HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
   
 
Newest Articles
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
   
 
  Secret World of Og, The Imagination NationBuy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Steve Lumley
Stars: Fred Travalena, Janet Waldo, Noelle North, Josh Rodine, Marissa Mendenhall, Julie McWhirter, Peter Cullen, Dick Beals, Hamilton Camp, Richard Erdmann, Brittany Wilson, Michael Rye, Joseph G. Medalis, Andre Stojka, Russi Taylor
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Fantasy, Adventure, TV Movie
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Things keep disappearing mysteriously from the house where Penny (voiced by Noelle North), a bright young girl addicted to adventure novels, lives with her four younger siblings. Mostly toys and comic books. At first nobody believes middle sister Pamela (Marissa Mendenhall), a wannabe actress with an overactive imagination, when she spies a strange little green man lurking in the front yard. Until baby Pollywog (Julie Mcwhirter), the world's youngest escape artist, is kidnapped along with Earless the family cat (Peter Cullen, Optimus Prime himself)! This leads to the discovery of a secret door hidden at the base of their tree-house. And so Penny, Pamela, kid brother Peter (Josh Rodine), rambunctious reptile-loving youngest sister Patsy (Brittany Wilson), faithful dog Yukie (also Peter Cullen) and Snively the snake (whom Patsy dubs 'the best snake in the world') venture into a wondrous underground kingdom populated by little green people with an oddly familiar-seeming culture and a language consisting of one word: "Og."

Pierre Berton's 1961 novel, winningly illustrated by his daughter Patsy, is a children's classic much beloved in the author's native Canada. At one point it was reported Berton received a dozen fan letters a week for a book that, of the forty-seven he wrote, was his personal favourite. Partly because the characters were inspired by his own children. Over the years The Secret World of Og was adapted into a 2006 animated series along with no less than two opera productions, one in Canada the other in the USA. However the 1983 television special remains the gold standard that captured the imagination of a generation of kids. Animated for the small screen by Hanna-Barbera's Australian division from a script penned by Marvel Comics scribe Mark Evanier (who did some of his best work for Sergio Aragones' hilarious sword and sorcery parody title 'Groo the Wanderer') it is a quirky fantasy with an ingenious premise, interestingly flawed child heroes and a winning sense of humour. While not quite up to feature film standard the animation is superior to the glorified toy commercials that dominated children's entertainment at the time, crafting a unique and evocative fantasy world.

The central conceit is something one cannot discuss without spoiling the plot's big twist. Suffice to say the child heroes discover the diminutive residents of Og have an unusual interest, one might say obsession, with pop culture. Specifically adventure novels and comic books. Berton infuses the story with heartening life lessons about togetherness, responsibility and how imagination can sustain family and community. Evanier's own background undoubtedly factors into scenes where comic books inspire the children to think of fresh ways to escape their latest predicament. Yet these are counterbalanced with a warning about the dangers of taking fantasy too literally. For a bright, resolutely wholesome and funny children's cartoon The Secret World of Og features some moments that are pretty dark on a conceptual level. As when the town Sheriff (Hamilton Camp) threatens to "string up them varmints" because that is what Wyatt Earp would do; an Og butcher tries to chop poor Earless into mincemeat (the cat's snarky facial expressions throughout the movie are truly priceless); and poor Peter gets accused of imaginary murder.

An appealing voice cast bring the siblings to vivid life. Each of the child heroes exhibit distinct personalities along with individual character arcs that pay off. Transcending its limitations as a very brief made-for-TV special (aired originally as an ABC Weekend Special - an anthology series that ran from 1977-97 with both animated and live-action adaptations of children's books), the film is suspenseful and exciting. Its most memorable sequence being a shootout where the characters point finger-guns and yell "bang!" - a gag later refined by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg in their sitcom Spaced. Another terrific asset is synth score by Ian Mason that melds perfectly with the story and art design proving evocative and magical.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 249 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (4)
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
7 Aug 2019
  From that first paragraph, I thought you were going to say Jim Henson's Labyrinth ripped this off!
       
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
7 Aug 2019
  Nah, they're very different. Og is much more childlike. Sort of an ode to family and the power of make-believe. Granted Labyrinth (a movie I love even more) ends on a message affirming the importance of fantasy in helping Sarah mature. It is more about learning to grow up and balance responsibility with desire, with a piquant undertone of sensuality. I mean, Jennifer Connelly etched a permanent place in my heart.
       
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
8 Aug 2019
  I'd seen Labyrinth as a teen, but didn't take much notice of her till The Rocketeer, followed her career for a few years, but then she started to be determined to show how serious she was with miserably-toned work and the appeal wore off. Now she's doing that Top Gun sequel! Presumably it paid well, but yuk.
       
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
8 Aug 2019
  I'll be honest. I sold on Top Gun: Maverick the moment Jennifer appeared in the trailer.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: