A Toymaker tells a bizarre story about how the Land of Oz was ruled by Prince Kynd, but he was overthrown by Prime Minister Kruel. Dorothy learns from Aunt Em that fat, cruel Uncle Henry is not her uncle, and gives her a note due on her eighteenth birthday, which reveals she is actually Princess Dorothea of Oz, and is supposed to marry Prince Kynd. She, Uncle Henry , and two farmhands are swept to Oz by a tornado. Snowball, a black farmhand soon joins them after a lightning bolt chases him into the sky. They land in Oz, where the farmhands try to avoid capture. Semon becomes a scarecrow, Hardy briefly disguises himself as a Tin Woodman, and Snowball is given a Lion suit by the Wizard, which he uses to scare the Pumperdink guards. Written by
Scott Hutchins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a strange, sometimes misogynistic, and sometimes racially stereotypical film, reflective of the time in which it was made. It fascinates on a historical level, and on a foundational comedic level. You can see the trademark Oliver Hardy gestures in development, and his interaction with Larry Semon foretells his film relationship with Stan Laurel. Some cute little animation effects (a bee enters one of Semon's ears only to exit from the other), reflective of Disney's contemporaneous mix of live action and animation.
The "digital" score and the use of a "narrator" (who horribly reads the subtitles...where did she learn to read???) is annoying.
All in all, cute, and worthy of 90 minutes.
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