Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Lost in Oz Extended Adventure

Lost in Oz Extended Adventure

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Amazon Studios
Rating: TV Y7

This is one seriously modern version of Dorothy's trip to the other side of the rainbow. In this computer-generated, action-packed tale, 12-year-old Dorothy Gale is home alone in suburban Kansas when she discovers her mother's magical journal. She opens the book and unleashes a tornado that sends her - and her little dog, Toto, of course - to a very futuristic Oz.

She meets sarcastic West, a young witch with a wild chunk of hair, and Ojo, a sweet, big-headed Munchkin. They help her on her quest to find her way back home, which involves solving an Emerald City magic crisis.

The animated flying monkeys in this show might be as scary to young viewers as the original flying monkeys were to young viewers in 1939. They are doing the bidding of bad guy Fitz, who keeps trying to stop the fearless and always-brave Dorothy. She's trying to find Glinda the Good (they don't call her a "witch," for some reason).

Dorothy shows again and again that taking a calm, thoughtful and logical approach to solving her problems is the best practice. At one point she says of a particular challenge, "It's not magic; it's mechanical. And I'm pretty good with machines."

There are other obstacles and subplots happening - things get confusing, if you aren't paying close attention. And a sometimes-invisible Ray the Lion shows up. But it's easy enough to just follow Dorothy and her mission to get home.

Along with being STEM-smart, Dorothy is compassionate, thinks and works with others, and prevails by being caring and kind. She's an excellent, appealing main character in an updated story that feels hip and current without sacrificing the solid basics that powered the original.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, began her career at The Washington Post and went on to spend more than two decades with USA Today, where she covered pop culture topics. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Amazon Studios

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