Monthly Archives: April 2013

Oz in the News 4.30.13

Patchwork-of-Oz-theme-logo.FINAL.11.14Plans Underway for the 35th Annual Oz-Stravaganza  The 35th annual Oz-Stravaganza themed “The Patchwork of Oz” will take place in Chittenango May 31 through June 2. The three-day event offers a wide variety of events and guests, with the grand Oz parade kicking off at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, in downtown Chittenango. The annual event held to pay tribute to native son L. Frank Baum, author of the Oz book series will honor Flowerpot and Sleepyhead Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini with the title of Grand Marshal.

‘Wizard of Oz’ leads summer quests at library From May 1 to July 31, the Great Hall on the second floor will echo with the sounds of children reliving Dorothy’s adventure in an exhibit inspired by L. Frank Baum’s beloved literary classic. They will:

  • Play dress-up and pretend to live on a farm in 1900.
  • Scientifically experience a tornado’s vortex with destructive force of a storm surging from F1 to F5.
  • Meet the Munchkins.
  • Learn from the Tin Woodman what makes a heart work.
  • Help put Scarecrow together and test his brain.
  • Courageously crawl through a cave with Lion.

Oz in the News 4.27.13

Great trailer: ‘The Little Tin Man’  Matthew Perkins received a lot of support when his proposed film, The Little Tin Man, sought money on Kickstarter. Thanks to fans’ enthusiasm and generosity, he was able to make it, and a trailer just popped up this week. The Little Tin Man tells the touching and funny story of a frustrated dwarf actor (played by Aaron Beelner). When he hears Martin Scorsese is remaking The Wizard of Oz, he decides he’ll do anything to be cast … in any non-Munchkin role.

17 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About “The Wizard Of Oz” 1) This “fire” was actually apple juice spewing out of Dorothy’s shoes; the film was sped up to make it look like fire.  5) The scarecrow face prosthetics that Ray Bolger wore left a pattern of lines on his face that took more than a year to vanish.

From Depression to optimism: lyricist Yip Harburg  “I changed my philosophy of writing from ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ because even though we were all down and out, that American dream that my immigrant parents came over for was still there. … That rainbow still has to be reached. … We’ve got to find out what our values are. … What are our moralities?” The goal, he continued, was “to see to it that our songs are now uplifting and to make the American spirit work for us as our forefathers had planned, not for economics alone, but for this greater thing that is more, as Shakespeare said, in heaven and earth, Horatio, than your philosophy has dreamed of.”

Sony Imageworks Takes Us On The Yellow Brick Road to OZ  “We played the [baboon] army as silhouette from the beginning,” he says. “It was a great lighting exercise, shot by shot, with every cut revealing a little bit more. It’s pure visual storytelling. We relied heavily on what Sam had done with the previs team from The Third Floor to tell that story but it was great to be part of the lighting design and what we hid and revealed with fog. It was a great virtual cinematography challenge, and not often in VFX do you get to be so immersed in the visual storytelling.”

Oz in the News 4.25.13

SantaClaus_wire-4.jpg7493ba44-66bc-4055-a9a1-3814da1c9052LargerNew Holiday Film Inspired By L. Frank Baum Book  Rubicon Group Holding’s RGH Entertainment has commenced production on Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, an animated movie that is set to be released in stereoscopic 3D next year. Based on the book penned by L. Frank Baum, who created The Wizard of Oz, Life and Adventures of Santa Claus focuses on Father Christmas during his youth. The global rights for the feature will be presented by RGH at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It will hit theaters around the world during the 2014 holiday season. RGH recently co-produced its first feature film, Postman Pat: The Movie, with DreamWorks Classics.

The Wizard of Oz begins North American tour in Las Vegas Sept. 10 The Emerald City is about to pay Sin City a visit. It happens on Sept. 10 when the North American tour of The Wizard of Oz begins at the spectacular new Smith Centre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Following its Vegas run, the show will play many blue-chip venues across the United States, including the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, the Ordway in St. Paul and the Oriental in Chicago.

ZooNation to Premiere Groove on Down the Road, Hip-Hop Version of “Wizard of Oz,” in London  Written and directed by Kate Prince, who founded the company in 2002, it relocates The Wizard of Oz story to a fantastical urban world, telling the story of Dorothy and her adventures with Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion on their journey to Oz. The audience join Dorothy, complete with ruby sneakers, and friends in this hip-hop dance production as they follow the yellow brick road in a quest to find happiness and family. It will include music from the 1978 film “The Wiz,” re-mixed with current hits by DJ Walde. The cast is made up of young dancers from across the U.K., all under the age of 19, showcasing the talent of ZooNation’s next generation of dancers. The role of Dorothy will be shared by two 11-year old dancers, Arizona Snow and Portia Oti.

Oz in the News 4.16.13

l-frank-baumFollowing The Yellow Brick Road Back To The Origins Of ‘Oz’  “L. Frank Baum later explained that in Tick Tock of Oz, the seventh Oz book, Toto was actually asked why he never talked in Oz,” Hearn says. “And he said he had nothing to say. Of course, Oz is a place where animals talk — the Cowardly Lion has no problem speaking. You know, it’s also possible that Toto was born in America, and dogs in America don’t talk.”

Yip Harburg: the man behind the Munchkins  Harburg was an atheist who believed in taking ones rightful pleasures on earth, and did not give credence to the concept of going to heaven. However, if he were mistaken on that matter, there can be no doubt that he would now be taking some satisfaction at the damage which the laughter of his chorus of munchkins has recently inflicted on that absurd artificial halo, erected by the establishment above the most wicked western witch of our recent history.

Family Guy Turns Classic Wizard of Oz Song Into Vulgar Tune About ‘Canadian Nudie Bars’  It appears that even the most classic kids movie of all time isn’t sacred to Seth MacFarlane and the gang at Fox’s Family Guy. Sunday’s episode began with a fantasy sequence featuring Peter Griffin and his neighbors going to a “Canadian Nudie Bar” with Glenn Quagmire leading them in a vulgar rendition of “The Merry Old Land of Oz” from “The Wizard of Oz”.  “Would they even dye their pubes to match my hair?” sang Griffin. And people wonder why the society is crumbling.

Oz in the News 4.14.13

article-2308799-13E49E83000005DC-872_306x423Lloyd Webber’s Ding Dong! royalties: Composer is earning money from Wizard of Oz song downloads that anti-Thatcher activists are trying to get to No.1  Lord Lloyd-Webber, the prominent Conservative and admirer of Baroness Thatcher, is inadvertently profiting from a campaign to get Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead to the top of the charts. The composer, who will attend Mrs Thatcher’s funeral this week, is gaining royalties from downloads of his Wizard Of Oz stage musical version of the song that anti-Thatcher activists are trying to get to No1. And for each 99p download of the Lloyd Webber version, it is understood his company, The Really Useful Group, receives  royalties for copyright – although it is unclear how much.

Fairy Tale Review Call for Submissions: The Wizard of Oz!  The tenth anniversary issue of Fairy Tale Review, now housed at Wayne State University Press but still edited by founder Kate Bernheimer, is open to submissions for The Emerald Issue. Contributors to past issues of Fairy Tale Review include Aimee Bender, Lydia Millet, Donna Tartt, Jack Zipes, and many others. Work from Fairy Tale Review has been selected for inclusion in the O. Henry Prize Stories anthology, Best New American Voices, Best American Fantasy, and listed as “Notable” in Best American Short Stories.

Oz in the News 4.13.13

munch-m_1709530aMunchkin fury at Maggie Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead song Saddened Munchkins said it was monstrous to hijack the song — as the BBC fudged a decision whether to play it. Former Munchkin Ruth Ducini said, “Nobody deserves to be treated in such a way. When we were filming the movie no one intended it to be used in this way. I am ashamed, I really am. Why are they allowed to use the music like that? I thought British people were better than that. I don’t understand them.”

Oz in the News 4.12.13

oz01candd-4_3_r541_c540Dorothy and Co. get an edgy makeover in new ‘Oz’ comic  Featuring the art team of Rolando Neto, Glauber Matos and Ulises Grostieta, the first issue sees the witches of Oz on the hunt for the Veridian Scepter, a lost mystical weapon that’s tied to the Emerald City and the green life-force power prevalent through all the fairy-tale realms. Their search leads them to Kansas and the Gale farm, where they run into Dorothy. From there, the series will follow the traditional Wizard of Oz story and take the girl off to see the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, but not the Wizard. (There’s actually a different ruler of Emerald City here.)

Why are lawyers deciding on munchkins’ hairstyles? The Wizard of Oz and copyright  The Warner Bros film added “new aspects” to the public domain characters. If the publicity materials were not faithfully copied, and the image was recognisable as a copyrightable character from the film, then there may be copying of the original elements of the film. If the various public domain works are combined in a “new arrangement” that is an expression of the film character, then this arrangement will infringe copyright in the film. Hmmm… It strikes us that this judge may have really liked the 1939 film.

Anti-Margaret Thatcher Campaign Drives Judy Garland’s ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ Up UK’s Charts  The Official Charts Company, the industry standard charts provider for the U.K., wrote today that three versions of “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” are currently placing in the Top 200 songs chart, with Judy Garland’s recording at No. 54, Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 version at No. 146 and the Munchkins’ cover at No. 183. Combined, they would place the song at No. 40 with 2,500 in combined sales. As OCC points out, however, Judy Garland’s original will “likely… move into the Official Singles Chart Top 40 in its own right by Sunday if it maintains its current momentum.”

Witches And Wizards: A Scrapbook From The Land Of Oz  “My adventures in Oz started in the fourth grade in Ashby, Mass., in 1945. … I dressed myself up as the Wizard. I took my bathrobe and made a cape, carved out a stick with the letters OZ for my wand and made a star-like crown for my head. I stood outside in the sun and called to my mom to take my picture. There I was at age 10, ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ ”

Do you love Oz? Like to write? Here’s a writing contest for you  It is time for the 5th annual “Royal Historian of Oz” writing contest. The contest is done in conjunction with the 35th annual Oz-Stravaganza which is May 31 to June 2 in Chittenango. L. Frank Baum, author of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” was born in Chittenango on May 15, 1856. The deadline to enter the contest is May 8.

Classic memorabilia goes to auction  A collector’s dream list of memorabilia items have gone up for auction over the weekend, with some sales seeing record bids. The wares included a Munchkins Flower Pot from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which sold for $US 15,000.

IOWA’S MUNCHKIN: Paullin Sets The Record Straight  In 1938, a man pointed out an ad in show biz magazine, “He saw in there that Warner Brothers wanted 500 little people…” In a matter of weeks, Paullin was shooting on the set of the Wizard of Oz, suddenly surrounded by others his size and by stars like young Judy Garland. Four years ago, he was approached by a man he`d worked with on the set of the Wizard of Oz. The man told him his scenes had been cut from the film. “I found out then that he was right, so I had to start in telling everyone that I wasn`t in the Wizard of Oz, but a lot of them didn`t believe me.” The IMDb website still lists him in the cast under his stage name, Paul Dale, and Iowans have been more likely to believe things like that… than Paullin himself. While it seems Paullin was not in the final cut of the movie another Marshalltown native was… Ruth Smith played the role of a Munchkin Land Villager.  She died in 1985.

Oz in the News 4.7.13

bildeFrom north central Ohio to Hollywood  His name was Melzar Frances Enos, but everybody around here, unsurprisingly, called him Frank. The Tannehills were a pioneer family of Green Township, now Ashland County, where Frank was born in 1864. But he left there and chose a completely different career than his ancestors — as a stage actor, director and company manager. He took his show business name from his father — Wilson Enos. Frank had two sons, one from each of his marriages to actresses Julia Arthur and Gertrude Berkeley. The youngest, born in 1895, became a Hollywood legend — his birth name was William Berkeley Enos, but his film name was Busby Berkeley.

Stars talk to GSN about why the legend of gay icon Judy Garland endures  Lainie Kazan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Favorite Year and Beaches fame said Garland endures because ‘she was the great communicator – her pain, her joy, her talent, was there for the taking and everyone felt it. They felt that they were being sung to personally.’ Kazan also shared a personal memory of Garland: ‘I had dinner at her home, I was invited to a Christmas party that she gave. I took my husband (the late Peter Daniels) who was a wonderful pianist and she asked me if I would sing for her which I did. She said, ‘If you sing for me, I’ll sing for you.’ And she sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I don’t remember what I sang, do you believe that? I was in a fog, I was such a fan. I was so nervous that I was with her, that I was able to sit down next to her.’

Frank L. Baum – Author of “Oz, The Great and Powerful”  With Disney’s new movie, “Oz, The Great and Powerful” showing on the silver screen, I cannot think of a better subject to talk about than the author of these iconic tales of the “Magical land of Oz.” For many people who were weaned on the 1939  MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland, few realize that Baum had also written an additional thirteen books on the Land of Oz. He also penned nine other fantasy novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts (A total of 55 novels in all) plus four “Lost Novels.”

Jay Laga’aia to play The Wizard of Oz  New Zealand-born star of stage, television and screen, JAY LAGA’AIA, is today confirmed to play The Wizard of Oz in the Auckland season of WICKED – the Broadway musical blockbuster coming to New Zealand in September. Jay – known for his roles as Captain Typho in the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – has had a long and illustrious career that includes roles in television shows such as Water Rats, Play School, McLeod’s Daughters, Xena: Warrior Princess, All Saints, Home and Away and Street Legal. “To be able to come home with a show that is absolutely awe-inspiring is something that this prodigal son could only dream about. My biggest fear is not The Wizard but the amount of ticket requests from family and friends. Maybe Glinda or Elphaba could whip up a spell for me.”

Oz in the News 4.5.13

894938-logoAmerican McGee on The Wizard of Oz “We’ve looked into doing [Oz] with the technology we have today, and we had two ideas for adaptations that span two distinct genre types,” he explained. “One was a card collecting game. And then another idea was to do a more open experience, maybe an RPG because of the multiple characters. “That is the sort of the beauty of the Oz world, even to a degree more so than the Wonderland books,” he said, noting the array of genre possibilities available in a property with so many characters and environments. “So there is a huge number of characters, locations and challenges that are presented in those fictions, and I think there is an opportunity for someone to take those and build a really cool expansive world.”

KidsFEST 2013 set for May 5: Theme is ‘The Wizard of Oz’ This year’s theme is “The Wizard of Oz’’ and the event is being held in partnership with Merrimack Valley Hospital and Trinity EMS. KidsFEST, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire’s leading family friendly event, is geared toward children. This year the upper deck of the Merrimack Street parking garage will be transformed into the Emerald City, complete with a field of poppies, a hot air balloon, a yellow brick road and many more hidden surprises, according to Jennifer Connolly of the KidsFEST Committee. A Wizard of Oz Munchkin Parade will start the day’s events and replaces the KidsFEST Doll Parade. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Wizard of Oz character, while bringing a doll or teddy bear.

Way, Way Over the Rainbow  No, Yip Harburg can’t sing. All he can do is make you feel like you’re hearing one of the best-known and best-loved songs for the first time, and fall in love with it. And interestingly, by the end, he’s allowed himself to get so carried away by the song, in a way that is so touching and impressive, considering that he wrote it about 35 years already and had probably heard several thousand times.


Oz in the News 4.1.13

20130328_Wizard0001From The Land Of Oz And Proud Of It  If you’re from Kansas, or even from Kansas City, Missouri,no matter where you go in the world, someone’s going to make a crack about Dorothy, or Toto. Or how about this witty remark? “You’re not in Kansas any more, are you?” But not everyone here locally is trying to escape the legacy of The Wizard of Oz.  Jane Albright is a director of the International Wizard of Oz Club. She told KC Currents’ Susan Wilson that she became fascinated with the Oz books when she was a child, growing up in Topeka, Kansas.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Hits $200M at Foreign Box Office  Disney “Oz the Great and Powerful” blew past the $200 million threshold at the foreign box office this weekend and is about to do the same domestically. With this weekend’s $22.2 million take from 37 foreign markets, the “Wizard of Oz” prequel has taken in $214 million overseas since opening on March 8 with nearly $80 million domestically and $70 million from abroad. Its U.S. total stands at $198.2 million, so it should go past $200 million on Monday.

Battle over lucrative Wizard Of Oz  The ending of Great and Powerful leaves a lot of runway for a sequel, 20 years before Dorothy arrives on the scene, and as it did with Oz the Great and Powerful Disney will take great legal pains to avoid direct references to the 1939 film in both the sequel and the merchandising. It is handicapped because it cannot sell well-known items such as ruby slippers from the 1939 musical but it is making up for it with Oz-themed toys, cosmetics and costumes. Warners is competing with Barbie dolls, a Monopoly game, housewares, stationery and a coffee table book.

Birmingham Makeup Artist Lends His Talents to New ‘Oz’ Film  The glamour of the movies? Forget it. “The girls wearing these heavy, loopy things we made for them — they were getting bald spots the size of half-dollars on their heads from the weight of them,” he says. “They would be in tears. But they kept coming back. They wanted to be in this movie bad.”

The Wizard of Oz (iOS) review  The mobile version of the game is very true to the Facebook version, but is a significantly better experience on iPad than iPhone. On iPhone, the already quite cluttered interface is very difficult to use accurately due to the tiny size of the buttons on the screen, and picking up Munchkins to assign them to tasks by tapping and dragging them is all but impossible. This is less of a problem on the large screen of the iPad, but it significantly impacts enjoyment of the game on iPhone. While it is good that the game is accessible to iPhone as well as iPad owners, it would have perhaps been better if the game had been designed as a tablet-only title — or had some more significant interface revamps for the phone version.

Bowling Green native featured in Disney’s ‘Oz’ film  “We were a little shocked because typically extras don’t make it in the credits but his name was ‘Dancing Munchkin,’” Karen said. “It was just a lot of fun to see at the premiere.” Although Dan wasn’t a main part in the movie, his fame in the city seems to be building. Junior Tyler Wicker, a server in Perrysburg at Bar Louie was working when Dan and his wife were celebrating the movie’s premiere. “He told some of us working he was in the movie and that he was celebrating,” Wicker said. “I should have asked for a picture. My mind was blown.”

X-Play Records Original Music for ‘Wizard of Oz XXX’  A 15-year veteran of the music business, Ryder said he was “hell-bent” on creating music for “Oz” that isn’t “just a loose spin on pop songs with sexy lyrics.”  Dozens of songs were written over a three-year period and the most appropriate selections were set aside for “Not the Wizard of Oz XXX,” he said. “We cast this movie with singers in mind.… naked singers but singers nonetheless,” Ryder added.  “If you did not sing well you had next to zero chance of getting cast.”