Oz in the News 2.15.12

Bandai debuts the new ‘Dorothy of Oz’ Inspired Toys at Toy Fair  The 10” fashion doll seems to be the star of the show. The doll represents the new Dorothy; she still has the same braided pig tails but traded in her cotton dress for denim and her ruby slippers for cowgirl boots. The doll will also feature snippets of songs from the film sung my Michele. She’s more a modern girl but still Dorothy at heart. Some of the most fun toys are the life sized walking and barking Toto doll and an Oz miniature play set. The play set features Emerald City at the center where characters can ride the spinning  “Rainbow Mover” into whichever world they desire. Kids can collect other world play sets that attach to the Emerald City.

Warner Bros. Putting ‘The Wizard of OZ’ DVDs on Moratorium Until Late 2013  On May 1 WB will stop shipping new DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film, though thanks to existing stock The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition 2-Disc DVD will be available until October. Yeah, that’s right — the big 70th edition was just released a couple years ago, but will soon be killed in prep for the 75th. The movie will return to shelves in late 2013.

Image Entertainment Picks up Two Fun Family Films from MarVista Entertainment! Image Entertainment, Inc. (otcqb:DISK) has inked a deal with MarVista Entertainment for the home entertainment and digital rights to two films based on the works of two widely read authors. The Witches of OZ is based on the works of famed author L. Frank Baum and Danielle Joseph’s beloved Shrinking Violet comes to life in Radio Rebel. The agreement was announced today by Bill Bromiley, Chief Acquisitions Officer for Image Entertainment. “We are excited to add such distinguished and fun family fare to our library,” commented Bromiley. “With the recent popularity of ‘Once Upon a Time,’ The Witches of OZ will quickly find its audience. And Debby Ryan who stars in Radio Rebel has always been a fan (and family) favorite. The MarVista team knows the marketplace when it comes to family fare.”

What’s On Walt’s Bookshelves?  One of the last projects I was working on for Walt Disney World’s Disney University two years ago, before I was laid off, was to re-create a bookshelf for WDW cast members filled with the books that Walt Disney read. [By the way, once I was laid off, that project died instantly.] I grew up watching Walt’s weekly television show and, while I loved any episode devoted to animation or Disneyland, the one thing that always caught my attention were the bookshelves in his office.  Ruth Plumly Thompson autographed a 1934 copy of her Speedy and Oz book to Walt. Not surprising since Thompson was continually pitching that Walt should produce her Oz stories. Also on Walt’s bookshelf was a copy of Who’s Who in Oz by Jack Snow in 1954 also autographed by Thompson at the time Walt was considering making The Rainbow Road to Oz with the Mouseketeers.

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