Final episode date
28 September 1987
Number of episodes
First episode date
Number of seasons
Masaru TonokouchiHiroshi Saitō
Tetsuro KumaseYoshihiro Ooba
Akira MiyazakiTakafumi NagamineHiroshi Saitō
K.S YoshimuraTakao Naoi
The Wizard of Oz, Mona the Vampire, The Country Mouse an, Thomas and Friends, The Little Lulu Show
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, known in Japan as Oz no Mahōtsukai (オズの魔法使い, Ozu no Mahōtsukai), is a Japanese anime adaptation based on four of the original Oz books by L. Frank Baum. In Japan, the series aired on TV Tokyo from 1986 to 1987. It consists of 52 episodes, which explain other parts of the Oz stories, including the events that happened after Dorothy returned home.
In 1987, HBO purchased the rights to the series and dubbed it into English. Production for the English version was done by the Canadian studio Cookie Jar Group (known then as Cinar). Actress Margot Kidder was hired as narrator, and the Canadian band Parachute Club provided songs for the series, which aired as a mini-series. This English version attempted to completely occlude the show's Japanese origins, going so far as to remove all Japanese names and studios from the credits and to credit key aspects of the animation to Westerners, which applied primarily to the CGI opening sequence. Currently the English dub of series airs in the United States on the Cookie Jar Toons block on This TV.
Aside from having the same source material, This TV series bears no relation to the 1982 anime film directed by Fumihiko Takayama and produced by Yoshimitsu Banno for Toho, though both works share the same title in Japanese. However, since the 1982 film was not released in Japan until 1986—the same year in which the TV series was first broadcast—the two productions are often confused.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (episodes 1 to 17)
The first story arc is an adaptation of the first Oz book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It follows the adventures of Dorothy, an orphan girl living out in the gray prairies of Kansas with her Aunt Em, her Uncle Henry and her dog Toto. One day, After Em and Uncle Henry leave Dorothy and Toto alone in order to travel into town. A tornado appears, uproots the farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, and transports it to the Land of Oz.
In Oz Dorothy meets the Good Witch of the North, who tells her that she just killed the Wicked Witch of the East, as her house landed directly on top of her, and by doing so she freed the Munchkins from slavery. She also tells her that the only person able to send her back home is The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is given the Silver Shoes of the Wicked Witch of the East and sent off along the Yellow Brick Road towards the Emerald City to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in hope of getting back to Kansas.
On her way to the Wizard, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, made entirely of straw and lacking a brain, the tin Woodman, made entirely from metal and lacking a heart, and the Cowardly Lion who wishes to become brave. Along their journey, the group comes to a large ditch in the road, and the Lion provides transportation by jumping across while the others sit on his back. The group then enters a dark forest and become trapped at the edge of a steep canyon, while being chased by the Kalidahs (animals with the bodies of bears and the heads of tigers). The Lion and the Scarecrow distract them as the Tin Man cuts down a tree which enables the group to cross the opening of the canyon. After escaping the Kalidahs, the Scarecrow gets caught in the middle of a river on a pole which cuts them off from the Yellow Brick Road, but luckily Mrs. Crane (an actual crane) saves him. A deadly field of poppies puts Dorothy, Toto and the Lion to sleep, but they manage to escape with the help of the Mouse Queen, and her subjects, whom the Tin Man rescued from a wildcat. They arrive at the Emerald City the next day, and thanks to the Good Witch of the North's kiss (on Dorothy's forehead) they are let in.
Once they are in the Emerald City, they request to see the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard grants an individual audience to each of them in a dark reception hall and changes his appearance with each one of them—he meets Dorothy, as a Giant Head; the Scarecrow, as a lovely angel-like lady; the Tin Man, as a terrible beast; and the Lion, as a ball of fire. He tells them that he will help them only if they kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
The friends then set off on a quest for the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch of the West is busy forcing the Winkies (her slaves) to build her a new fortress which she will use to conquer the Land of Oz. As she senses the friends coming, and confirms it by seeing them in her magic mirror, she sends out wolves, crows and an army of her Winkie Soldiers—which Dorothy and her friends easily beat. The friends meet an old Winkie, the former Mayor, who fills them in on the Wicked Witch of the West. The Witch uses her Golden Cap to command the Winged Monkeys, ordering them to bring her the Lion and kill the rest. As the group near the witch's castle, the Winged monkeys attack who manage to destroy the Scarecrow (by emptying his body) and the Tin Man (by dropping him from a great height). They are, however, unable to harm Dorothy due to the Good Witch's kiss and are forced to take her along with the captured Lion. The Wicked Witch of the West keeps the Lion locked in a cell intending to use him to pull her carriage. She decides to spare Dorothy and keep her as her personal cook upon seeing she has the magic shoes and tries various tricks to get them off her feet, to no avail. Dorothy eventually tips a large water jar upon the Witch, and all her evil work dies with her as she melts away. The grateful Winkies then help Dorothy find her friends and restore them. Soon the friends are together again, and Dorothy discovers the Wicked Witch's Golden Cap. Her friends make her promise that she will not use the cap to summon the Winged Monkeys, as the idea terrifies them.
As the group spends a few days relaxing in the Witch's castle with their new Winkie friends, they are visited by a young boy named Tip and his guardian, Mombi. Mombi is a witch in training and upon hearing that her old friend the Wicked Witch of the West is dead, she decides to steal the Golden Cap from Dorothy. She transforms herself into a large gray cat and attempts to steal the cap while Dorothy is sleeping. Her plot is thwarted by the Cowardly Lion. Tip explains Mombi's plot and apologizes to Dorothy. Dorothy uses the Golden Cap, against her friends' wishes, to have the Winged Monkeys transport Tip and Mombi back to their distant home.
Before the group leaves Winkie-Land, the Winkies declare the Tin Man as their king. As they make their way back to the Emerald City they become lost in an enormous forest and struggle against a monstrous spider. The animals of the forest are thankful that the Lion defeated the Monster Spider and make him king to show their gratitude. Dorothy uses the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys who then take her and her friends back to the Emerald City.
They return to the Emerald City to find the Wizard not only invisible but still unwilling to grant their wishes, asking them to return later. However Dorothy and her friends refuse to be turned away again and start to argue with the Wizard as Toto reveals the Wizard is actually a normal man. The Wizard reveals he is actually a traveling magician from Nebraska who was accidentally swept away to Oz in his hot air balloon, and decided to pretend to be a Wizard as it was only the fear of a powerful magician that stopped the two Wicked Witches from taking over the whole land. He soon realizes that Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion already possess what they desire and gives them items that they believe grant their wishes (Scarecrow's head is filled with sawdust and nails, Tin Man is given a wooden heart and Lion is given colored water that he is told represents courage) but cannot think of how to get Dorothy home. Scarecrow hits upon the idea to use the Wizard's hot air balloon to get Dorothy back to Kansas, and the Wizard agrees saying he will go back with her having tired of life in Oz. Before he leaves, he makes Scarecrow the King of Oz however Toto escapes from Dorothy's arms to chase a mouse and they miss the balloon's launching.
Dorothy is devastated, but remembers she has the Golden Cap and can summon the Winged Monkeys and order them to take her home. Summoning them, Dorothy is told they cannot cross the boundaries of Oz and has wasted her last wish but it is suggested she visits Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. She decides to head there straight away, and despite already having had their wishes granted and kingdoms waiting for them to rule the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion decide to travel with her still and ensure that she gets home. On their way to see Glinda they encounter a fighting tree, and a country full of miniature living people and animals made entirely of china. They are then nearly crushed by a pack of Hammer-Heads, but are rescued by a group of gnomes who help them escape through a series of caves. They, at last, reach the palace of Glinda who agrees to see them.
Glinda, who is kind and caring, listens to Dorothy's stories of her adventures and tells her that she will be able to return home. Before she does so, she requests that the Golden Cap be turned over to her. Useless to her now, Dorothy happily agrees and Glinda tells her that she intends to use it to return Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to their respective kingdoms so they don't have to face the dangers they encountered travelling to her again. She then tells Dorothy that she has had the power to return home since her first day in Oz through the magic shoes, and by clicking the heels together three times they will do whatever she commands. Despite this new knowledge, Dorothy and her friends agree it was a good thing she didn't know as they would never have met each other. After bidding a tearful farewell to her Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow (who tells Dorothy that he feels they will meet again), Dorothy tells the shoes to return her home and they do just that, lifting her into the sky. Landing in Kansas, she wakes up to see her farmhouse in the distance.
The Marvelous Land of Oz (episodes 18 to 30)
The second story arc is an adaptation of the second Oz book, The Marvelous Land of Oz. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are nearly finished building their new farm-house (after the former one was taken away by the cyclone) when Toto and Dorothy suddenly appear. Dorothy tells them of her adventures in Oz, but even though they find it hard to believe her, they are delighted that she has returned home.
Dorothy searches for one of her magic shoes, which fell off on the journey home, but is unable to find it. Later, when the family goes shopping for supplies in town, a circus being prepared has Dorothy reunited with the Wizard of Oz. Eventually, Aunt Em finds the other shoe, and Dorothy eagerly and carelessly uses both shoes to return to Oz, leaving Toto and the shoes in Kansas, but also leaving Aunt Em and Uncle Henry believing her.
Dorothy arrives back to the Land of Oz and is reunited with Tip, who is making a pumpkin-man to scare Mombi. It works, but Mombi tries out the Come-Alive Powder, and Jack Pumpkinhead comes to life. Mombi, who mistakes Dorothy for a witch, schemes to steal her powers and turn her into stone, but the children and Jack escape, with Mombi chasing after them. Later, they come across a wooden saw horse and decide to bring it to life with the Come-Alive Powder they have stolen from Mombi. They run on ahead with Jack to Emerald City, where they are reunited with King Scarecrow of Oz.
Dorothy and Tip meet General Jijnur who, with her All-Girl Army, plans to overthrow King Scarecrow and become Queen of the Emerald City. After the Gate-Guardian is defeated by Jinjur's army, Dorothy and Tip warn Scarecrow of the Invasion, and the friends make their escape, just as Mombi arrives at Emerald City. As Mombi joins General Jinjur in her plot to overthrow Oz, the friends go on to the West (despite the Saw-Horse's broken leg accident) and ask the Tin Man for help. Mombi uses her magic to surround the friends with a field of Sunflowers, which thanks to Jinjur doesn't last long. The Mouse Queen is called upon to help her friends with their mission and gives them her Secret Weapon. After more magic tricks, like a giant cliff-like wall and a circle of fire, the friends finally return to Emerald City and find it in bad shape—all the men are doing the hard work while the women can do whatever they want. In the Throne Room Jinjur, Mombi and the Army surround Dorothy & her friends, but is no match for the Mouse Queen's Secret Weapon. Jinjur attempts to attack, while Scarecrow decides for them to escape using the Come-Alive Powder.
Jack uses the Wizard's old tricks to distract and scare the girls as his friends put together and bring to life a Moose-Bed (a canopy bed with a stuffed Moose head attached). Once everything is together, the friends narrowly escape and head off to Glinda in the South. But Mombi causes the Moose-Bed and his passengers to drift away into a valley of mist, mountains and cliffs, where they are encountered, captured and eventually manage to escape one of several giant dragons. They arrive at Glinda's castle and Glinda is aware of their dilemma. Although she is willing to help free the Emerald City of Mombi and Jinjur, Glinda informs the group she will not restore Scarecrow as king having recently discovered that his claim to the throne is illegal. She tells everyone that the King of Oz died just before the Wizard arrived and it was believed that he had left no heir to the throne, bringing to an end the royal lineage. However Glinda has discovered that he did father a child just before he died; a girl named Ozma who disappeared soon after as she was removed by the Wizard due to him not wishing to lose the power he had gained by becoming ruler. Watching through Glinda's crystal ball, the group learns that the Wizard left Ozma with none other than Mombi. Scarecrow is not upset about no longer being king, having quickly tired of the position and the group decides to return to the Emerald City (accompanied by Glinda) to oust Jinjur and find out from Mombi what she did with Ozma.
Upon returning to the Emerald City, Glinda frightens Jinjur and her army into surrendering and orders Mombi to cooperate with Dorothy and her group before leaving while the Gump and the Sawhorse are left at the gate. When Scarecrow arrives, he announces that Jinjur will soon no longer rule the city but he also renounces the throne, informing then all that Princess Ozma is alive and he intends to organize a search for her. However, with Glinda gone Jinjur and Mombi take back their intention to co-operate a try a "disguise" trick which does not last long—the friends look for Mombi throughout the palace and find Jinur and Mombi arguing with each other, breaking off their 'teamwork', only to have Mombi transform herself into a dragon. Glinda appears and chases after the escaping Mombi-Dragon and easily triumphs over her.
Using her magic, Glinda has Mombi reveal what she did to Ozma. Mombi reveals that, in order to prevent anyone from finding Ozma she used a magic spell to transform her into a boy. Everyone realized the startling truth... Tip is really Ozma. Tip becomes scared at the thought, but everyone assures him that he is really Ozma and was meant to rule and will do a fine job of it. When Glinda offers Tip the choice to remain as he is or have Mombi's spell broken, Tip bravely agrees to breaking the spell and he transforms into Princess Ozma. Glinda the removes Mombi's powers and orders her and Jinjur to return to their homes and lead quiet lives which they both agree to. She then offers Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman and Jack a reward for their help. Tin Man asks to return to the West as does Scarecrow and will now live with Tin Man in his palace. Jack wishes to remain with Princess Ozma while Dorothy asks to return to Kansas. Glinda agrees and transports Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin Man to their homes, and as she disappears Dorothy bids her old and new friends farewell and promises to see them again. (It is unknown what happens to the Sawhorse and the Gump, they probably could've went off on their own to have more adventures)
Ozma of Oz (episodes 31 to 41)
The third part of the series is an adaptation of the third Oz book, Ozma of Oz. It starts with Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, Dorothy and Toto sleeping peacefully in their Kansas beds, but as Dorothy's Magic Shoes start glowing, causing the Shoes to transport Dorothy back to Oz, leaving Toto & her Magic Shoes in Kansas. She arrives in the Land of Ev, where a trio of Wheelers rudely wakes her up and accuses her of being a witch. Dorothy escapes the Wheelers, and finds a little mechanical robot called Tik-Tok which she winds up. She learns that Tik-tok was on a secret mission, given to him by Princess Langwidere, to free the prince of Ev, but he got himself into trouble with the Wheelers. Then, rather than he protecting Dorothy, Dorothy defends Tik-Tok from the Wheelers and accompanied by him goes off to meet Princess Langwidere.
Langwidere locks Dorothy and Tik-Tok in the dungeon. As Dorothy and Tik-Tok ask Mr. Mouse to get help from Oz, Princess Langwidere greets Ozma, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Jack Pumpkin head. Mr. Mouse gets Lion to come to Ev and inform his friends of Dorothy's imprisonment. It is then suggested that while Ozma and Jack would return to Oz, Dorothy and Tik-Tok with the accompany of Dorothy’s friends would go to Nomeland to rescue Princess Langwidere's brother, the Prince of Ev from the Nome King. The group crosses a dangerous Desert, which consists of a sandstorm, funny looking plants, a giant beetle and only one oasis in the entire sandy waste.
They come across giant bones and a ship. While the group decides to rest in the ship for the night, they meet Billina, a Talking Hen (who acts like a Rooster), who was once the Nome King's chicken. She tells them the way to Nomeland, before giving Tik-Tok an egg. On the way to Nomeland, the friends travel through rocky caverns where they encounter and manage to escape one of two Rock Giants and a Ruined City. They arrive at the Gateway which leads down into the Nome King's Underground Kingdom. After walking alongside a River of Flowing Lava, as well as crossing over it, they walk through an Ornament Hallway and meet the Nome King.
Knowing why they are here he tells them of his power and that if they would want to free the Prince, they would have to play his Guessing Ornament Game. After Tik-Tok mistakenly turns into an ornament first, Kaliko tricks the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow in their guesses, turning them into ornaments. Dorothy, however, tricks the two Nomes into revealing the Prince of Ev and restores her friends. But when they try to leave, they end up getting trapped where Nome King & Kaliko scare them with pouring giant-tubs of lava, until they see and are terrified by the egg which Tik-Tok has secretly hidden.
With the Prince of Ev, the group tries to leave, but the Nome King isn't going to make it easy for them—he tries to drown them in a river of lava and catapults them with giant boulders. When it is finally decided that they have to follow the underground river for the way out, the Nome King, Kaliko and the Nomes attack them again with flying boulders. Fortunately, this attack gives the friends an opening to escape. They thank Billina for her help, but then the ship and the surrounding sand begins to sink by the Nome King again, but once Lion saves Scarecrow from being lost they are all finally free and safe from the Nome King, despite his displeasure. The friends then decide that it is time to go home. (It is unknown if Tik-Tok and Billina have decided to move to Oz)
The Emerald City of Oz (episodes 42 to 52)
The fourth and final story arc of the series is an adaptation of the sixth Oz book, The Emerald City of Oz. Continuing on directly from the last story arc, the Nome King is now planning his revenge. Meanwhile, Dorothy is still in Oz. She and Scarecrow has been busy chasing Ozma around the Emerald City, which takes them into a Secret Chamber. Even in the darkness, Ozma discovers a door which reveals to them the Heart of the Emerald City and the history of Oz, proving to Ozma that she must prepare a coronation to be Queen of Oz. Back at the underground kingdom of the Nomes, an Invasion specialist named Guph suggests that in order to conquer the Emerald City they must make an underground tunnel which will take them to the Emerald City. Along with Guph's Giant Dirt-Devouring Worm, the Nomes make the tunnel and pass underneath the 'Deadly' Desert.
In the meantime, Scarecrow discovers a small box in the Wizard's Chamber which transports Dorothy and Ozma into a world where they meet Miss Cuttenclip the Paper Queen and Mr. Fuddles the Puzzle Man who creates a door which returns the girls back to Oz. As everybody gets everything ready, Dorothy and Ozma practice her magic powers by making a Giant Paper Bird come to life, so that they can ride it in the sky whenever they wish. Knowing the Nomes' fear and weakness, Guph also enlists the help of the monstrous Growleywog to ensure their victory. Practicing for the Coronation, Ozma's magic reveals where to find the Fountain of the Water of Oblivion, an important part of the Coronation.
Growleywog emerges in the West and starts devouring areas of the country. The terrified Winkies tell their King the Tin Man of the monster, and Dorothy also learns of the news. As the Tin Man battles Growleywog, Dorothy borrows the Magic Bird and tries to solve the problem without ruining any plans for Ozma. Underground, the Worm's failed attempt to go any further unto the emerald city gets Guph and the Nome King into an argument.
Nome King & his Army attempts to charge Emerald City, but Scarecrow's wondering of where and looking for Dorothy forces them back into the tunnel. After Dorothy manages to find the Winkie Timsmith to help her rescue Tin Man from the Growleywog, Guph sneaks into the Emerald City, going along the many stairs and doors, only to lose his memory in the Palace. Dorothy meets a pleasant Guph the next morning and the Nome King is worried. Ozma's Coronation is a success—despite Dorothy's exhaustion—and afterwards Tin Man talks to Ozma, the Lion and the Scarecrow on how to deal with Growleywog, which at that time is rejoined by the Nomes.
That night, Growleywog leads the Nomes in invasion of the Emerald City. As the Tin Man thwarts some of the Nomes, Scarecrow tells Dorothy his plan for a rescue. The friends do their best in scaring and attacking the Nomes with eggs, while the Lion watches over Ozma in her room, but their attempts are foiled and all seems lost for Dorothy and Scarecrow, but a voice comforts Dorothy, promising that all will be well. The next morning everybody is imprisoned by the Nome King and Dorothy wakes up to find herself alone in the Emerald City with the Growleywog and Guph, who has regained his memory but still protects her. Ozma uses her magic to save her people and trick the Nome King and his followers into defeat. Back in Oz, Glinda appears and congratulates Ozma on a job well done as the Nomes, Growlewog and Worm return home. Dorothy tells Glinda she knows it was her voice she heard, and realizes it is time to go home. However she is not sad, as she knows that she will be able to return to Oz anytime she wants thanks to Ozma's magic. Dorothy bids goodbye to her friends promising to return soon, and is then sent back to Kansas where she reunites with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and Toto.
Comparison with the original stories
The music score is by Joe Hisaishi who did music for the 1982 film with the same title and films by Hayao Miyazaki. Three pieces of theme music was used for the original Japanese version of this series. The first opening song is called "Fanshii Gaaru (ファンシーガール lit. Fancy Girl)" and is sung by Satoko Yamano. The ending song is called "Mahō no Kureyon (魔法のクレヨン lit. Crayon of Magic)", and is sung by the Japanese vocalists Kumiko Ōsugi and Ema Ōsugi. Later on in the series, the opening song changes to a retro-style instrumental version of "Fanshii Gaaru", which has a different set of instruments than the song version. This theme (with added lyrics) has been used by a few of the other international dubs of the series.
The U.S. version uses one piece of theme music for the episodic format, and four pieces of theme music for the highly edited movie format. The first song is "Searching for a Dream", used for the 52 episode T.V. version and first movie. It changes the original Japanese animation into a CGI opening. The 2nd opening song is "Listen to You Heart", used for the second movie arc. The third song is "Taste the Rain", used for the third movie release, and the fourth is "Close Your Eyes", which is used for the final movie release. All songs were created and performed by The Parachute Club. The ending song is a shortened version of "Searching For a Dream", which plays while showcasing clips from the series.
To give it a secondary market, episodes of the show were later re-edited into four films and released in the United States on VHS and Laserdisc (and later DVD), in which major plots and storylines are removed in favour of cutting each story-arc down into their retrospective book-canon story. HBO occasionally broadcast the first two movies in the U.S. in addition to showing the TV series in episodic form. However no release of the show in an uncut episodic format in the U.S. has come to light, save for a streaming version of some episodes on Cookie Jar's site Jaroo.com (now defunct). It has also been reported to be seen early-morning on This TV's Cinar children's programming block Cookie Jar Toons, which has since dissolved due to the breakup of the two companies. All 52 episodes, however, are available for instant streaming on Netflix.ca. The show aired in Australia and the UK multiple times in the early 1990s in the full episodic format on the ABC, Channel 4 and ITV channels respectively. It also aired around the same time in India on the Doordarshan channel. The full original Japanese version is available for purchase at YesAsia. In Mexico, IC Group have released the first 26 episodes in a collection of four DVDs under the name of EL MAGO DE OZ. This Spanish-dubbed collection is available for purchase at dvdenlared. A series of French-dubbed DVD sets of the whole series are available in France.