The yellow brick road’s getting animated

First there was the Wizard of Oz book, then the classic movie, and who can forget the Broadway musical The Wiz, right?

Dorothy and her pals make for a great story. So it should come as no surprise that an animated Oz musical is in the works:

Burbank, California-based Alpine Pictures has announced that Bonne Radford, Randi Barnes, Daniel St Pierre, and Matthew Jon Beck have all signed onto their production DOROTHY OF OZ, an animated musical based on the writings of Roger S. Baum (great-grandson of original OZ series author L. Frank Baum). The film is being produced in association with Box Office Productions III, LLC.

DOROTHY OF OZ is the first in a slated series of animated feature films by Alpine Pictures based on the writings of Baum, whose work continues the legacy of his great-grandfather through new stories of Dorothy’s adventures in the enchanted Land of Oz, and the magical friends she meets along the way.

It should not shock anyone who’s read me here for any length of time to hear that I am… less than thrilled about this development. Look, it’s not that I don’t respect Roger S. Baum‘s work, it’s just that I was perfectly happy with the original. I liked the original book. (I actually liked the whole original series. Did you know there’s more than one?) I loved the movie—actually, I still love it and am happy to watch it any time it’s on TV—even though you can watch Judy Garland’s hair get longer and shorter from take to take.

An animated movie makes sense, I suppose, but I just have this dread of them screwing it up somehow. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, and pay no attention to that production company behind the curtain.

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One thought on “The yellow brick road’s getting animated

  1. Alpine Pictures travels The Yellow Brick Road with Roger S. Baum’s Dorothy of OZ.

    Burbank, CA – January 23rd, 2008 – Bonne Radford, Randi Barnes, Daniel St Pierre, and Matthew Jon Beck have all signed onto the animated musical Dorothy of OZ being produced by Alpine Pictures, Inc in association with Box Office Productions III, LLC.

    Dorothy of OZ is the first in a slated series of animated feature films by Alpine Pictures based on the writings of acclaimed children’s author Roger S. Baum. Mr. Baum’s work continues the legacy of his great-grandfather L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series of books, through new stories of Dorothy’s adventures in the enchanted Land of Oz, and the magical friends she meets along the way.
    Ms. Radford, Producer of Dorothy of OZ, has a career that spans over 20 years in entertainment. She has held positions as Head of Feature Animation for DreamWorks SKG, Vice-President of Animation Amblin Entertainment (Amblimation), and Vice-President Production & Finance for Amblin Entertainment.
    “We are very excited and privileged to be working with Bonne Radford”, stated Ryan Carroll, CEO of Alpine Pictures, Inc “and are confident in her extraordinary ability to bring this first-rate project to the big screen.”
    Ms. Radford began her animation career with Steven Spielberg’s An American Tail, and moved on to work on such prestigious animated productions as Balto, Antz, The Prince of Egypt, and The Road to El Dorado for DreamWorks Animation. Most recently Bonne produced the highly successful Curious George for Universal Pictures, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, Eugene Levy and Dick Van Dyke.
    Ms. Radford was also part of the production team on several other highly successful feature films including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Back to the Future I, II, and III, Hook, Arachnophobia, The Color Purple, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
    “Bonne’s gift is her passion for the art of story telling through the medium of animation” shared James A. Jones Executive Vice President of Alpine and added “We are delighted to have such a capable and talented individual as part of our team to bring this dream project to reality.”
    Randi Barnes is adapting Roger S. Baum’s children’s adventure tale Dorothy of OZ into a screenplay. Randi is a comedy and animation writer with extensive experience in family and children’s entertainment. In addition to serving on the writing staff of Disney Channel’s American Dragon: Jake Long (for which her script, “Bring It On” was nominated for a NAMIC Vision Award), she has written episodes of Disney’s Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, The Buzz on Maggie, The Emperor’s New School, The Replacements, and the Cartoon Network’s Class of 3000. She has also written for network prime-time comedies, including UPN’s Eve and ABC’s Lost at Home.

    Daniel St Pierre will helm Dorothy of OZ as Director. Mr. St. Pierre brings enormous talent to Dorothy of OZ and is familiar with all aspects of animation from storyboard artist to director. Mr. St. Pierre has been involved with such classic animated films as Tarzan, Shark Tale, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and most recently Everyone’s Hero.
    Executive Producer Neil Kaufman shared “In my career of over 60 Feature Films this is one the greatest teams I have ever worked with” and went on to express “ Dorothy of OZ is the most exciting film I have produced, and I am honored to be working with such talented individuals as Bonne, Randi, Dan, and Matthew.”
    Matthew Jon Beck has been hired as Casting Director, and is already hard at work looking for the new voice of Dorothy Gale. Matthew has worked on Academy Award winning animated projects such as Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles, as well as on Brother Bear, Chicken Little, Monsters Inc and most recently Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.

    L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of OZ was published in 1900, and has entertained millions of fans the world over in every form of media. Now Alpine Pictures, in association with Box Office Productions III, LLC is proud to bring Roger S. Baum’s Dorothy of OZ to the big screen as an animated musical produced by Bonne Radford, Written by Randi Barnes, Directed by Daniel St. Pierre, and cast by Mathew Jon Beck.

    Alpine Pictures, Inc is a 12-year-old internationally established company engaged in the production, acquisition, and distribution of feature films. Alpine recently completed Love Is the Drug, directed by Elliott Lester and starring Lizzy Caplan (The Class, Mean Girls) John Patrick Amedori (Vanished, Stick it, and The Butterfly Effect) Jenny Wade (Monster-In-Law), D.J. Cotrona (Windfall, Venom), Jonathon Trent (Fashion Victim, You Are Here, and Pray for Morning), Bruce A. Young (The Color of Money, Jurassic Park III), and Daryl Hannah (Splash, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill Vol. I & II). In addition Alpine Pictures just wrapped post-production on Dark Honeymoon starring Lindy Booth (Cry Wolf, Dawn of the Dead) Nick Cornish (Psycho Beach Party), Eric Roberts (The Pope of Greenwich Village), Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World, True Lies) Craig Shoemaker (Scream II, The Lovemaster), Daryl Hannah (Splash, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill Vol. I & II) and Roy Scheider (Jaws, All that Jazz)
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