Friday, May 28, 2010

New Tin Woodman trailer

Hash Inc. recently posted this new trailer for their completed CGI-animates version of Tin Woodman Of Oz.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wizard Of Oz in 4-D

Madame Tuessaunds in NewYork is going to have a special Wizard Of Oz exhibition called The Wizard Of Oz: 4-D Experience this summer to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the 1939 movie.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wicked book review

The crew from Spine Breakers recently did this review of the Wicked book by Gregory Maquire.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Emeralds Influences: Dorothy

The concept of a young girl being taken from her own world and thrown into a realm of fantasy and adventure is hardly a new idea, least of all in anime. If its not magical girls coming to Earth from Heaven or somewhere, then its the reverse of having girls from modern day Earth being sent to someplace like Wonderland. Once they're there, they usually do quite alot of growing up by becoming more responsible, usually because they were the key figure in some epic struggle of good vs. evil. Alot of these characters were influential to me when I was shaping my version of Dorothy, who is kinda the original "girl lost in space and time". One of the main ones was Hitomi from Vision Of Escaflowne. Hitomi is a highschool girl with the power to see people's fortune with tarot cards, and sometimes gets visions that warn her of impending danger(kinda like Spider-Sense). She gets sent to the world of Gaea which is a missing moon from Earth, and helps the handsome young prince Van in his struggle to liberate Gaea from the ruthless Zaibach empire. Hitomi uses her clairvoyant abilities to help Van and his friends, while dueling with her feelings for Van and the handsome knight Allen. The TV series has alot in common with Oz, including an enigmatic wizard/ruler, a lion man, and a young maiden who was unknowingly transformed into a boy. There was a movie remake too titled Escaflowne that remade Hitomi into a suicidal girl who comes to terms with her existence after her trip ot Gaea, where she's seen as a goddess.Another one worth mentioning(and that most Americans are familiar with)is Kagome from Inu-Yasha. Kagome is the modern day reincarnation of a priestess from fuedal Japan, of which she ends up going back to the past via a time-travelling well that only works for her, and meets up with a half-demon dogboy. On her frequent trips to the past, Kagome becomes psychically aware of the magical energies alive during this time, particularly from the ancient Shikon Jewel. This series went on for over 100 episodes, and was recently brought back under the new title, Inu-Yasha: The Final Act, which concludes the story. A final contender is Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth who is one of three girls who are transported to the world of Cephiro, and have to become the Magic Knights in order to save the Princess Emeraude from a supposedly evil priest. Along the way, Hitomi with her friends Umi and Fuu mature as characters, and become great friends despite never knowing each other before. Once their original journey ends(without giving away any spoilers!), Hikari and Co. get sent back to Tokyo, but return for the second season where they protect Cephiro from a new threat. This is a little where I came up with the idea of Dorothy, Trot, and Betsy Bobbin becoming witches to protect Oz. There is a darker OVA remake of this anime titled simply Rayearth about a slightly older Hikaru trying to stop the forces of Cephiro from invading Earth. I could name a few other anime characters similar to Dorothy, like Chihiro from Spirited Away, but these particular three really made a big influence in my ideas for Dorothy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Video Review: Heartless-The Story Of The Tin Man

Whitestone Motion Pictures has completed their independent movie of Heartless-The Story Of The Tin Man. This short film deals with the origins of the Tin Woodman, or as he's original known, Nick Chopper.

In the movie he's simply called the woodsman. He is courting a maiden(who is revealed to be Nimmee Amee in The Tin Woodman Of Oz), and plans to marry her. The maiden's mother wants her daughter to marry a man of wealth, so she makes a deal with the Wicked Witch of the East to stop their affair. The Witch puts a curse on the axe to cut into its user. When the woodsman injures his arm, he has a master craftsmen(Ku-Klip)fit him with a new metallic arm. The woodsman eventually looses his other arm, his legs, and then his head. But when the axe finally cuts into his chest, his heart is destroyed, and the craftsman then gives him a psuedo-heart. Even though from this point, the Tin Man begins to nothing but continue chopping down trees for the house he was originally planning on building for himself and the maiden. However, he completely forgets his reasons for doing so, and ultimately rejects the maiden who pours her heart out to him. The Tin Man then rusts after getting caught out in the rain, but is released years later by Dorothy and the Scarecrow.

The movie is very well put together, and is delivered as a tragic fairy tale. A serious effort was made to make this seem like a steampunk-inspired production, with a fine set of actors and haunting soundtrack. The movie is currently available for download, with plans to put it in DVD too. The soundtrack is also available for download.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Emeralds ID tags now available

We now have a limited edition line of Emeralds ID tags in. Each one is sized 3x4 inches in plastic with a clip and features one of the original "Gang of 4" with their own personal motto. Each one is $2.00. When ordering, please indicate which one(s) you want. These are available only for a short time, so get yours now!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Review: Lost In Oz-Rise Of The Dark Wizard

The second in the Lost In Oz trilogy by Joshua Dudley takes place a few months after the original book left off.

Joshua and his other Oz tourist group are now in the Mifkets Asylum, along with Alice from Wonderland(shades of American McGee's Alice?). Tamara, Tommy, and Laura manage to get back to Oz along with Dorothy via her magic slippers. Once there, they learn that about a century has passed, and Oz has been dominated by a new evil overlord called the Dark Wizard. They ally themselves with a group of fairies lead by the mischevious Pina, who are really working for the Dark Wizard, which Dorothy discovers, but the pixies use some amnesia magic on her to make her forget. Meanwhile, to double his chances of total victory the Dark Wizard has resurrected Bastinda(the Wicked Witch of the West), and plans to find the Great Book of Records to rewrite all the great disasters of Oz into one killstroke. But he also needs to acquire the Candle of Truth in order to do this. Back on Earth, Joshua befriends Wogglebug who was sent to him by Ozma and the remaining Ozians from the original timeline. He warps back to Oz with Toto, and is introduced to Oz's heroes, including Glinda, Tattypoo, Tik-Tok, a resewn Scraps, and the new Good Witch of the West. Tamara and the others are surrounded by the Nome King and his troops, where Tamara learns that she can use dark sorcery to ward off the nome army. Bastinda summons the Jabberwocky from Wonderland to collect Dorothy and Tommy, leaving Laura behind and seemingly dead. Tamara follows them, only to learn that the Dark Wizard is really her father from Earth, who convinces her to use her newfound powers for the side of evil. Ozma informs Joshua that the Dark Wizard plans to kill both him and Tamara so he can gain both of their powers. Joshua leaves to confront Tamara about this, who transports them to the Dark Wizard. Bastinda in the meantime gets the magic slippers from Dorothy, which end up to turning her into ashes. Tamara them reveals that she was only faking being evil to learn the Dark Wizard's plan, and they manage to use the Candle of Truth to send them back to Earth just before they first arrived in Oz. Alive and well, things seem okay, but a whole bunch of tornados show up like they did at the beginning of the first book.

This book had a little more of an original adventure than the first one, and not just an alternate walkthrough of The Wizard Of Oz. Although there's a few things that were left out, like how realms like Wonderland are connected, plus the regular characters(both original and from Oz)don't seem to have room to develop very much. It's like we're introduced to Gloma(the new Witch of the West)but given no backstory on her, plus one of the original four characters from the first book just gets killed off because she didn't have much anything else to do in the story. Anyway, if the first volume peaked your interest, then you'll probably dig this one too. This leads into the upcoming third and final book, Temple Of The Deadly Desert. Plans are also in the works to do a Lost In Oz comic series too.