Back in 1986, Turner Entertainment purchased MGM’s film library including the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz”. Several years later – to coincide with its first telecast on their own cable channel TNT – I was commissioned to create pen & ink renderings of the four iconic leading characters (plus Toto).
Back then, it was (unfortunately) customary for a client to keep an illustrator’s original artwork (unless specified differently in my contract). I was really pleased with the way my drawing of Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion turned out so I thought to make reproductions of it (stats!) before shipping it off…and I’m glad I did. I have absolutely no idea where my drawings of Dorothy, Scarecrow and the Tin Man are today – perhaps in a flat file somewhere on the Warner Brothers lot…or (more likely) thrown away. And – at least I have this one drawing to remind me of the fun project!
Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” opened this past weekend, and having loved the original film – of course I had to see it opening night! It wasn’t horrible…it definitely had it’s moments…but I’ll sure be surprised if I am commissioned to create portraits of this new cast of players 50 years from now.