Oz no Mahōtsukai is a 1986 anime TV series produced by Japan's Panmedia loosely based on four of L. Frank Baum's Oz books. The English version of the series was dubbed in Canada and first broadcast in 1987 as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The series can be split into four distinct parts, or story arcs, each freely adapted from four different Oz books written by L. Frank Baum. The series becomes progressively less faithful to the books, although the essential plots are based on Baum's original stories.
- The Wizard of Oz (episodes 1 to 17)
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (episodes 18 to 30)
- Ozma of Oz (episodes 31 to 41)
- The Emerald City of Oz (episodes 42 to 52)
The most significant difference of all is that Dorothy Gale does not end up moving to the Land of Oz with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry as in Baum's books. Her home remains Kansas at the end of the series, thereby preserving the famous adage about home from Baum's very first book.
- Dorothy Gale
- Tin Man
- Cowardly Lion
- Jack Pumpkinhead
- Aunt Em
- Uncle Henry
- Good Witch of the North
- Queen of the Field Mice
- Wizard of Oz
- The Purple Prince of Oz
( * Renamed "Princess Lulu" in the English dub. Apart from the name change, the moody and haughty Princess of Ev had a collection of hats, rather than heads. The change was presumably made to soften the character for young children.)
- Dorothy Meets the Munchkins (Dorothy and the Tornado)
- Dorothy Finds a Friend (Yellow Road)
- Adventures Along the Yellow Brick Road (Departure to Hope)
- The Journey to Emerald City (The Difficult Road)
- Saved By The Mouse Queen (Black Flower)
- The Emerald City, At Last (Emerald Palace)
- Wizard Wants A Favour (Witch of the West)
- The Wicked Witch of the West (Winky's Battle)
- Dorothy's Magic Powers (Witch's Castle)
- Freedom from the Witch (After the Shoes)
- Mombi, Tip and the Golden Cap (Monbi and Chip)
- Back to Emerald City (New King)
- The Wizard's Disappointing Secret (Identity of the Great King of Oz)
- The Wizard Tries to Help (Left Behind)
- Journey to the South (To The South)
- Glinda, the Good Witch (Witch Glinda's Castle)
- Home Sweet Home Again (Glinda)
- Dorothy Meets the Wizard, Again (Kansas)
- Back to Oz
- The Escape from Mombi (Chip is a Father)
- General Jinjur Attacks (General Ginger)
- Escape from the Emerald City (Scarecrow King Runs Away)
- Tinman to the Rescue (The Woodcutter's a King)
- Mombi's Terrible Magic (Monbi's Magic)
- Trapped in the Palace (Join Strength)
- The Magical Escape (Gump)
- Glinda Agrees to Help (Seeking Help)
- The Emerald City, Captured (Back to Emerald)
- Mombi's Attempt to Trick Glinda (Monbi the Witch?)
- Ozma, Princess of Oz (Chip's Secret)
- Tik-Tok the Mechanical Man (Dorothy and Tick-Tock)
- The Kidnapped Prince (Castle Langdia)
- The Deadly Desert (Desert Journey)
- The Talking Hen (Hen of the Desert)
- Monsters of Stone (Edge of Oz)
- The Underground Country of Gnomes (Gnome of the Underworld)
- The Deadly Guessing Game (The King's Problem)
- Dorothy Outsmarts the King (The King's Favorite Thing)
- The Secret Fear of the Nomes (Scary Room)
- The Nome King Sets a Trap (In Search of the Light)
- Saved by the Sun (Back to the Surface)
- The Nome King Plans Revenge (The Gnome's Counterattack)
- Princess Ozma's Secret (Secret of Emerald)
- Miss Cuttenclip and Mister Fuddle (Land of Chokkinpet)
- The Growleywog Joins the Nomes (Harvest in Oz)
- The Water of Oblivion (Spring of Forgetfulness)
- Nomes on the March (Bakekubi Goes on a Rampage)
- A Winky Helps his King (Guff Becomes a Good Person)
- The Crowning of Ozma (Coronation)
- The Nomes Attack (Victory of the Gnome King)
- Dorothy and Her Friends Defend the Palace (Dorothy Keeps Fighting)
- A Very Happy Ending (Back to Kansas)
- Sumi Shimamoto as Dorothy Gale
- Yoshito Yasuhara as Scarecrow
- Takuzo Kamiyama as Tin Man
- Ichiro Nagai as Cowardly Lion
- Masako Nozawa as Tip/Ozma, Wicked Witch of the East
- Kazuyo Aoki as Jack Pumpkinhead
- Naoko Kouda as Wicked Witch of the West
- Chie Kitagawa as Mombi
- Osamu Saka as Nome King
- Morgan Hallet as Dorothy Gale
- Richard Dumont as Scarecrow
- George Morris as Tin Man
- Neil Shee as Cowardly Lion
- Steven Bednarski as Tip
- A.J. Henderson as Tik-Tok
- Walter Massey as Kaliko
- Kathleen Fee as Mombi
- Dean Hagopian as General Guff
- Susan Glover as Jinjur
- Opening Theme: "Fanshii Gaaru" (Fancy Girl) by Satoko Yamano
- Ending Theme: "Maho no Crayon" (Crayon of Magic) by Lumiko Osugi and Ema Osugi
- Theme Song: "Searching For A Dream" by The Parachute Club
- Shuichi Seki, who worked on many of Nippon Animation's Woeld Masterpiece Theater TV series, served as character designer.
- This anime was released a year later after the film Return to Oz was released.
Comparison with the original stories
- Dorothy has a sequence of dreams in Kansas that serve as premonitions about her forthcoming adventures in Oz. The dreams actually unsettle her. Such a portentous dream sequence is found in no other version of the story.
- Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are away when the tornado strikes, in this series. Upon returning and seeing their farmhouse gone, Uncle Henry believes the worst, but Aunt Em is certain that Dorothy is out there somewhere, alive.
- Toto almost falls through the trap door while Dorothy's house is being carried away by the tornado, just as in Baum's book.
- The Wicked Witches of the East and West are sisters, as are Glinda and the Good Witch of the North (unlike in the original stories)
- The Wicked Witch of the East's Magic Shoes are originally rather unsightly, in the series, but they turn into a pair of dainty Silver Slippers after the Good Witch of the North encases Dorothy's feet in them.
- The Wicked Witch of the East does not cause Nick Chopper's axe to chop him up into pieces, but rather transforms the flesh-and-blood woodcutter into a ("heartless") Tin Man instantenously. Again, this was presumably done to soften the transformation for young children.
- The Wicked Witch of the West's attempt to trick Dorothy into stumbling over an invisible bar doesn't work the way it does in Baum's book. Dorothy realises that something is wrong, and the witch ends up stumbling over the bar herself in anger. The girl actually gives the witch one of her Magic Shoes, later on, in order to protect Toto, but ends up melting the old woman before she can relinquish her other shoe.
- Mombi was never the Wicked Witch of the North, but had frequently visited the Wicked Witch of the West in order to learn dark magic. She and Tip make their first appearance in the Winkie Country, after Dorothy destroyed the Wicked Witch of the West. Mombi tries to steal the Golden Cap which summons the Winged Monkeys, but fails. All of this is unique to the anime series.
- Dorothy was absent in Baum's original sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, yet in this series, she returns to Oz while Tip is carving out Jack Pumpkinhead, and is present during all the events that take place in The Marvelous Land of Oz. This was clearly done with the intention of showcasing Baum's original (and most popular) heroine at all times; indeed, Dorothy appears in every single episode of the anime series.
- Jinjur insists that she will never change her rebellious and trouble-making ways, and Glinda magically makes her reform. In the original stories, Jinjur ultimately reformed of her own accord and got married.
- Princess Ozma does not travel to the Nome King's underground kingdom, unlike Baum's original Ozma of Oz, saying that she has a country of her own to rule. This is a reasonable and wholly plausible change.
- Billina is not one of Dorothy's companions from the outside world, in this series. She is a talking hen to begin with, who is native to the Land of Ev. She only appears in a few scenes, and does not partake in any adventures.
- The Royal Family of Ev is reduced to "Princess Lulu" and her "brother", the Crown Prince. The Queen of Ev and her many children from Baum's original Ozma of Oz were witten out of the series, no doubt to simplify things. Thus, it is only the Crown Prince that is kidnapped and transformed by the Nome King, and the Prince's sister, "Princess Lulu" ruled as regent in his absence.
- The Nome King's Magic Belt was written out of the series.
- Ozma was originally presented as no more than a human girl, in Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz, but later on in the series, he revealed that she was in fact a fairy. This gradual revelation in the original books is mirrored in the anime series too. Dorothy, Ozma and the Scarecrow stumble into a secret chamber in the Emerald City where Ozma's history has been chronicled, and where they learn that Ozma has special, magic powers. Such an incident never took place in the original books, but the discovery that Ozma has special powers is in keeping with Baum's late depiction of Ozma as a fairy.
- Ozma is much younger than Dorothy in the series, whereas Dorothy was clearly younger than Ozma in Baum's original books. This gives Ozma a more "Kid's Own" quality for younger viewers. In fact, Ozma could occasionally be playful to the point of being mischievous, in the series, and Glinda had entrusted Dorothy with the task of grooming the little princess for her coronation. After reading her own history in the secret chamber, and learning that she has special powers, however, Ozma has an epiphany of sorts and becomes the responsible and diligent ruler depicted by Baum.
- There is no Magic Picture in this series.
- Dorothy almost falls to her death, from a tower in the Emerald City, as the series draws to a close. The Nome King hopes that this will be the end of his young enemy, but Glinda protects Dorothy from afar. This didn't happen in Baum's The Emerald City of Oz, but it's the most climactic part of the series.
To give it a secondary market, episodes of the show were later re-edited into four films and released on video and DVD, in which major plots and storylines are removed in favor of cutting each story-arc down into their retrospective book-canon story. To this day, no release of the show in an uncut episodic format in the US has come to light. The show aired in Australia and the UK multiple times in the early 1990s in the full episodic format on the ABC and ITV channels respectively. The full original Japanese version is available for purchase at YesAsia.