The movie was written, produced, and directed by Barry Mahon, who made low-budget "nudie" films for the "grindhouse" circuit during the 1960s, like Nudes on Tiger Reef (1965) and Fanny Hill Meets Lady Chatterly (1967) among others. By the end of the 1960s, the trend toward more overtly pornographic films drove family-man Mahon away from the genre and into children's pictures. His Oz film was his first venture in this new genre, though he would go on to make a Jack and the Beanstalk and a Thumbelina (both 1970) among other titles.
The Oz film was made on a skeletal budget of only $50,000. (Mahon also had to offer his distributor $90,000 for advertising and promotion.) Mahon employed many beginners and newcomers in both cast and crew, who received on-the-job training in filmmaking through making the film. It was also a family affair: Mahon's youngest son Channy (Chandos Castle Mahon), then ten years old, starred as Tip. Channy's mother Clelle was the movie's script supervisor.
Unfortunately, Channy Mahon was "an incredibly bad child actor" whose "ill-timed, lethargic performance" was the central element in a largely inexperienced ensemble. The film's production values, in terms of sets, costumes, and effects, are crude and primitive.
The movie was quickly forgotten after its initial appearance in the summer of 1969. Yet the modern proliferation of obscure video, aided by the Internet, has brought renewed attention to the film, mainly from those interested in cult movies and the ironic "so bad it's good" outlook.
The movie features songs by Ralph Falco and George Linsenmann.
- Tip: Channy Mahon
- Scarecrow: Michael Thomas
- Tin Woodman: Al Joseph
- Jack Pumpkinhead: George Wordsworth
- General Jinjur: Caroline Berner
- Mombi: Franzisca "Zisca" Baum (no relation to L. Frank Baum)
- Wogglebug: Gil Fields
- Glinda: Hillary Lee Gaess
- Ozma: Joy Webb
- This film came 30 years after 1939's The Wizard of Oz
- Channy Mahon was the director's son
- The Sawhorse does not appear
- The director had previously made adult films before this one and so it was rumored that the girls in Jinjur's army had appeared in those. However this is not true based on filiming location.
- Marc Berezin, "Oz on a Budget: The Making and Selling of Barry Mahon's The Wonderful Land of Oz," The Baum Bugle, Vol. 53 No. 1 (Spring 2009), pp. 41-6.
- Rob Craig, quoted in Berezin, p. 43.
- Berezin, p. 46.