Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Tussels

Mr. and Mrs. Tussels
A big softy and a small toughy.

The local police chief Mr. Tussels is friends with everyone near Boston Commons, his home turf.  He keeps the streets safe, strong-arming crime out of town or into prison.  He always thought of himself as tough until he finds himself knocking on the door of a neighborhood girl who has just lost her parents.

Mrs. Tussels, an accomplished seamstress, was acquaintances with Dorothy’s mother, Susanna.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Joey, the Scarecrow
An imbecile with the occasional stroke of absolute brilliance.

A clown of the scariest sort, Joey’s idiocy is a top-notch comedy act that will leave you groaning for more.  After learning to walk, this nitwit becomes the self-appointed translator extraordinaire for Tinny, the mouthless metal menace.  These two compatriots provide Dorothy dimwitted defense against the sharper fangs of Oz.  Indestructible straw-filled Joey cannot feel pain, and often finds himself dangling happily in the jaws of death.  This scarecrow would give every gram of his whole-grain fiber to save Dorothy, because it was she that first saved him, and, quite literally, taught him everything he knows.  What Joey's brain lacks in horsepower it makes up for with childlike optimism.

His dangling eyes and simplified, puppet-like design make Joey’s on-screen presence hilarious just to watch.

"Joey" is old circus lingo for "clown."

He tries not to move too much, but when he does it is with the finesse of a 1930s rubber hose animation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tinny, the Tin Woodsman

Tinny, the Tin Woodsman
An obsessed metal trash can with an axe. Don’t let him wander unsupervised.

With innocent, Ewok-like curiosity Tinny scours Oz hoping to find his lost heart under a rock or in a birds nest--or--yes, scarily enough--even inside somebody else.  He is endlessly curious about other creature’s hearts, but without a conscience of his own he doesn’t know when to stop “axing.” Only his friends can repress his habitual living autopsies of birds, butterflies, and anything that his ADD mind admires.  These nearly-tragic moments provide endless opportunities for suspense, humor, and tenderness.  It is a comedy of what “could” happen, but never does.

Tinny is melodramatic, not unlike a four-year-old.  His lack of a mouth forces him to communicate in pantomime.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Larry, the Cowardly Lion
A gentle giant who’s dream is to be in a musical.

A lover of raindrops and roses, this whiskered kitten is the flabbiest and gabbiest you’ve ever seen.  Nothing pleases him more than bouncing his big body to the beat.  A poet, a songwriter, a singer, a dancer--any father would be proud...except of course the King of the Forest.  Although his parents have long since passed away, the legacy they left Larry was a tainted pysche--he’s so terrified of failure that he doesn’t even try.  He longs for courage, and to scare people with his roar, but it seems hopeless.  What he doesn't know is that his path to rule the kingdom may be less like the king’s, and more like “the King’s,” than he ever dreamed.

*"larry" is 19th century circus lingo for something that is broken.

The plan for this character, besides adding an incredible personality to the film, is to poke fun at MGM's classic Wizard of Oz. Think Lancelot's trapped prince from Monty Python mixed with Winnie the Pooh.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bingum Bartolomew

Until I figure out what to do with all of my Wizard of Oz work (which includes 20+ character designs, 70+ pages of script, and much more), here's a character from the film.

Bingum Bartolomew

The greatest showman on earth.
Representing the great circus men of American history, this highly moral, exceedingly dedicated showman will stop at nothing to bring the magic, mystery, and wonder of the world to the lives of its citizens.  The tent is his home and his fellow performers his family.  He invests enormous capital to ensure the circus maintains its integrity, safety, and trust for all involved: viewer, performer, and animal alike.