Sunday, May 24, 2015

Today's Oz Video Review

Yes, I can do more on this blog than find comics! Things have been hectic lately, however, so I've been putting stuff aside until I can devote b-more time to them (so yes, some comic book overviews, book reviews, and Jeopardy! clues are on the way). But I had a little spare time last night, and thought I'd watch one of my most recent video acquisitions, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Brick Road. Yes, this is a compilation of two episodes of Strawberry Shortcake's eponymous cartoon series (and this is the 2003 reboot, not the current CGI version of the show). It's a pretty straightforward kiddified adaptation of the book, and kudos to Strawb and her writers for having her read the story from the book, and even giving L. Frank Baum a name check (even correctly pronounced!). Strawb and Pupcake are whisked off to Oz, of course, where they knock the witch out of the shoes and into her dungeon. The story pretty much progresses as normal from there for a while, with Pupcake providing some bridging narration to move things along (hey, it's only a half-hour cartoon). Once they get close to the Emerald City, however, the witch, having gotten out of her dungeon, comes after them, and whisks the crew to an old forest. More adventures, and a clever and original way to defeat the witch before everyone gets back to the Emerald City (which looks really nice and Ozzy, I will add, although with a few too many yellow highlights). Glinda comes in, Strawb clicks her heels, and we're done — with the first half! It turns out there is an original sequel story in here as well, about glowing gemberries that are disappearing. Glinda sends a dragonfly to fetch Strawb and bring her back to Oz to help with the problem.

It's all very cute and girly (the DVD even comes in a bright neon pink case), and it actually has some very positive Girl Power messages. I am, therefore, clearly not the demographic they're marketing this towards! But it was a harmless, fun version of Oz and certainly not the worst way I've spent an hour.

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