The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1986–1987)
"Ozu no Mahotsukai" (original title)

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Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1986–1987)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1986–1987) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Series cast summary:
Mark Denis
(52 episodes, 1986-1987)
Morgan Hallet ...
 Dorothy / ... (52 episodes, 1986-1987)
Maria Bircher
(45 episodes, 1986-1987)


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1986 (Japan)  »

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  »

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Did You Know?


While the first and second story arcs (episodes 1 - 30) resemble the plots of the original books they are based on, the third and fourth story arcs (episodes 31 - 52) stray greatly from their original book sources. See more »


Version of Tales of the Wizard of Oz (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful adaptation that sadly is mostly forgotten
9 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Everyone knows the story of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' It's one of those books that keeps finding new fans with each generation. L. Frank Baum spun a tale filled with everything a good Fantasy story needs. Then came the invention of film, so naturally it would be adapted for the screen. From the early silent pictures to ones as recent as the Sci-Fi Channel's 'Tin Man,' Baum's world and characters have been brought to life again and again, and in different ways. No doubt the most well known and beloved adaptation is the 1939 MGM film with Judy Garland though.

With advances in effects technology, books like these could be realized on the screen. However, Baum wrote 14 books before his passing, which in reality would take years and untold millions to adapt. In the mid-80s, a Japanese television studio called Panmedia created an animated series based on four 'Oz' books. The 52 episode series was dubbed in a few other languages, but the full show never aired in the US. To this day it hasn't been released on Region 1 DVD. The series is hard to track down in English, but if you too are an 'Oz' aficionado it's worth it.

Pros: Wonderful job done by the voice cast. Beautiful score, at times whimsical and others dramatic. Nicely animated and great use of color. Moves at a good, steady pace most of the time. Often witty sense of humor. A good share of darker moments to keep things from getting too light. Full of good twists and turns. Quite well written and in a way that is not patronizing to children.

Cons: Animation is dated. Some slow spots, but nothing major. Liberties are taken with the material.

Final thoughts: It's a shame that this series isn't shown so much anymore. Not that there aren't some wonderful children's programs today, but they seem to be fewer in number these days. This series has it all: adventure, humor, magic, characters to root for, a lesson or two. If these are things you look for in a cartoon, then look no further.

My rating: 4.5/5

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