A new animated film from Warner Brothers will tell the story of The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of Dorothy's dog, Toto. The movie will be based on the children's book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of The Wizard Of Oz, which was written by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.
Author L. Frank Baum first published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, and went on to write thirteen more books based around the magical land of Oz. Baum had never intended to write anything further about Oz after the first novel, but public demand and thousands of letters from children wanting to know what happened to The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodsman and The Cowardly Lion after Dorothy returned to Kansas touched his heart and inspired him to keep writing. Since that time, Baum's original Oz stories have inspired numerous spin0ffs and adaptations. The 1939 film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy remains the most popular screen version of Oz, and is generally considered one of the greatest films ever made.
THR first reported upon the upcoming film, which is still in pre-production. It's unknown at this time if the film's animation style will pattern itself on the illustrations of Emma Chichester Clark, but it will feature a talking Toto, as seen in the original book.
Warner Brothers has assembled a first class team to adapt Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of The Wizard Of Oz for the big screen. The screenplay is being handled by writer Mark Burton - who previously wrote the scripts for Madagascar and Wallace And Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit - while Jared Stern and Winsor Yuan have been selected to serve as the executive producers of the animated feature. Stern previously worked for Warner Animation as a producer on several of the LEGO movies, including both LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago. Yuan’s previous credits include the short films Silk and Lost Boy Found.
The cynical may claim that the endless adapting and readapting of The Wizard of Oz speaks to modern day Hollywood's lack of originality, and its willingness to milk nostalgia for a fast buck. Given that L. Frank Baum's works have all passed into the public domain, and Warner Brothers owns all the rights to the most famous film adaptation of his work, said cynical may indeed have a point. Regardless, the fact remains that L. Frank Baum's original novels are still as wondrous and inspiring as they were a century ago. Though Baum passed on in 1919, the worlds that he created live on, and will continue to inspire new generations of artists, creators - and yes, children - for years to come.