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Your Thoughts: The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, May 20, 2005.


What did you think of The Muppets' Wizard of Oz?

  1. Oz was great

    57 vote(s)
  2. Oz was good

    92 vote(s)
  3. Oz was disappointing

    64 vote(s)
  4. Oz was awful

    35 vote(s)

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Oz is a movie that I'd have to check again on DVD due to the fact that it's supposedly got a better flow or something... but I just can't bring myself to want to buy it (especially since I have so many DVD wants... I still need to get Freakazoid... didn't get it for Christmas like I thought I would...).

    To me, the project seemed like it was rushed... rushed so that Disney could say, we have a project to launch our acquisition of the Muppets (and we didn't get anything major after that until this year, mind you). And even then, was it really a smart idea to do another "book" movie? I mean, the main problems I had with MTI and especially MCC was the lack of focus on the Muppets themselves. I think MTI worked better in that aspect, because it really had a Muppet feel to it... Cabin Fever seemed like a good old fashion crazy go nuts Muppet song, right up there with Happiness Hotel. Not that I hated the MCC songs, but it seemed that the 2 deleted songs really had a more muppety tone than the ones included.

    OZ, while it did have focus on the Muppets, went about everything butt backwards. The appeal of Muppet movies is to have a villain played by a human (something even LTS did). While the idea of Piggy playing all 4 witches was a novel idea, it just fell flat to see a human Dorothy in a role Piggy would have been perfect for (I still say this but, imagine if they got Kristen Chennowith to play Glenda...).

    All and all, a lot of the movie tried to experiment too much... I really HATED those off kilter camera angles that made it an acid trippy 1960's Batman episode. And the fact that they were grasping at straws for an audience... toss a random at the moment B-list pop star in the title role for the tweens, throw some forced adult jokes in for the college crowd... but leave small bones for the classic fans. I think in reguards to LTS, what makes it not the weakest prject for me is that they found the balance in the writing and humor... sure, it was a little juvenile, but it had the right tone to it. I agree with Herald in that aspect. Oz and VMX seemed to be like kids that talk dirty pretneding that they're adult. Of course, VMX pulled it off much better and funnier.
  2. Libba Yuki

    Libba Yuki Well-Known Member

    I just got the dvd in the mail yesterday and watched the movie for first time since the night it first aired, and liked it more this time around.

    It didn't feel rushed (except the CGI sequences, those were horrible and ugly), the jokes were funny (I never thought they felt forced to begin with), and the story does flow better with the added stuff.

    I still don't care for the Muppet American Idol part of the plot, or Ashanti's singing (she's very average to me, like most of today's young singers are...). And I still didn't feel Ashanti interacted well with the Muppets as other celeb stars have.

    Yeah, it was a dark movie for the Muppets, and there were a bunch of adult jokes (that would fly over the kids heads, these jokes weren't really that bad though)...honestly more than in any of the past Muppet films/specials. But, it was pretty loyal to the book (moreso than Judy Garland's film was) and was an enjoyable blast to watch again.
  3. stardustdanny

    stardustdanny Member

    Okay this is a long time after, but a few of my friends and i all got together to watch it, also i liked it enough to by the DVD.Id give it a thumbs-up
  4. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    It's good that the movie included more elements from the book. However I don't think it had the same spirit as Baum's story (which the 1930's film did in my opinion).
  5. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Walter Murch's Return to Oz is the closed anyone has gotten to the world Baum created. MGM's tale is fantastic, but it doesn't even come close to the book. But then again, even though the Muppets based their Oz on the source material they then proceeded to shove it all into a blender and just do what Muppets do.
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I don't know, I mean I know the Muppets always took pop culture and twisted it. I just felt here that they let pop culture twist them.

    But I agree, Return to Oz is probably more in the Baum style. :)
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    That movie still gives me nightmares. :o

    I don't think the Muppets had much opportunity for anything but showing up and saying their lines in their Oz. I liked it, but there was no driving force - no engine to the movie. And there certainly was no sense of urgency. I suppose that's one thing that has been lacking from the last two Thatcher helmed projects - urgency.

    Also Ashanti's casting was the wrong rout to go. There are many talented vocal artists that have screen presence. She must have good agent. She wasn't terrible, but she simply wasn't good enough for the Muppets. If the project were made today Disney would have stuck someone from HSM in there. Not sure if that's better.
  8. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    You're right, I think that's why a lot of fans have been hoping for a movie where the Muppets play themselves. In Oz more than any other project they were pushed into roles that didn't make any sense.

    I thought she was OK, but I honestly didn't see enough of her. But yeah I don't even want to think of a HSM castmember there. ::shivers::
  9. rexcrk

    rexcrk Well-Known Member

    Oh I SO would've rather had Vanessa Hudgens or Ashley Tisdale instead of Ashanti :)
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I couldn't have said it better myself... I mean, Kelly Osborne? Really....

    I felt the only urgency was due to Disney saying "We want a project done by the time we're finished acquiring the property." Plus, let's not forget how this was a sore spot for us Muppet fans, since there were dozens of other Muppet movie scripts in the running that weren't even considered. And I still don't know if half of them were just fan rumors or what. Seems like they deserved a better shot than retelling another story.

    All I can say, that's the biggest problem I have with the project. Other than the fact that the witches should have been played by celebrity guest stars and Piggy should have been Dorothy... I mean, this movie broke the tradition of a human villain, from Charles Durning to Joan Cussack... each being hilariously goofy and cartoonish without being ridiculous or talking like they're talking to 5 year olds. Of course, MTM did NOT have a villain, and I think the fact that the antagonist is destiny itself really sets the film apart from all the others.

    But back on the subject of Ashanti, I know she said she was a muppet fan (I think in I Love the 80's, she admitted to being a Fraggle Rock fan), but she really can't act, and the Muppets had no chemistry with her. The song she actually sang with Kermit and Co didn't sound like a duet (or whatever you'd call a group like that) between her and Muppets, but rather... well, you know when singers use old archival recordings of long passed on musicians to make a pseudo duet? Sort of like that.

    I still say if Disney was going to go down that route, they should have gotten Raven. I mean, she has a history with the muppets (though, basically that was all the way back to Muppets at Disney World... I don't know if I'd count "Cliff's Nightmare" since she didn't have any scenes directly with them)... plus she is one of Disney's more talented child/tween/teen stars (almost up there with Shea "I was in Indiana Jones and Transformers, Hillary" LeBeuf)...

    I would have wondered how the movie would have panned out if they got a little girl to play Dorothy, and they changed the story to not clearly be a tie in with American Idol.
  11. stephenjlizard

    stephenjlizard Well-Known Member

    I also loved the sketch using Miss Piggy as Dorothy, but I can see why they avoided it for the movie. One of the hallmarks of Muppet TV and film is the interaction with live actors, and they needed a real person to anchor the surrounding characters.
  12. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    That's a good point, I think either way would have been cool (as long as they avoided the immature stuff the movie that was actually made had, heh).
  13. Redsonga

    Redsonga Well-Known Member

    It would have been, I think, because Miss. Piggy could have made the starring role more funny :). If she had been Dorothy it could have started with her still being in the small town she first came from before Kermit and go from there, showing a tiny bit of her history (which seems to have gotten lost over the years :()
  14. Nick22

    Nick22 Well-Known Member

    i agree. it would've been so much better is miss piggy was dorothy. ashanti did a good job, but i would've preferred miss piggy. who would've been the witches then? maybe bring back some old characters for the witches. like annie sue for one of the good witches.
  15. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    I must disagree, don't get me wrong I love Miss. Piggy and yeah maybe to some point she could of made the part of Dorothy more funny. But the part of Dorothy isn't suppose to be funny since she's all around a cast of funny characters. She's suppose to be the normal little girl that other little girls can relate to, in a crazy fanasty land. Also the keywords there is "little girl," though Miss. Piggy is ageless since The Muppet Show, she is still seen as a grown adult woman. Has anyone here seen that movie "The Wiz" one of the reasons I hate that movie is cause Diana Ross was in her 30s playing Dorothy, :mad:, how old would Auntie Em, like in her 90s.
  16. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    If they were to go for puppet casting for the lead they should have thrown everything up in the air and Muppetize the entire production. Cast Robin in the lead role and just call him Robin instead of Dorothy. So, the silver slippers would have to be silver flippers, but much more fun could be had and he's the only age appropriate character that can play the lead. It works.

    Of course, that's if the lead was to be a Muppet and if Jerry or an adequate replacement was available. Piggy as Dorothy only works in short-subjects.
  17. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    Yeah excatly, Miss. Piggy playing the part of Dorothy for a little comedy skit totally works fine.

    But Miss. Piggy is not only a grown woman, she's also a really stong grow woman, where as Dorothy is protrayed as a young and pretty helpless little girl. Since they wanted to make an made for TV movie that's can be somewhat close to the original having Miss. Piggy play the part would of been an awful idea, I mean who would buy Miss. Piggy being in trouble by an old witch hag, :confused:, the woman been known to bend metal bars, :mad:, she's far from helpless. I liked the idea of Miss. Piggy playing all four witches much much better, it plays with her mean side just as much her sweet side.
  18. Nick22

    Nick22 Well-Known Member

    good point :)
  19. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Well it would have to be a slightly more 'mature' adaptation of Wizard of Oz. Like in the musical The Wiz, Dorothy wasn't meant to be a little girl. So I think Piggy could work, it just wouldn't be an exact interpretation of the original story (which I think it perfectly fine). Miss Piggy may have bent bars in GMC, but she started out as sort of the underdog victim against the high society of models that wouldn't let her in.

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