Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oz Mythbusters: Horses in Oz

Despite alot of non-Baum Oz books and other productions stating that there horses are a common animal in the land of Oz, there technically aren't any native examples of the genus Equus there. The only one in the original books is the Sawhorse, which was a regular wooden sawhorse that was born from the Powder of Life by Ozma(then "Tip"). Like most of the other ianimate objects brought to life in Oz like the Patchwork Girl and Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse doesn't need to eat or sleep. He's also the official steed for Ozma's royal carriage. Whether there were any other carriages in Oz prior to that is never explained, and if so, what creatures would be used for them.

Two other horse visitors have actually gone to Oz though. In the fourth book, Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz, Dorothy's cousin Zeb accompanied her and the Wizard back to Oz, along with Zeb's horse Jim. Once in Oz, Jim found he could talk like the other animals, and lost a race to the Sawhorse. Zeb and Jim eventually went back to their farm in California. The other visitor is Hank the mule who came with his friend Betsy Bobbin to Oz in the eight book, Tik-Tok Of Oz. Unlike Jim though, Hank stayed in Oz as a permanent resident with Betsy. As a mule, Hank is technically half-horse/half-donkey, but meaning there aren't any other full-blooded horses in Oz.

Numerous interpretations of the Oz series have placed horses as regular animals in the fairyland. The most famous one is the "horse of a different color" from the 1939 WOZ movie. Other examples include the Lost In Oz TV pilot which had living suits of armor on horseback. Oz-related books like The Wicked Years series had horses as part of everday life, whether they were animals or "Animals"(talking animals). Still, it's strange that despite there being lions, tigers, and bears in this marvelous land, that horse aren't a regular part of the wild kingdom of Oz.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oz Video Of The Month: Ozma Of Oz-A Tale In Time

The Raleigh Little Theatre in North Carolina put on a stage show version of Ozma Of Oz in 2008 titled Ozma Of Oz-A Tale In Time. In this adaptation, Dorothy is now a teenager, and her wheelchair-bound Uncle Henry has a more active part in the story. Plus, Billina the hen is now Bill the rooster, and apparently several feet taller than normal. This video shows some scenes from the play, and behind the scenes features.

Oz Mythbusters: Oz, the Great and...

This is the first of a new series of short segments were we go over some of the popular misconceptions in Oz, including in the books, movies, and other media. We'll start on one of the most common examples.

When Dorothy first encounters the Wizard in the original WOZ book, she sees him as a giant floating head that proclaims himself as "Oz, the Great and Terrible". Is happens each time he meets the rest of Dorothy's three companions one after the other, even though he takes on different forms in each visit. However, in the 1939 WOZ movie, the Wizard proclaims himself as "Oz, the Great and Powerful". This became the standard for the Wizard's intro from that point on.

Most musical versions of WOZ have the Powerful boast in it, although the Wicked musical does have the Wizard first introduced as Terrible. There is even the upcoming, Oz, The Great And Powerful live-action movie that Disney is planning which is supposed to be a prequal to WOZ. So just try to keep in mind that Oscar Diggs was always a more terrible wizard than powerful one. Oh, and a certain somepony should totally be labeled that too...