~ Release group by The Muppets
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz is a 2005 musical fantasy television film directed by Kirk R. Thatcher. It is the second film to be made for television in The Muppets franchise. The film stars Ashanti, Jeffrey Tambor, Quentin Tarantino, David Alan Grier, Queen Latifah, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, and Eric Jacobson.
A contemporary adaptation of the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the story follows young Dorothy Gale, who works in her Aunt Em's diner, but dreams of becoming a singer somewhere beyond her small Kansas town. Swept up by a tornado, in her trailer home with pet prawn Toto, she lands in Oz and embarks on a journey to meet the Wizard who can help make her dreams come true.
Right after The Walt Disney Company bought the rights to the Muppets franchise in 2004, pre-production took place throughout February 2004, and principal photography began seven months later. ABC made several changes after the initial script was written, ultimately deciding to adapt plot elements from Baum's original novel rather than the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures musical film The Wizard of Oz (since the original 1939 film currently owned by Warner Bros. / Turner). The Muppets' Wizard of Oz became a musical, and included five new songs written and composed by Michael Giacchino.
It is the first Muppets film without the involvement of veteran performer Jerry Nelson following his 2004 retirement from physical performing. His characters of Lew Zealand and Floyd Pepper were respectively performed by Bill Barretta and John Kennedy. Barretta also debuts as the new permanent performer of Dr. Teeth, a character originally performed by Jim Henson. The production also marked the feature film debut of Eric Jacobson as the performer of Sam Eagle, a character originally performed by Frank Oz.
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz premiered on April 27, 2005 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and made its television premiere on ABC on May 20, 2005, as the final ABC Movie of the Week. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics, who felt that the film was too mature for young audiences and that the cameos and popular culture references were unnecessary.
Album + Soundtrack
|creative direction:||Steve Gerdes (graphic designer and musician)|
|standalone website:||http://muppets.disney.com/the-muppets-wizard-of-oz [info]|