Emerald City Episode 1 and 2: Finally a Trans Ozma on American TV

It’s been six months since my last blog post, where I talked about my excitement and trepidation wondering how NBC was going to handle the character of Tip in their mini-series, “Emerald City,” and now I have my answer.

Overall I’m rather pleased with the way they took the character. Though I do have some qualms.

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Tip: the Rose of the Emerald City

I admit, I was not too interested in NBC’s “Emerald City,” miniseries project when the first few glimpses of it appeared online. It looks to be more “Game of Thrones,” or “Lord of the Rings,” than anything Ozzy. But yesterday several teaser posters were released to public through the website e-online. And one of those more than piqued my interest.

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The NBC teaser poster for Tip, a brown skinned youth in a purple shirt and vest, wrapped in vines.

 

Tip, as fans of the books will know is the name Ozma was given in her cursed form as a boy. She is being portrayed here by Jordan Loughran, a British actress who has previously done work for the Disney Channel. Now if it was up to me, I wouldn’t cast a cis woman in the role of Tip, but the fact that they did so means it’s almost certain that they intend to reveal her as Ozma. That is something I am very much looking forward to. There has yet to be a major American studio project that keeps this, to me personally, very important part of the Oz mythos intact. So while I still have reservations about this series, I am very interested to see how they handle Tip/Ozma.

There was another thing I noticed about this poster; it very much reminds me of the first few seconds of the intro theme of the 70s anime “Rose of Versailles,” where the the camera pans up on the body of the main character Oscar as she is entwined in thorns. Now it might just be coincidence, but Oscar, in the story, is a woman who was raised from birth as if she was a boy, and part of her journey is coming to connect with her femininity. It certainly wouldn’t be the first anime homage on network television.

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A compilation of the full shot of Oscar in the Rose of Versailles intro. Thorns wrapped around woman’s silhouette coloured in red

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Silver Surfer #1 comic review

So what is a review of the newest Silver Surfer comic doing on an Oz blog? Well read on.

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Silver Surfer #1 
Written by Dan Slott and Mike Allerd
Art and cover by Mike Allerd and Laura Allerd

 

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My thoughts on Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

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On Thursday at 3:00 took in the animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (not to be confused with the Legends of Oz comic series which is cowboy themed) at the Scotiabank theatre in West Edmonton Mall, this was one of the last first run theatre showings in my area.

As of this writing the film has recuperated less than 1/10th of it’s 70 million dollar budget, money raised from private investors that went to hiring top notch talent like Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, and Kelsey Grammar. In spite of it’s failure at the box office, and the production troubles that might be partly responsible, the film is quite charming and worth a watch.

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The music video that started me on Oz — My Oz History Part 1

I just typed up an e-mail discussing a potential panel for the upcoming Winkie Con, in which did two things, discussed my history with Oz and expressed a desire to revive this blog and, start using it. Well I just typed up some prime blog material didn’t I? Oddly enough the Road to Oz, started in another fandom altogether.

I am a fan of animation, and after high school I was particularly interested in Japanese animation, otherwise known as anime, and being somewhat of an aspiring storyteller myself I quickly got interested in a fan art form called Anime Music Videos, where one edits footage from one or more anime together with a song, sometimes creating completely original storylines.

I have made several music videos myself, sadly as I was hosting most of them on a domain I long since let expire only my most mediocre examples can now be found (they’re on an old youtube account, I’m not going to divulge the name of).

It was another editor’s video, one that combined a song from Wicked with the anime Mahou Sensei Negima, that first got me interested in Wicked, which lead to me reading Baum’s original books.

I had some interest in Oz before hand but this was my first, unusual step on the Rainbow Road to Oz.

 

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An interesting way to view the 1910 film.

Most of the hardcore Oz fans are familiar the the various Oz Silent films that have been produced, three by Baum himself, one infamously by his son, and of course the first effort (not counting the Fairylogue and Raido Plays film scenes), the 1910 film.

Recently the Cheapsake, and internet reviewer who delights in examining the plethora of legal free entertainment on the internet to discover it’s hidden gems and worst duds, teamed up the Block Buster Chick another internet reviewer and big fan of the 1939 Judy Garland Wizard of Oz film to take a look at that first silent film.

What I think you will find is a delightful look at the story from fresh eyes of people who are not die hard L Frank Baum fans, but people who perhaps enjoy his most well known story but are still able to look at this film and take it on it’s own merits.

The commentary may be insightful, and it should provide at some laughs aswell.

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The Magic Knights of Oz

I’ve been thinking lately about a little fantasy anime and manga called Magic Knight Rayearth. Created by an all female manga circle, Clamp, the series involves three Japanese junior high girls who are transported to a magical country on the verge of destruction. This seems like a fairly generic set-up taken on face value, after all stories with young children visiting fantastical worlds are a dime a dozen. Believe me when I say, however, that the series has hidden depths and one hell of a twist ending; it also seems to have some Oz inspiration, most notably in the character of Princess Emeraude.

A picture of Princess Emeraude.

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