Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Part 3: Witches Be Crazy

The group finally makes their way to the Emerald City and we finally see where the budget of this film went.

Brought to you in glorious CGI!

But as impressively massive as the city appears, the sets manage to shrink once again as the Guardian of the Gates appears to grill the travelers at the door to the city.  Totopepe convinces him to let them in since Dorothy managed to kill a witch with her bare house.  This excites and scares the Guard and he decides to take them to the Wizard.

Once again, swell casting choice.

So, who is going to play the Wizard?  This is where Kermit would have been great, but at this point, it's up in the air.  The chair swivels around to reveal...

Ta da!

Just kidding!  Scooter is only the assistant to the regional Wizard.  He prepares the characters for their Emerald City apparel, just like in the book.  Now, everyone will be getting green glasses and Dorothy will be getting a green dress, but rather than simply reach into a closet, we need to stick Bunsen and Beaker in here for their mandated cameo.  So, the glasses and a "makeover machine" are their inventions and we are able to move forward.

Each character meets the Wizard one at a time, and each time, the Wizard appears as something the character fears the most.  The Cowardly Lion gets a scary dragon who hates his jokes...

The world's worst critic.

...the Scarecrow gets a ball of fire...

Um...and Kermit hates being green?

...and the Tin Thing gets a seductive woman who becomes a seductive chicken.

Uh oh, they ran out of their effects budget as well.

The Wizard denies all of their wishes and only seems interested in Dorothy the Witch Slayer.  He promises to fulfill Dorothy's dreams, provided she travel over the Deadly Mountains in the west and obtain the Wicked Witch's magic all-seeing eyeball.

Also, Dorothy's greatest fear is apparently Boss Nass.

Dorothy and the troops gather themselves and prepare their journey.  Meanwhile, the Witch spies on them and prepares to send out hoards of obstacles to destroy them.  In an amusing joke that fans of the story will appreciate, she lists all of the plagues that she initially sends out in the book (like wolves and crows and bees) that are ultimately stopped by the heroes, but all of them are on vacation so all she has left are her flying monkeys.  Sorry, I mean, her biker gang, the Flying Monkeys.

Made up of the recycled cast of Muppet Treasure Island.

Wearing her mind-controlling biker cap, she controls the gang to attack and kidnap the heroes, singing "The Witch is in the House."  Again, the song's nothing too special, but the fights is pretty exciting and gruesome.  The Tin Thing loses his head and the Scarecrow is shredded to bits while the more meaty travelers are abducted.  That's pretty scary for kids.

This witch don't mess around!

What will happen to our maimed heroes?  Check it out tomorrow, as the surprisingly accurate retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz continues.

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