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Literature / Ollie's Odyssey

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Ollie's Odyssey is a 2016 children's book by William Joyce.

Ollie is a toy made for a young boy named Billy by his mother, which Billy dubbed his favorite toy when he got him. The two are practically inseparable. They do everything together, go everywhere together (so long as their mom says so), and to Billy, Ollie is so much more than a simple toy. He's Billy's best friend.

However, one day, Billy secretly brings Ollie along to a wedding he and his family are attending. When Billy isn't looking, Ollie is swiped and taken away by a group of scary creatures made out of garbage and scraps. These creatures work for Zozo, the former attraction of the "Bonk A Zozo" game lying in the ruins of the old amusement park, who wants all favorite toys in the neighborhood. Now, Billy has to track Ollie down, and Ollie has to escape from the clutches of Zozo.

A live-action/CGI mini-series titled Lost Ollie arrived on Netflix August 24, 2022 with Jonathan Groff voicing the titular character and Shannon Tindle (creator/co-writer of Kubo and the Two Strings) as the show's developer.

Ollie's Odyssey contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The old ruins of an amusement park where Zozo makes his base of operations.
  • Alliterative Title: Ollie's Odyssey.
  • Amusement Park: Zozo makes his base in the abandoned ruins of one.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: It's not just favourite toys that come to life. Billy finds a whole junkyard full of living discarded objects (see Down in the Dumps), Ollie meets a sentient tin can after escaping from Zozo, and in the old amusement park, Billy finds the horses of the merry-go-round are alive.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • The Ballerina did this when she was all worn out, and now exists as a cluster of fireflies.
    • The same thing happens to Zozo after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Big Bad: Zozo.
  • Black Cloak: Zozo took to wearing one of these after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Buried Alive: Zozo. He reunites with the ballerina he loved in death.
  • Down in the Dumps: Billy finds himself in a junk yard in his search for Ollie. It's where he meets multiple other living objects who seem to just sit around reminiscing about when they were useful. Billy rallies them into a rescue team to help him save Ollie.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zozo holds the collapsing ceiling of the tunnel of love up long enough for everyone else to escape.
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: Zozo's minions, whenever a human is nearby, collapse to the ground to be mistaken for piles of junk.
  • In the Hood: Ollie wears a hood.
  • Invisible to Adults: Only children can see toys move. To adults, they're just inanimate objects.
  • Living Toys: Naturally.
  • Love at First Sight: Zozo is immediately smitten by the ballerina who's brought to his booth.
  • Love Redeems: Zozo's brief reunion with the spirit of the Ballerina makes him realize what it is he's been doing.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Zozo dies after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Sneaky Departure: Billy sneaks out after bedtime to find Ollie.
  • Spider Tank: Zozo made one of these out of parts of various rides.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Or rather, a trail of action figures in Billy's case.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the final days of the amusement park's life, a young girl came to the Bonk A Zozo game. She won, and as her prize, she claimed the ballerina Zozo loved. On her way out, she named it her favorite toy. This was what started Zozo down the path that made him into the toy-stealing villain he became. That little girl was Billy's mom.