Return to Oz
Article by Brad Munson
It all started eighty-five years ago when L. Frank Baum first captured the hearts and imaginations of children with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The book's literary success spawned dozens of stage and screen excursions to the Land of Oz, marked most notably by MGM's immortal classic. Repudiating the popular conception of singing and dancing munchkins and vaudevillian backdrops, Walt Disney Productions and director Walter Murch have reexplored Baum's familiar and beloved fantasy world in a dedicated new adaptation — Return to Oz. Producers Gary Kurtz and Paul Maslansky, opticals expert Zoran Perisic, creature designer Lyle Conway and Claymation innovator Will Vinton - together with other members of the Oz team — discuss in detail the special brand of wizardry involved in bringing Dorothy Gale's time-honored adventures once again to life.
Bringing Up Baby
Article by Howard E. Green
In the animal-adventure genre there is nothing new under the sun — or is there? For Touchstone Films, the novel twist of casting a most unusual fauna in the title role of Baby was inspiration for the telling of an old tale in a decidedly new way. The Isidoro Raponi-designed infant brontosaurus star was born cinematically in the rain forests of Africa's Ivory Coast following an arduous three-year gestation period. For director B.W.L. Norton and producer Jonathan Taplin, the trials and tribulations of bringing the $14 million production to life involved an exhausting — often harrowing — labor. And the challenge of creating high-tech special effects in a low-tech Third World country furnished all involved with more than their share of real-life thrills and chills.
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