on May 16, 2006
This was the first RANKIN/BASS TV Special, which originally aired on the NBC-TV GENERAL ELECTRIC FANTASY HOUR in February, 1964. It was the first also for writer ROMEO MULLER and I have his original type written script for this one! GENERAL ELECTRIC had a nice tie-in CHARM BRACELET from the special! If you bought an iron, you got the extra! The animation is derivitive of the GREAT UPA style that came out of the late 1950's and early 1960's and was designed by TONY PETERS out of the RANKIN/BASS New York offices. This is also the first time RANKIN/BASS Composer MAURY LAWS got involved with a RANKIN/BASS Project and became Musical Supervisor by doing the orchestrations. MAURY will be taking the RANKIN/BASS Music out on the road during CHRISTMAS 2007 and hitting all of the major symphonies! I will be CREATIVE DIRECTOR on this traveling RANKIN/BASS magical musical! Look for us at a venue near you!
The songs, the excellent voice over characterizations, the clever animation, and fun characters, are what always made Rankin Bass specials a winner. This one is no exception. While the animation does appear dated, it does not distract from this story derived from the characters of the Rankin Bass TV show Tales of the Wizard of Oz, which consisted of over 100 5 minute animated shorts from 1961. It features the same characters from the show, but Dorothy and Toto look different. There's the Wicked Witch, Glinda, Dandy the Lion, Rusty the Tin Man, Socrates the straw man (scarecrow), the Wizard, and of course, Toto. The DVD has no special features, and it does not appear the animation was digitally cleaned up at all (some artifacting present).
This is continuing in a current release line of vintage Rankin Bass releases, which started late last year with the two volumes of the animated 60's King Kong Show, and is continuing with two shows from the early 70's Festival of Family Classics: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in 80 Days, found on one DVD titled Festival of Family Classics Adventures Volume 1. Numbering that one volume 1, presumably means we are in for more. Keep 'em coming!
on March 2, 2008
This one-hour primetime television special was the very first from the beloved Rankin/Bass production company, who were also responsible for most of the Christmas specials we see every year inlcuding RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN & SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN. Debuting in 1964, this cel-animation was similar in style to the wonderful TALES OF THE WIZARD OF OZ series they had done previously (hopefully those will make their way onto DVD as well). As with all of Rankin/Bass' efforts, this trip back to Oz features attractive animation, spectacular voice talent, great songs, and a fun story that is enjoyable for adults and children. And for the price, you simply can't go wrong.
on March 22, 2007
I actually enjoyed the 1964 atmosphere of this sequel even more than the live action Disney movie made 21 years later. Videocraft (later known as Rankin Bass) have employed some excellent songs, and brought back several characters from "The Wizard of Oz" in a new adventure.
Don't let the primitive animation put you off. It's truly part of the charm.
This feature runs around 50 min and follows from Videocraft's "Tales of the Wizard of Oz" series. PLEASE FANS. GET A FORUM GOING TO REQUEST THAT "TALES OF THE WIZARD OF OZ" IS RELEASED ON DVD.
And while we're at it, can we please have the 1987 CINAR Films Wizard of Oz series released in full, rather than the 4 feature cartoons which are just heavily cut versions of the series?
Anyway, grab this DVD from "used and new" while you can,
on August 22, 2015
"RETURN TO OZ" was one of the finest of the cel animated productions of Videocraft International,soon to be known as Rankin/Bass,who went on to achieve critical success with many of their stop motion animation TV specials over the years to come! but in this 1964 cartoon production,Arthur Rankin,Jr and Jules Bass treated Frank Baum's creation with great care and respect,making this animated TV special a heartfelt and enjoyable excursion back into the world of Oz! i last saw this special on KGMB-TV back sometime between 1969 or 1970 when it was syndicated,and i never forgot how well the voices
and the music was made,because it tugged at my heart! later,Filmation Associates had produced a full length version called "JOURNEY BACK TO OZ"
using Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli,as the voice of "Dorothy Gale",which was fitting,,but eventhough i enjoyed Filmation's well intended version,it
still couldn't best the 1964 cartoon special,based on Videocraft International's previous Canadian produced cartoon shorts in 1961. the introduction of voice actress Susan Conway factors heavily here,because she was used again,as the voice of one of the charecters in Videocraft's 1966 cel animated series,"KING KONG",produced for the ABC network in 1966,and animated by Japan's Toei Studios,which i also grew up watching and enjoying! but in general,"RETURN TO OZ" is recommended only for those viewers,who know and value both serious Family entertainment,and are familiar with the great works of Rankin/Bass,who went on,to conquer the TV specials by storm,as well as producing fair and sensible cel animated TV shows,like "THE JACKSON FIVE" and "THE OSMONDS" in the 1970s,through the Halas & Batchelor studios,or their other ABC cartoon series,like "THE RELUCTANT DRAGON AND MR TOAD SHOW",along with "THE SMOKEY BEAR SHOW",for Fall 1969-superior shows!
on March 26, 2006
This one hour, made for TV special is Dorothy's animated return to the land of OZ. Although now 40 years old, the film will delight young fans of OZ and bring back memories to those who remember this newly refound, classic animated story. Dorothy returns to Oz (via an fruit tree this time) and once again must battle the Witch of the West, once a puddle now a witch again, for the ownership of the Silver Slippers (no rubies here folks). The animation is typical of it's time; stylized and sparse with muted tones. Still, it's well done and features some great voice work on the part of the cast. Like it's more famous inspiration, the film features some well crafted music for Dorothy and company to sing. A definate treat for young audiences that deserves to be refound by adult fans of the legend of the Land of Oz.
on October 13, 2010
It's an awesome animated cartoon movie! I love it! I have seen it before and for a good price it was worth to get!
on April 25, 2013
And after having seen it again, well, I finally remembered why. I would recommend this to a much younger crowd, but I dislike the animation and the story was rather flat. The Witch of the West returns and Dorothy must stop her again to save the Wizard and to help her friends who had been turned back to their former selves when the Witch destroyed the artifacts the wizard had given them. The Witch is after the silver slippers because her own magic was destroyed and she had to borrow some temporary magic that is due to run out soon. while this could been done a bit better, I could do without the shenanigans of the flying monkeys, and the Wizard's double speak. Give this one a skip. There are other ways Dorothy makes a return but this is not one of the better ones.
on March 10, 2014
Ugly animation and bland character designs galore! The animation looks worse than even the worst Hanna Barbera Cartoons! The Story is just a rehash of the Wizard of Oz only less creative and unnecessary songs! The most aggravating aspect of this movie is that it is made by Rankin Bass, I would argue that this is the worst of their offerings. I loved their Christmas movies and specials. Just pretend this unimaginative dreck doesn't exist you'll thank yourself for it.
on December 21, 2011
I first saw this many years ago when I was a child. It disappeared and I've been hunting it ever since. Now that I have it, I can relive the happy memories this brings as often as I wish to!