" attributes (to paraphrase the Scarecrow: "I have an idea, but since I don't have a brain, it musn't be a very good idea.")
The Wizard is back, but he's stuck forever floating around Oz in his hot air balloon because the Wicked Witch put a spell on the wind so that it won't let him stay in one place for very long. Throughout the series Dorothy and friends are trying to catch up with him, but he always leaves just before they go to where he was last seen at. Why he doesn't just decide to ditch the balloon and stay on foot, where he's safer, is beyond me. Glinda, the good witch, is no great help as she is so powerless that all she can do is put a spell on the balloon so the Wicked Witch can't harm him while he's in it (I'd still take my changes on foot rather than floating around airmlessly), and put an Emerald Star in the sky above the Emerald City which glows as long as he's alive. Remind me not to call Glinda for help the next time I'm in trouble.
There are many MANY times in these three episodes alone that you'll be thinking to yourself "Why doesn't this person go there, or do this?" For example, in the first episode the Wizard is on foot in the safe confines of a fort. The Wicked Witch and her winged monkeys come to cause havock, and the dumb Wizard thinks he'd be safer taking to the air in his balloon than hiding inside the fort (a large opened door in the fort can clearly been see in the background). The third episode involves the citizens of Musicland not feeling very musical because the conductor's baton was stolen. Dorothy suggests he use his hands, and she even tries it herself to show him that it'll work, but the lazy citizens would rather read their newspapers and sleep than pay any attention to her. At this point, if I were Dorothy, I'd say "screw you all" and leave. They're not worth my help. As Dorothy and friends pointed out with their song and dance number (a dance themed song to the melody of "If I Only Had A Brain/Heart/Nerve" - which is rather good and even mentioned the Lambada!), the music isn't dead in the land of Oz, just in Musicland. So, who cares? Let the Musicland citizens die of boredom for all I care, the rest of Oz will move on with their lives.
This series lasted only 13 episodes (no surprise since it sucked) and originally aired on ABC from 9/8/1990 to 12/1/1990. Currently there is another DVD ("The Continuing Story") with four more episodes from the series. This means that so far half of the series has been released on DVD. With so few episodes to the series, DIC should have just released the whole series in a 2-disc set.
By the way, although credit is given to the music composers of the 1939 film (since this series uses a lot of the movie themes), no credit is given to L. Frank Baum (the writer of the original book series)."
YOU ARE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!!!
Paul Rudoff | 06/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great video, and very interesting. the characters are based on what they look like in the MGM Wizard of Oz movie. Dorothy still has her unforgetable Ruby Slippers. The Wicked Witch comes back to life and tries to take over the land of Oz. She steals the Scarecrow's diploma, Tin Man's heart, and the Lion's medal of courage. This movie is from the animated series "The Wizard of Oz" It ran 13 episodes and then had to compete with other cartoons, such as Muppet Babbies, then it was taken off the air. SO SAD. It is a great thing it is out now!"
YOU WILL BE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD!!!
Joe Shipbaugh | East Rochester, Ohio United States | 06/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a WONDERFUL video it is a great movie for anybody! The Witch of the West comes back to life and tries to destroy Oz. Luckly Dorothy and her pals come to the rescue...but the Witch has stole the Scarecrow's diploma, Tin Man's heart, and the Lion's medal of courage. This cartoon comes from a great series made in 1990 and 1991. It was on TV on ABC, and then on HBO and Disney a few years later. It is to bad it isn't on TV anymore. I think this DVD is well worth buying."