Monday, December 17, 2018

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: A Cut Above the Rest

While showing the gang how to play marbles, Dorothy unleashes Ozma's chaos stone, which, well, cause a lot of chaos! While recovering them, Ozma tells Dorothy that she's hosting a royal ball. Never having been to a ball, Dorothy is worried. Plus, she has to wear something. So, all this happens:

(Yes, I'm cheating by including this clip. Plus, more Patchwork Girl!) Dorothy and the dress keep spinning around, many times on her head, and causing chaos, and both Dorothy and the Patchwork Girl are afraid they've ruined the whole event. Things look especially worrisome when events throw Baroness Bunchausen and Duchess Doofus together, but they end up bonding over the cheese bread their encounter creates. The chaos stones are discovered, Dorothy ditches the dress and acts like her regular self (good thing she had her gingham on underneath!), and Frank and Lyman slink away.

This was a fun one, in that we see a bunch of people from around Oz, and get hints of what else they've mined from the books, even if Baroness Bunchausen of Bunbury isn't an actual bun like she would have been in The Emerald City of Oz. And King Glum of Merryland? Inspired! Despite the dress and the chaos stones, Dorothy's sweet self wins out in the end, and helps improve relations in Oz as well. Which is exactly what we'd expect from any version of Dorothy, right?


Erica Olivera said...

For the past couple of days, I've been watching episodes after chewing a CBD gummy. I'm more into them (as in making fewer jokes and inappropriate sexual references). Who knew?🤣

ramapith said...

I notice the Patchwork Girl's name, or nickname, is "Patchy."

As much as I love this series, the specific type of changes that have been made to the Patchwork Girl—less free-spirited and mischievous than in Baum, less athletic and now suddenly tying her character to the subject of fashion—seem like a very deliberate effort to turn a tomboy character into a girly girl, maybe even with less democratic markets in mind.

It's so peculiar; they've done so much else right, and I still like her design and voice here.

Eric said...

ramapith, I understand where you're coming from. But there is so much else different about this show that I've decided just to enjoy it on its own merits, and not worry about how closely they are staying to the books. Hey, at least they're taking inspiration from the books, unlike the 1990 DIC cartoon! No, this isnt' the Scraps of the books. But Patchy is a great character in her own right, and I am really enjoying her. At least they got closer with her than they did the Woozy, or turn her into an embarrassing stereotype like with Tik-Tok.

ramapith said...

Oh, don't get me wrong—I like SO MUCH about this series. The idea that—in essence—an Oz comedy show, aimed at very young children, should have so much actual Baum and even Thompson lore in it is amazing in 2018. I'm not mad that Sir Hokus or HR Woggle-Bug TE or the Hungry Tiger or even Ozma aren't 100% their former selves; I'm thrilled they're here at all, and characterized memorably, in a position to appeal to kids who might not otherwise see any version of them. (And it's nice to find the Wogglebug wearing plaid and talking like a Wagnerian.)

I think I take special issue only with Scraps, and for that matter General Jinjur's army, insofar as the changes to them feel deliberately intended to make them into more conventional "girly" stereotypes—almost as if some staffer went in with an agenda. Scraps isn't a feisty proto-Pippi Longstocking... she's a dainty seamstress. Jinjur's All-Female Army aren't really dangerous... they dance instead of fighting, almost as if it's a feature of their femininity.

(Here I should note that I'm not saying I mind traditional girly-girl characters per se. It just bothers me to see tomboyish, liberated characters transformed into them.)