Sunday, February 09, 2020

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Scoodlers

The title alone intrigues, as the Scoodlers are a group of not-very-pleasant characters from The Road to Oz who want to turn Dorothy and her friends into soup! So, let's see how Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz handles them!

The Wizard has taken Dorothy and the boys out on a balloon ride, but an Ork attacks, knocking Tin Man out. Some quick thinking and an umbrella keep him from crashing, but now he's trapped in a barren wasteland all alone. He barely survives an encounter with some sort of rock creature, and then he meets the Scoodlers. They have two faces (one happy, one angry) on their reversible, removable heads. They do not appreciate an intruder in their territory, so they tie him up and carry him off. The balloon, meanwhile, lands in a tree, and Toto picks up the scent. In the Scoodler village, the chef decides the Tin Man would make an excellent soup pot, but the Tin Man pulls a shiny new soup pot out of his chest, as well as a peach basket that he hangs up and uses one Scoodler's head to demonstrate how to play basketball. This amuses them, but the Queen then shows up and has him locked up. By this time, Dorothy, the Wizard, and the rest have also encountered the Scoodlers, and they are captured as well. An anti-magic field around the village means the Ruby Slippers don't work, so Toto and the Lion dig themselves out of the cell. The Tin Man, in a separate cell, is about to be cut up to make a soup pot, but Dorothy and the Wizard figure out that the Queen has the biggest head, and thus that is how she became the Queen. All they need is a bigger head! A quick paint job turns the balloon into a giant head, and the Wizard's amplified voice convinces them to let the Tin Man go. But the paint keeps dripping off, and their ruse is discovered. A swift kick from the Tin Man causes the Queen's head to go flying, however, and he manages to grab the rope Dorothy drops from the balloon. Are they safe? Not quite yet! The Ork is back! But when he spots the face on the balloon, he flies off, scared.

This may be the best use of characters from the books the show has done so far. They are very much like they are originally portrayed there, but the show's writers have put their own creative twist on them to fit the show and the position their version of the characters are in. Using Scoodler heads as basketballs is inspired, even if it doesn't actually result in much. Fortunately, the Scoodlers are not as scary here as they are in the book (they don't want to turn Dorothy and her friends into soup, fortunately), as this show is aimed at very young children. This may not be a crucial episode, but f\at least from this long-time Oz fan's point of view, it is very satisfying.

No comments: