Oz in the News 7.31.11

Dorothy of Oz footage promises a sugary sweet return to Frank Baum’s world  Make no mistake – this is a kid’s movie through and through. While the footage I saw didn’t feature a ton of dialogue, this doesn’t seem like the kind of movie that’s going to feature a lot of Shrek style pop culture references or double entendres, which admittedly makes it pretty much automatically better than 85% of kid’s entertainment these day. The movie seems intent to capture the whimsy and weirdness at the heart of the Baum books. The movie is also a musical, and Bryan Adams has written some pretty beautiful songs for Michele and Hilty to sing.

Lea Michele’s New Song From ‘Dorothy of OZ’ Unleashed  Lea Michele has a new song titled “When the World Turns Upside Down”, and it’s released at 2011 San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend. Recorded for “Dorothy of OZ” soundtrack, it has been made available for listening pleasure via audio stream which hit the web recently.

SDCC 2011: ‘Dorothy Of Oz’ Panel With Patrick Stewart & Megan Hilty   Hilty described her role of the China Princess as a tremendous opportunity for her to work with an amazing legendary cast. For her animation requires a different skill set than in any other medium. She feels liberated by the fact that in voiceover one can never push the limits too far. Sir Patrick Stewart was asked what took him so long to come to Comic–Con, and he jokingly said he thought he had been already. He’s always loved watching and performing in animation, and feels the most amazing work in cinema is currently being done in that medium. He was drawn to the project because of its iconic association with the classic novel. Both he & Hilty feel people in animation are the nicest people to work with.

Patrick Stewart Makes Comic-Con Debut at ‘Dorothy of Oz’ Panel  “First of all, can I just point out that I’m a Broadway girl too?” Stewart quipped, referring to his “Dorothy” co-star, “Wicked” veteran Megan Hilty, who was also on the panel. “You see, I thought I’d been here already; it was my publicist who told me I wasn’t,” Stewart quipped. “I must’ve come down here for a party, and thought I was at Comic-Con.” Stewart’s maiden voyage to Comic-Con turned out to be a memorable one, and not just for the adoring audience that greeted him with a standing ovation in the packed Hall H. During the course of the panel, Hilty led the crowd in serenading Stewart — who turned 71 on July 13 — with a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

My Saturday Comic-Con Report: “We” Won Eisner Awards!  On Friday night, Eric Shanower and Jim McCann both won Eisner Awards (which are comicdom’s highest honors). Eric won for “Best Adaptation from Another Work” for Marvel Comics’ The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum which he adapted and Skottie Young illustrated (Skottie also won an Eisner as “Best Penciler/Inker”). And as fate would have it, Eric appeared at the Prism booth just earlier that day signing copies of both Oz collections that have been published by Marvel.

Celebrating the wonderful ‘Wizard of Oz’  “An Oz Affaire” event continues today with a “Wizard’s Luncheon” at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa at 11 a.m. Robert A. Baum, great-grandson of “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum, will be on hand to discuss the film. Costumed characters from the film will be on hand for pictures. There will also be live art and music and drawings of “Oz” characters up for raffle. Robert A. Baum said it was hard to believe that his great-grandfather wrote “The Wizard of Oz” in 1900, and that it’s still has fresh today as it was back then. “(L. Frank) would be totally amazed how popular it still is today,” he said.

Celebrating Judy Garland, 75 Years After Her Screen Debut   “It becomes so interesting I think to people because she is — and this is a word that everybody always uses to define her — she is so real as an actress. She is always so honest in what she’s doing as a singer or as an actress. There is no fourth wall. She grew up in that vaudeville tradition where you went out and did it for the audience. And through some god-given amalgam of talent and charisma, all translates onto video tape. A lot of actors don’t have that. I think it also helps that she was absolutely the best at what she did. Nobody else had quite the combination of singing, dancing, acting and comedy talent at MGM or anywhere else. One of the nice points of what this retrospective brings up is that Judy worked for 45 of her 47 years. Forty of those years, from 1929 to 1969, are captured on film.”

A trip down the Yellow Brick Road leads to pet adoption  “Toto came as a rescue dog from the Open Door Animal Sanctuary and is kind of a mess sometimes, being just a puppy, but I fell in love with her and decided to keep her,” said Courtney, of Manchester, on a recent Friday afternoon before an evening show.

Search for ‘Surrender Dorothy’ scrawler pulls back curtain on schoolgirl prank  If someone confided to you that he was the person responsible for arguably the single most famous graffito in the Washington area — “Surrender Dorothy” painted on a railroad bridge near the Mormon Temple — how would you react? Would you buy him a drink? Would you call the police? Would you tell Answer Man?  Answer Man asks because of the column he wrote last month, in which he recounted what was known about “Surrender Dorothy” and invited its creator to get in touch. No one would admit to painting the message over the Beltway, but three people said they had met the person who did it.

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