Once more, I find the oddest things on the Internet machine while promoting Magician of Oz. This time, it was an ebay listing for a 33 1/3 LP vinyl record album entitled: Snagglepuss Tells The Story Of Wizard Of Oz
As you can see by the cover, it features one of my favorite cartoon characters, Snagglepuss escorting Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and Toto down the Yellow Brick Road towards Emerald City.
Ahh yes... Where to begin???
As we can see, Dorothy has black hair, contrary to conventional wisdom, which suggests Dorothy's hair is light brown in color. She's got a green turtle-neck sweater and Capri pants for an outfit. Not quite how it is in the book, or even the movie. No Silver Slippers either, just dark loafers. Maybe they were thinking of a Laura Petrie sequel? I can just see Dick Van Dyke as The Wizard!
She is accompanied by the Scarecrow, who seems to have vision problems and is wearing a suit and tie. Hmmm... A corporate Scarecrow... What a thought.
Now the Tin Woodman appears to be made out of an engine block of sorts, with brake pads for shoes, a piston head and some sort of weird spark plug for a nose.
As for the Cowardly Lion, that's where Snagglepuss comes into the story. He was kinda cowardly in nature. Oddly enough, all large cartoon cat characters from the 60's, such as Snagglepuss and Pete Puma (I loved that guy!!!) have a cowardly nature to them. Perhaps this is a direct influence from the Wizard of Oz stories? Or the movie...
Finally, Toto now comes in white and rides a skateboard. What a hoot!
If that wasn't enough, the Emerald City looks like something out of the Jetsons.
Now, in defense of Hanna-Barbera, one of the leading animators of the 60's, this type of cross-promotional schtick was fairly common, as shown by the back cover of the album.
As you can see, the Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, and even Top Cat got into the act. The one apparent reason behind this was probably due to the fact that there was only voice talent to deal with, without regards to the immense amount of time involved in frame-by-frame animation, unlike today's computer animation techniques. Take a popular story (Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, ect..) and combine it with a popular cartoon character and voila!!!
Hey, whatever it takes to make a buck I suppose...
Anyway, I found it amusing and only wish I had the 40 bucks to purchase it and add it to my Oz collection.