Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz

I watched this new DVD for the first time late last week, and let me tell you, I was actually pretty impressed. Don't let the awful packaging put you off, this is a decent package of an old Japanese science fiction cartoon (and, unlike both the back of the box and the theme song, there is no mutant dog named Talk-Talk; he's still just plain old Toto).

The story starts off in the old familiar way: Dorothy, Toto, and their robot Chopper are whisked off in a rocket through a black hole to the distant galaxy of Oz. There, they meet Plantman, who has no brains, and Lionman, who needs courage; Chopper also confesses that he wants a heart. They set off to the Emerald City (a floating city in the sky) to meet the Wizard and ask for their desires. From there, however, it goes in its own direction, as they discover early on that the Wizard is a humbug, and a few other things as well. From there, this goes completely in a different direction from The Wizard of Oz, and it ends up being even more Japanese than it did before. Needless to say, everyone gets what they want, but the Emerald City is nearly destroyed before it all ends.

Since some places are already charging as little as a dollar for this, you may very well want to seek this out and get it. It won't make you forget the book or the famous movie version, but it will be worth the money and time — which the packaging also got wrong! It says it runs for about fifty minutes, but it's more like seventy-five.

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