Inspiration for the “Wonderful World of Oz”?

Inspiration for the “Wonderful World of Oz”?

An interesting piece of concept art recently came up on my radar:

Dungeon of Forbidden Magic - Wonderful World of Oz
Dungeon of Forbidden Magic – Wonderful World of Oz

It was drawn in 1999 by William Stout for a never-built park that Landmark Entertainment was working on, The Wonderful World of Oz, to be located in Kansas City, Missouri.

The similarities to the Laboratory stage are exceptional: live actor with two avian animatronic co-stars (one an owl), multi-level stage, gargoyles over doorways, central smoking grate, circular barred window, central chandelier, stage left cauldron, suit of armor, bottles and skulls, etc.

It’s entirely possible that this is all happenstance – it appears Mr. Stout didn’t work for Landmark and was brought on specifically for this project.  But the similarities seem extremely coincidental, and it’s very likely that Bill saw the original Laboratory model on display at Landmark and was inspired to create this piece of concept art.

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