Thursday, February 25, 2016

[MOVIE REVIEW] Return to Oz (1985)


Title: Return to Oz

Starring:  Fairuza Balk , Nicol Williamson and Jean Marsh

Genre: Fantasy / Horror / Alternate World / Friendship

Company:  Walt Disney Company

Directedby: Walter Murch

Year: 1985

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: Rated PG

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Best Buy  //

 Dorothy Gale had just come back from the Land of Oz, but when she tried to tell her aunt and uncle about her adventures in Oz, they thought that Dorothy had gone crazy, so they decided to take her to a doctor that will give her treatment for her insanity.  The treatment turns out to be shock therapy and Dorothy, with a little help from a mysterious girl, escapes from the mental hospital and ended up in the land of Oz once again.  But, once Dorothy arrives in Oz, she discovers that the Land of Oz has been taken over by the Nome King and that the Scarecrow, who was the King of Oz, has been kidnapped by the Nome King.  So, Dorothy along with some help from a pumpkin man named Jack Pumpkinhead, a mechanical robot named Tik-Tok, her hen Billina and a half moose half sofa creature named the Gump try to journey to the Nome King's kingdom to rescue the Scarecrow, while encountering nightmarish creatures such as Princess Mombi and the Wheelers along the way.

Now I have a confession to make.  Whenever I talked to people who have seen "Return to Oz" when they were little, many people were terrified of this movie when they were kids.  Me however, I wasn't that scared of the movie when I was little and I actually found it to be pretty interesting and I still find it pretty interesting to this very day!  This movie has actually turned my expectations on its head as it is a much darker sequel to "The Wizard of Oz" that has caused some controversy among "Oz" fans and yet, it was pulled off extremely well to make it stand out from "The Wizard of Oz." The surprising thing about all this is that this was the most faithful adaptation of L. Frank Baum's "Oz" books in terms of tone, even though "The Wizard of Oz" is hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time.  What I really loved about this movie was the fact that it was darker and edgier than "The Wizard of Oz" and the villains in this movie seem genuinely threatening and are actually out to harm Dorothy and her friends.  Probably my favorite scenes in this movie were any scenes with the Nome King as he seems to be friendly towards Dorothy and her friends, but you can tell that he has some evil intentions up his sleeves and he actually means to trick Dorothy into a sense of security in order to manipulate her throughout her adventures.  I loved the new friends that Dorothy makes along the way, especially Tik-Tok and Jack Pumpkinhead as they were truly original and fun to see on screen.

Parents should know that this movie can be pretty terrifying for small children.  There are many scenes where Dorothy and her friends are in constant peril and are in danger of being killed by the vllains.  Also, there are some genuinely scary scenes such as the scene where Dorothy accidentally wakes up a headless Princess Mombi, who tries to capture Dorothy and the scenes with the Wheelers.  Parents might want to screen this movie first before showing it to their children.  Also, the reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because the movie can get pretty confusing at times and it was hard for me to follow what exactly happened in the plot at times.

Overall, "Return to Oz" is a truly enjoyable film that "Oz" fans would enjoy extremely well!  However, this movie can get pretty scary at times, so watch this film with extreme caution.

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