Return To Oz
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I grew up (like every other person in America)with memories of the 1939 musical--but even as a kid I hated the fact that the MGM musical messed so much with the dangerous and frightening aspects of Oz, turning everything into a candy-coated Technicolor dream.
Thus, when I finally saw RETURN TO OZ (based on two books, OZMA of OZ and THE LAND of OZ), I realized that the filmmakers had actually sat down and read the books. Gone were the happy go-lucky images of a very safe place (was Judy Garland's Dorothy ever truly in danger?!?) and in its place was a fairyland full of dark dreams, scary villains, and entirely unique characters. And yet, most of America kept asking, "Where's the Munchkins?"
In fact, the film critic for our local paper so trashed the film on its release that I (as a lowly high school sophomore) wrote him a detailed letter explaining what he had missed in the film by spending all his time comparing it to the MGM film. He (like most of America) missed some wonderful moments: Fairuza Balk's film debut as a real, brave, and sometimes scared little girl being called on to save an entire country from extinction, the Oscar-nominated special effects that brought to life characters that had only existed on paper (like Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the Nomes), and the great performances by British actors Nicol Williamson and Jean March as the villains.Read more ›
It's an amazingly beautiful film, but it would be insanity to show it to small children. It starts out with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, rebuilding their house and farm from the cyclone, take Dorothy, who has been speaking of wild stories of cities made of emeralds and scarecrows who talk, to Topeka for electroshock therapy. The asylum they bring her to is a terrifying chamber of horrors, and when she escapes it for Oz she is confronted with incredible other visual terrors, such as the lunatic Wheelers and the Princess Mombi (a variant of both the old witch Mombi and the Princess Langwidere from the Oz books), who exchanges pretty heads for her body the way other women change dresses. The scene where Mombi's headless body chases Dorothy through her chamber of heads (as the other disembodied heads scream in horror) is one of the scariest things I can imagine a child ever viewing.
But this is really a film for adults, and the creepiness of its details add to the mature viewers' pleasure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ah! I remember watching this when I was younger and SO glad I found this on DVD. I'm a fan of the Wizard of Oz and this sequel is great. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by R2JennyD2
love this movie as a child i watched this loved the journey it goes threw and actors are greatPublished 2 days ago by james bowser
One of my favorite movies of all time! It's super creepy, so maybe preview it before showing it to your kiddos.Published 7 days ago by Sammi