Monday, March 22, 2010

When Dorothy Met Alice

For the longest time, people have been fascinated with the concept of crossing over Oz with Wonderland. This has been the basis for comics, novels, plus several pieces of fan-art and fan-fiction. One of which is an actual musical play titled Dorothy Meets Alice(or The Wizard Of Wonderland)created by Joseph Robinette and Karl Jurman. In it, the young boy Judson is pulled into the joint worlds of Oz and Wonderland to do a book report on both of them, although the Red Queen and Wicked Witch team up to get their respected enemies. This has been done by children's theatre companies and performed at numerous schools. Alice herself had a small part in the book series, Lost In Oz, as well as the upcoming mini-series by Joshua Patrick where group of teenagers get stuck in Oz, are sent back, locked in an asylum, and meet Alice plus some other Wonderland characters beneath the asylum. Now in the field of comics and graphic novels, Oz and Wonderland have had the most frequent crossovers. The first big one was a Captain Carrot 3-issue mini-series called The Oz-Wonderland War. Captain Carrot is a funny animal superhero who along with his team of the Zoo Crew try to stop the Nome King from taking over Wonderland and freeing Oz from his control. The character designs of the characters from both titles are very close to how the were originally illustrated, and makes for an enjoyable read. A recent series is The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles where a slightly older Alice and Dorothy are roomies in Chicago(along with some other storybook girls)and a new Wicked Witch is trying to take over Oz by bringing the Jabberwocky to their world through Earth. This comic has spawned a team-up series with Jack Pumpkinhead and Cheshire Cat, plus an upcoming prequal mini-series. A comic that actually spinned off from an Oz series was Wonderland from Arrow Comics that featured the grown up Dorothy from the Oz/Dark Oz series and thrust into a version of Wonderland with a teenage Alice and her team of rebel friends.A more controversial crossover is in the graphic novel Lost Girls by legendary author Alan Moore. In it, Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy from Peter Pan all meet up for the first time as adults at an Austrian hotel just before WWI, and go over their experiences in fantasy lands which actually is alot more sexually revealing. This book is very much not for younger readers, but worth looking up. Another meeting of all three of these characters is in the webcomic Cheshire Crossing where all three girls are sent to an institution in England and each imbark on journeys to their seperate worlds which are revealed to be real. This leads to some strange pairings like Captain Hook courting the Wicked Witch. Even though the webcomic is currently incomplete, it is very interesting and incorporates elements from various sources including the Disney adaptations. Other productions of interest are the Alice video game(of which a sequal is in the works)by American McGee who was working on one based on Oz but was cancelled due to financial problems, even though some American McGee's Oz action figures were released. McGee was also slated to write the script for an Oz movie trilogy by Jerry Bruckheimer, but that project has currently fallen through. Another production worth comparing is the Alice mini-series on Syfy that was directed by Nick Willing who also did the Tin Man series too(as well as the 1999 Alice In Wonderland TV movie). Both of which take the main characters in modern day and send them to a somewhat steampunk magical world. It's a fair bet that we have not seen the last of Alice and Dorothy's pairings, because "have need for fan crossover, will travel"! Plus, with the recent revival of Wonderland in the new Disney movie, and a nearly infinite number of Oz movies in development, its a concept of fan-shipping that won't end anytime soon.

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