Rainbow Road to Oz was a proposed, but never finished, Walt Disney Studios live-action film about characters in the Land of Oz. Inspired by L. Frank Baum's Oz books, the film was to have starred some of the Mouseketeers, including Darlene Gillespie as Dorothy and Annette Funicello as Ozma, as well as Bobby Burgess as the Scarecrow, Tommy Kirk as the villainous son of the Wicked Witch of the West, and Kevin Corcoran.
Preview segments from the film aired on September 11, 1957 on Disneyland's fourth anniversary show. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz had been shown on CBS Television for the first time on November 3, 1956.
Recordings of several of the unused songs from the proposed film were later incorporated into Disneyland LPs in the 1960s. The Canadian release live concert CD, "Songs in the Key of Oz" presents several songs from The Rainbow Road to Oz, among many other Oz-related numbers, performed by Canadian musical theatre performers Joe Cascone and David Haines.
Theories on why the film was abandoned include Disney's failure to develop a satisfactory script, the popularity of the MGM film on television which represented potential insurmountable comparisons. Disney ultimately replaced this film project with a new adaptation of Babes in Toyland.
- "Movie Producers Crashing Broadway", The Washington Post and Times-Herald (September 3, 1957), page B-8
- Disneyland segment at YouTube
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