The World of Oz seems to be making a big resurgence recently and I thought I would check out this version of the classic story which was a two part mini series aired not so long ago on non British television.
The story of Oz is a familiar one and we all know it. Here though we see Dorothy Gale as a grown woman, although very naive about the world, she has become a children’s writer and has been given the chance to have her stories turned into a movie. She moves to New York from Kansas and quickly discovers that her books are in fact repressed memories from her childhood and everything she thinks her fictional character experienced was all real.
Although the part of Dorothy Gale is the main one, the actor playing her isn’t well known at all. Paulie Rojas is reasonably new on the scene as are many of the actors in this mini series. There are however, some very notable thespians in the castlist. Sean Astin plays Frack, a mischievous little character. Astin’s Lord of the Rings hobbit friend Billy Boyd plays the part of Nick Chopper, a normal guy who falls for Dorothy in New York and helps her in her fight against the evil Wicked Witch of the West, who is very well portrayed here by Eliza Swensen who also wrote the music for the show and produced it. The biggest names are Christopher Loyd who plays the small part of The Wizard Of Oz, there isn’t much screen time for him, Mia Sara as head changing Princess Langwidere and the legendary horror actor Jeffrey Combs as Frank.
I liked the concept for this, but in reality it was pretty poor quality and considering the cast, should have been much better. Mia Sara was probably the best thing in it and she played her part very well and added the right amount of humour to the plot as the downtrodden Langwidere under the influence of the Wicked Witch of the West. I would say it can be put in a pile alongside the likes of Merlin starring Sam Neill, although that was better than this, but The Witches of Oz and its mediocre special effects can be very much overlooked if you see it advertised anywhere. I guess child fans of the books would like to see this version, but I think you’re better off sticking to the 1939 version of the story with Judy Garland.
I was overall disappointed, and can therefore only give this a paultry 4/10, but if you’re interested, here is the trailer…