Evolution for Better or for Worse

Woggle is a word that means wisdom and love combined can go one way or the other, depending which is emphasized the most, or neglected of the most. While it is perceived neglect can do worse damage than outright dislike, the worst of damage always comes from neglect caused by dislike. This is my theory on how the Wogglebug was transformed in a tragic way instead of a beautiful one during the course of the Oz series. But if one thing could be changed in the history of Oz, then so could the Wogglebug's tragedy be averted and his life could take a turn for the better. This is what I emphasize in my latest book, Mr. Wogglebug's Second Time Around, which I will get more into in a later post. This is something that has also been touched in other books, such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As well as in movies such as the Back to the Future trilogy, the first movie came out the year I was born. In the first Back to the Future film, Marty McFly accidentally went back in time from 1985 to 1955 and prevented his parents from meeting each other. Then the plot was for him to succeed in having his parents meet and fall in love again. Then when his parents met and fell in love differently than the previous timeline, they took care of themselves and each other differently and for the better and also raised their children differently and for the better as an inevitable result. Marty for a while in the second and into the third film had difficulty with the merging of his two entities from both timelines. Such as he suffered from getting aggressive whenever he was called a chicken by one of the bad guys. But by the end he overcame this quite wisely and well with the help of of his friend Dr. Emmett L. Brown. This is similar to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. The tale by Robert Louis Stevenson ends in tragedy. The ending of an animated film version I saw once summed everything up as Dr. Jekyll's three surviving close friends remember him for the great man and wonderful scientist he had been. Dr. Jekyll was the real person, while Mr. Hyde had been an entity of all that ever could have gone bad or become bad in him brought out in the extremes by the drug he concocted gone wrong. Jekyll's friends agree not to have the truth revealed to serve only to blemish the reputation of a great man. "And besides," one adds, "who would believe this story?" Indeed, who would believe it? To further clarify the significance of this, I mean that if you compare the Wogglebug in Baum's earliest writings, and in the later ones that different authors of Oz based their portrayals on, you would never tell they were the same character. This couldn't have been emphasized more than in the different versions of him at the start of the Oz comics from Caliber and in the midst of the Dark Oz climax. Interestingly, in the spin-off series, The Land of Oz comics, he was there portrayed as the just moderately pedantic but completely good-natured professor type that nowadays the more contemporary Oz authors often portray him as. My portrayal of him though in my Oz-related novels merges the lovable Mr. Wogglebug with the good-natured version of the Professor Wogglebug especially because I make it clear how he avoided all of the events that led up to him becoming Professor Wogglebug and thus at a crucial point in Oz time he didn't lock himself up but instead left Oz and grew in his education and awareness in the Outside world and when he returned he was fully prepared to be a mentor to the Frogman as well as a best friend. Especially as the Frogman was the only friend he had in Oz until Terry Hayman came in. This will be explained about later.

Of course, in my movie series is only when Mr. Wogglebug really shines like a star and rises up for the very best he can be. Because he is away from all of the restrictions of what The Land of Oz brought upon him as if he was never even there at all and felt such from it at all. He starts out as being just lovable and intelligent with great potential to be a wonderfully wise hero figure, then he in the final three movies he fully achieves this status and becomes a superhero who is practically perfect at least. This is something he couldn't achieve in the Land of Oz. The point is that although in the first four movies he is somewhat awkward and never really immune to mistakes or suffering, the way that everything still plays out and comes together with him as a hero and center of influence as such always puts the Oz series to shame and the fans of it. How a lovable and heroic character can start out as being just generically so and then by the end of the series have achieved this in superior can be viewed in at least three cartoons that either premiered or climaxed in 1985 as well. First there's the Pound Puppies with their leader known as Cooler. In the TV short movie that proceeded the series Cooler was obviously a brilliant leader and a nice guy who always did what was right and cared about others to do so, but he was still somewhat rough around the edges due to coming from a streetwise lifestyle. But then when he returned in the official TV series (which was different altogether and had different supporting characters around him) he now was like a shining star with his rough edges smoothed over and his better qualities shining, and his looks refined to better fit his name. Then in the movie version of Pound Puppies (which was once again quite different from either proceeding version) he was now a shining star and hero with super qualities that fit his name splendidly. You can see the evolution in the three pictures above. His evolution was like a sparky diamond polished to the highest degree.

Another well known character who always started out as lovable and beautiful, and only grew to an even brighter glow and higher level of excellence over the years, and not once but twice, is none other than Strawberry Shortcake who started out as a doll with strawberry scented hair in 1980. Then she starred in 6 TV movies over the course of 6 years. She started out being just awesome but somewhat naive and too easy a target for her nemesis, the Peculiar Purple Pieman in the first two movies in which she celebrated her birthday and then made a trip to Big Apple City. But by the third movie she had reached a milestone due to a surprising circumstance and defeated the Pieman personally using words and wits with controlled anger and believing in all she stood for. Then in the next three movies she obviously kept getting to a higher level. She extended her traveling to international levels and then when she returned she moved into a bigger and fancier house for herself in Strawberryland. Next she and her friends went camping and became afraid of a rumored monster in the woods and learned how some things aren't what they seem. Then at the climax of the series of movies she gave herself a new look and met with the Berry Princess as they saved StrawberryLand and she adopted her own berrykin and became a parent in a sense. Strawberry Shortcake had another makeover two decades later with its syndicated animated series. The series had many differences to it from its original one. But the heroine was still the same and much the same character, just somewhat different because of a different kind of environment and supporting cast. Then later there was another makeover when the series had a reboot and became 3D animated instead of 2D animated as before. For the first time, Strawberry Shortcake had long flowing hair of reddish pink. There is another series with a whole cast of characters who were updated as they started a new series of the same show they had over the course of three decades. They are the Care Bears. They started out once again as plush toys, and then DIC made two short movies of them and this followed a syndicated TV series. When the Care Bears first came in they were obviously one-dimansional. But then in the series they became more fleshed out. However, the series that had them as fully rounded and three-dimensional lovable characters goes to the Nelvana series. Which is a total contrast from the DIC series. And though the Care Bear family stayed much the same it still had differences in its storylines and villains and sometimes things about its own main cast. This has continued on with the newest and latest version of the Care Bears which once again has gone from 2D to 3D animation and been updated in other ways for this day and age. But so long as the same thing appeals to a new generation it can stay in.

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