Category Archives: Oz in Print

Oz in the News 3.17.17

Morpurgo pens Wizard of Oz retelling for HarperCollins Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz tells the story of L Frank Baum’s original tale through the eyes of Toto, Dorothy’s trusted canine companion. Morpurgo said: “The Wizard of Oz is a truly wonderful and magical tale, but I always felt that there was one character who had little part to play in the story. Dorothy we know and love, but her dog Toto does little more than accompany her on her adventures. We never know what he thinks of all that is going on – he just gets carried around a lot. Why not tell the story again, but through Toto’s eyes! Our hope is that through Toto, many thousands of children, and grown-up children too, will come to enjoy L Frank Baum’s wonderful Wizard of Oz again.” Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz will publish on 7th September 2017 in full-colour hardback, with simultaneous publication in the UK and US, as well as in e-book and audiobook formats. Publication will coincide with the opening of Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories, a free exhibition at the V & A Museum of Childhood which celebrates Morpurgo’s life and writing. The exhibition moves from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, where it is currently on display, and will open on 22nd July 2017 until 25th February 2018.

Oz like you’ve never seen it before Long overshadowed by the immensely popular 1939 remake, the rarely seen silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) will be screened one time only on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton. The program, which will include an earlier short Oz film also based on stories and characters of author L. Frank Baum, will be accompanied by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film musician. Accompanist Jeff Rapsis specializes in creating music that bridges the gap between an older film and the expectations of today’s audiences. Using a digital synthesizer that recreates the texture of a full orchestra, he improvises scores in real time as a movie unfolds, so that the music for no two screenings is the same. “It’s kind of a high wire act, but it helps create an emotional energy that’s part of the silent film experience,” Rapsis said. “It’s easier to be in tune with the emotional line of the movie and the audience’s reaction when I’m able to follow what’s on screen, rather than be buried in sheet music,” he said. The silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) and other Oz-related silent films will be shown on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H. Admission is free; a donation of $5 per person is suggested to help defray expenses. For more info, visit or call (603) 654-3456. For more info on the music, visit


Oz in the News 3.7.17

Wizard of Oz Collection in Grand Island, Nebraska Diane miller grew up in St. Edward, Nebraska and like many of us, she was a little spooked by some of the characters in the Wizard of Oz. She remembers crawling up in her dad’s lap when she was frightened. But, even though the movie was a little scary for young Diane, there was just something about it that she grew to love. Diane has gathered about as many different varieties of this famous foursomes as one could possibly imagine. From Play-Doh dolls to potato heads, the Kewpie dolls to pewter figurines. This long-time elementary school teacher says she has always appreciated what the movie stands for. Two thousand items later, Diane has assembled an incredible collection of wizard of oz memorabilia. From lunch boxes to puzzles to snow globes to glowing Emerald cities.

Sale 609: The Gary Dollar Collection of the Wizard of Oz Nearly 500 lots of captivating children’s books, rare illustrated works, original art, finely bound books and handsome sets, fine press books, miniature books, and more. The auction is headlined by The Gary Dollar Collection of the Wizard of Oz, gathered by Mr. Dollar over several decades, and featuring the major Oz works by L. Frank Baum and his successors, plus non-Oz works by Oz authors and illustrators, original artwork, and more, with many rarities.

Oz in the News 3.3.17


‘Wizard of Oz’ Universe-Set Horror Movie in the Works at New Line New Line is in early development on a horror film set in the iconic world of L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The studio, a division of Warner Bros., has bought an untitled pitch by screenwriter Mike Van Waes. The project isn’t set up with a producer yet. Van Waes sold his Black List script “Hammerspace” to Warner Bros. last year. The story focuses on a terminally-ill teenager looking for answers about his missing father who finds a key that unlocks an opening to an alternate animated dimension. Van Waes also set up a movie version of his project “Peeves” at Fox Animation last year, with Temple Hill producing. 

The House Theatre of Chicago Announces the Return of THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE WIZARD OF OZ A twister lands our teenage Dorothy and her house in Munchkinland. Right on top of a wicked witch. Her phone won’t work, her dog is scared, and she’s desperate to get home to what little family she has left. But the town’s residents are gleefully celebrating Dorothy’s powers as the fabled Witch Slayer. When Glinda and the munchkins can’t convince her to stick around and be their new hero, they send her off on the road of yellow brick wearing magical boots soaked in the red blood of the slain witch. A favor from the fabled all-powerful Wizard will be her only chance to get out of Oz.

See the trailer for Danielle Paige’s The End of Oz — and read an excerpt Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series is finally coming to a close with The End of Ozout March 14. When last we saw her, Amy Gumm had finally defeated Dorothy, and she and the last remaining members of Revolutionary Order of the Wicked were gearing up to rebuild Oz. But they’re shocked to find out that one of their own has betrayed them — and they might not have had the successful victory over Dorothy they thought they did. EW is excited to reveal the trailer for The End of Oz, along with an exclusive sneak peek at the first two chapters.

Oz in the News 1.13.17


Wonderful, Marvelous, Hungry: 7 characters from the Oz books we want in Emerald City There is a great wealth of marvelous characters from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books (all 14 of them!) that would fit right in on Emerald City, many of which may be too outlandish, but at least a couple of which have already been cast, or hinted at. Although this list may end up making me look very wise or very foolish, it’s with great pleasure that I pull back the curtain and let you in on these seven great Oz characters that will hopefully make their way to the small screen this season on Emerald City.

Oz in the News 1.3.17

EMERALD CITY -- "The Beast Forever" Episode 101-- Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Jackson Cohen as Lucas, Adria Arjona as Dorothy -- (Photo by: Rico Torres/NBC)

EMERALD CITY — “The Beast Forever” Episode 101– Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Jackson Cohen as Lucas, Adria Arjona as Dorothy — (Photo by: Rico Torres/NBC)

Emerald City: Everything You Need to Know About NBC’s Take on The Wizard of Oz Calling Emerald City ambitious is a bit like calling a tornado a rain storm; Singh aimed to use as little CGI as possible to capture the “original magic” in part through the use of soaring, fanciful scenery. That meant shooting on locations that required going to half of Europe — including a remote national park in Croatia, 15th Century castles in Hungary and the Park Güell in Barcelona. It looks as grand and cinematic as it sounds. Singh is known for his elaborate, gorgeous visuals and Emerald City continues that reputation. Landscape shots make the series feel otherworldly; interior shots inside castles and temples sing with vibrancy and ruthless attention to detail.

Oz in the News 12.16.16


New book offers fond memories of N.C.’s Oz “Most theme park souvenir maps were designed to help people navigate their way around the property, but the Land of Oz map was intended to be more graphically attractive than functional,” Hollis writes. “It is by no means drawn to scale. It also shows things that were not usually part of the experience and leaves out other things that were. But if readers so desire, they can use it as they proceed through the following pages and see if they can make sense out of it.” The Oz idea was conceived in 1966, by North Carolina tourism moguls Grover, Harry and Spencer Robbins — men who wanted to utilize their new ski facilities atop Beech Mountain during the summer. They brought in associate Jack Pentes, who created the “Wizard of Oz” theme, planned and developed the park. Still, the park did not quite resemble the famous movie or the Oz as depicted in L. Frank Baum’s book. Instead, Pentes interpreted his own vision of Oz — with a comical Wicked Witch and a wizard who did not turn out to be a fake.

Oz in the News 10.12.16


New WIZARD OF OZ Prequel In Development, Based On HOW THE WIZARD CAME TO OZ RAMstar Studios has announced that they planning a Wizard of Oz prequel film, based on the 1991 novelization “How the Wizard Came To Oz”, by author Donald Abbot, who is also penning the film’s script. The film will be directed by Cole S. McKay, who has done work on films such as Cloverfield and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Similar to the 2013 Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful, the film will explore how circus stuntman Oscar Diggs was whisked away to the land of Oz and how he became the “wizard” encountered by Dorothy in the famous story, The Wizard of Oz. You can check out a plot synopsis below, along with a few promotional posters and an interview with Abbot discussing the film! The film is fully funded with a budget of $35M. They’re currently working on casting and have reached out to Nathan Fillion to take up the role of the Wizard. Filming locations for How The Wizard Came to Oz currently include Los Angeles and Australia.

Take pride in our literary history Rummaging around our iPad the other day, I stumbled across a site for the 10th Annual Wamego “Oztoberfest Festival.” Wamego is a remote town in Kansas about the size of Zeeland. The only connection to the timeless “Wizard of Oz” story seems to be its location in tornado alley. It was a tornado, you recall, that doinked Dorothy on the head with flying debris, launching her on a fantasmical journey to the Land of Oz. It apparently doesn’t take much of a connection to create a festival. Where the story was actually penned is a detail lost to history, but it is no stretch of the imagination to believe that inspiration was drawn every bit as much, if not more, from Macatawa as from Chicago. Picture the exotic castle and grounds at Castle Park, the wooden boardwalks resembling yellow brick roads, the majestic hotels at the mouth of the harbor, the dense and mysterious Waukazoo Woods, and the Jenison Amusement Park where balloon flights were a weekly attraction. Baum’s time in Macatawa and Holland was full of fodder for the author’s imagination.