DVD News | The Wonderful Wizard of Oz TV series out August 29, 2017

Oz no Mahōtsukai was produced by Panmedia and aired on TV Tokyo from 1986-87, loosely adapting four books in L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. As The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the show was dubbed into English by CINAR in 1987, airing first in the United States on HBO. The CINAR series is best remembered for Margot Kidder’s narration, new music by The Parachute Club, and – as one of Canadian television’s more shameful attempts at disguising foreign source material – the English series omitting credits relevant to Oz no Mahōtsukai’s Japanese production.

Discotek Media’s YouTube account posts Oz no Mahōtsukai’s first episode with English subtitles as an attempt to gauge streaming interest for the series, and (indirectly) to promote its DVD and Blu-ray release of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While Lightyear Entertainment released The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on DVD in 2004 and 2013, the Lightyear release is of CINAR’s series cutdown to four ninety-minute films.

The episodes in Discotek Media’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Blu-ray release is in standard definition. It’s a format not in wide use (Discotek Media previously used it for Samurai Pizza Cats), though given the age of CINAR’s dub and the edits made for North American television, Gloryosky understands the reasons for this title using a “SD-on-BD” format. Whether Oz no Mahōtsukai earns a release on its own is unknown at this point, though with Discotek Media it’s not out of the question. If The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’s success means Discotek Media releases more Canadian dubs of Japanese animation, then Gloryosky is for it. There’s a 1985 Via Le Monde/Cinélume dub of the 1980s Astro Boy that – heavily edited though the series is – needs at least a proper streaming release.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’s DVD and SD-on-BD sets are available August 29, 2017.

C. Archer
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