What would Dorothy’s time in Oz look like if she were whisked away today?
That is one of the questions a new animated series hopes to answer.
Lost in Oz is a modern adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s wildly imaginative stories. It features Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they end up in a strange, colorful, magical world. Their main mission is to try to find their way home. Dorothy’s sudden adventure involves meeting new friends, facing an enemy or two, and tapping into her inner strength to overcome a ton of obstacles thrown her way. In this series, she’s going to learn a lot about herself and how resourceful she can be in order to get back home.
While Dorothy will meet up with familiar favorites like the Cowardly Lion, there are some new faces she’ll encounter along the way. In Lost in Oz you’re going to have to forget about Auntie Em. In this universe, Dorothy has a mom.
Evelyn Gale is her name. She’s pretty fierce in her own right. She’s a working mother raising her child and, oh yeah, she has a magical past that her daughter is about to discover.
TV Goodness recently attended a screening of the first two episodes of this Amazon Originals Kids Series that stars Ashley Boettcher as Dorothy, Gina Gershon as Langwidere and Allison Mack as Dorothy’s mom, Evelyn.
At the screening, we were able catch up with Mack, who played the tough, resourceful, badass Chloe Sullivan for ten years on Smallville. She talked to us about playing Evelyn, which is another badass role she’s added to her extensive repertoire. She also told us why Lost in Oz is a must-see for kids and the one thing she loves more than anything on this planet.
TV Goodness: Why do people continue to be fascinated by the L. Frank Baum stories and the World of Oz?
Allison Mack: It’s funny because I just read recently Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and that inspired me to re-watch The Wizard of Oz and that was before Mark (Warshaw) and The Bureau of Magic approached me for this project so it was all kind of perfect timing. But I think that there’s something about telling the story of someone going on an adventure in a faraway land and making their way home. That is so sort of epic and consistent and relatable and kind of intoxicating in a way. And I think that The Wizard of Oz is one of the first times that we got to see a woman protagonist going through that and a young woman protagonist going through that. So I think it’s a story sort of like Star Wars you know it’s epic and it should always be told and always be remembered and always be revisited.
TV Goodness: So how did this role come to you?
Mack: Mark Warshaw is a very, very good friend of mine and a collaborator from years back. And he and I kind of made a pact that we would always be a part of the creative projects that we were doing. And so when this came about he asked me to audition for both Dorothy and Evelyn and so I read for both characters and they ended up thinking that I was best suited for Evelyn which was awesome and I jumped on board. And then you know when I was already involved I discovered how awesome it is and what a great story it is. We went from there.
TV Goodness: And talk about Evelyn.
Mack: She’s badass, yeah?
TV Goodness: She really is. What did you enjoy about bringing her to life?
Mack: I think the fact that she’s, ‘Okay, this is happening. We’re gonna deal with it. You know, there was no panic. There was no freakout. There was no tantrum-ing or freaking or spazzing out it was just basically all right. She found the book. She’s in Oz. How are we gonna get her home? And I think that speaks to the truth in Evelyn’s character in general. She’s down to business. She doesn’t screw around. She’s up for an adventure. But she’s gonna be responsible about it. And I love that.
TV Goodness: I love that she has a backstory. She was a traveler. Can you tease that?
Mack: Mark and I — some of our best memories in our friendship are traveling adventures that we’ve done together through Europe and things like that. So the fact that the whole story is about a travel journal where you record your experiences and you go on these adventures. It’s perfect. It links my personal relationship with Mark with the creativity of the show and I think it’s awesome. And I think anytime that we can inspire people, kids, to think about the world outside the world they know and going on an adventure and collecting travel stories, I think it’s great. I think especially now we need to encourage our kids to think about something outside what they’re familiar with.
TV Goodness: The Art of Voiceover acting. What’s challenging about it?
Mack: I think one of the things about voiceover acting that’s so exciting and also so unique is that you can only use one of the many facilities that you have as an actor. So you have to get real good at understanding how to communicate emotion and story through your voice. It’s challenging in that you don’t have access to all of your tools. But it’s fun and you have to be creative with the one tool that you have access to which is your voice.
TV Goodness: What’s the takeaway from this series for kids?
Mack: In my opinion it’s about believing in yourself. And not giving up. And I think Dorothy is a beautiful example of somebody who’s resourceful and she goes for what she wants and she doesn’t let herself get disheartened or discouraged. And I think that’s an incredible example. Because so often we meet sort of things that seem like failures or things that seems like end points and we just stop. And Dorothy doesn’t stop. She’s gonna get home and that’s all there is to it.
TV Goodness: I read in your bio that after Smallville you studied Shakespeare and did theater. What did you get out of the feeling of being on stage?
Mack: It’s my favorite thing on the planet. I love more than anything being on stage. I think for me theater brings acting back to its craft. And you have to understand the art of acting in order to be able to be a good stage actor. There’s no do it again, there are no cuts. There’s no edit. I mean basically what you see is what you get as far as your skill is concerned. So for me going back to the classics, going back to the roots and being back on stage, it just reinvigorated my feeling of being an artist again. And it’s been fantastic.
TV Goodness: I have to ask about Smallville — what did it mean to be a part of it and do people still give you feedback on Chloe?
Mack: Absolutely. Not as often as obviously when the show was on the air but I think it was a five-year sort of end point a year ago or something like that and then Hulu picking it up, there’s been a resurgence of fan interactions again which is delightful. And I think Chloe being such a fan favorite is such — I get such beautiful feedback from people and I get such great acknowledgement and recognition from people. And I don’t know if I can take credit for that because I really just got to play a great character for ten years. But it’s great — it’s been wonderful.
TV Goodness: It has to be a testament to the show and you guys that Smallville has been over for six years or so but you guys are popping up all over the place. Tom [Welling] just got FOX’s Lucifer…
Mack: I know!!!!
TV Goodness: Kristin [Kreuk] on Beauty and the Beast, Michael [Rosenbaum] had Impastor and you with Lost in Oz…
Mack: I think when people are talented and good at what they do they keep working. And that’s just the way the industry is so I think that the people who cast Smallville had a good eye and that’s why we lasted for ten years and it makes sense that we would have a life beyond the show because everybody on the show is good at what they did.
The ten-episode animated series Lost in Oz drops today on Amazon Prime Video.
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