Lost in Oz, Amazon’s new cartoon series, premieres August 4, 2017 on Amazon Prime. This is a modern day reboot of the Oz story, based on the popular series of books by L. Frank Baum.
Young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto are transported to a weirdly futuristic version of Oz. There are one hundred magical elements in Oz, and Dorothy must find one of each in order to find her way home.
For every good quest, the champion must have a trusted team to accompany her. Dorothy’s team consists of her, Toto, West, Ojo, Reigh, and Scarecrow. West is a streetwise, smart-mouthed girl, the descendent of a long line of witches. Ojo is a larger than usual Munchkin, with a keen scientific brain. Reigh is a lion; possibly he’s the son or grandson of the Cowardly Lion. Scarecrow is the original scarecrow, who confuses Dorothy with his friend, her mother.
Waiting for Dorothy at home is her mother, Evelyn Gale. Evelyn is voiced by Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville. In this version of the story, it was Evelyn who first went to Oz, many years ago.
In Lost in Oz, 12-year-old Dorothy Gale discovers her mother’s magical travel journal hidden beneath the floorboards of their Kansas home. The book triggers a tornado, which rips her house from its foundation and transports Dorothy and her dog, Toto, to Emerald City, a bustling, modern, metropolis. In order to get home, Dorothy learns she must acquire every element on Oz’s “periodic table of magic” – while the city faces the worst magic drought in eons! Along the way, Dorothy and Toto meet unlikely allies in West, Ojo, Reigh the Lion, Scarecrow, and Glinda the Good, who are each eager to help, but struggling with their own problems. Together, they navigate the magical landscape of Oz while undergoing their own unique journeys of self-discovery.
Teenage Ashley Boettcher (Mel in Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and Phoebe in Aliens in the House) provides the voice of Dorothy. Chris Cox voices her loyal dog, Toto. Cox has done several cartoon voices, including Hawkeye in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Ojo is played by Jorge Diaz, who voices royal guard Gabe on Elena of Avalor and played J. D. Guzman on Jane the Virgin. Nika Futterman, who plays West, has been doing cartoon voices since the 1990s, including Olga Pataki on Hey, Arnold!, Smellerbee on Avatar: The Last Airbender, Catwoman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Lady Jaye in GI Joe: Renegades, Squeeze the Pliers in Handy Manny, and Asajj Ventress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Keith Ferguson (Bloo on Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) is Reigh. Stephen Stanton, the voice of the Scarecrow, has done a wide range of cartoon and videogame voices including Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars and Sleepy in The 7D.
Tara Sorenson, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios, said: “We’re excited for families everywhere to experience the magic of this serialized action-adventure comedy, led by a fearless female character and featuring a diverse group of friends.”
The original pilot, which won three Emmies, was released in 2015. The pilot and the second episode were packaged and re-released together as Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure in 2016. The ten episodes of the first season, beginning with the pilot, will be released for streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday, August 4, 2017.
While the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland is the most famous adaptation of the Oz books, it’s been made and remade many times, including six silent versions between 1908 and 1925, and the CBS’ recent Emerald City. How will Lost in Oz stand up compared to its many predecessors?
Editor’s Note: I sat down and watched the pilot, and it was pretty darned good. I can hardly wait for the release of the series on Amazon Prime! — Gene Turnbow, Station Manager