Thank the LORD there is only 4 more films I have to review, and 2 of them are already released in theaters. I would not blame any of if you did not read or comment on this review…..but by all means, do so if you are interested.
My opinion right after watching film
I do not know if having little to no strong opinions about a film is better than having pure hatred for a film. I am not saying this film is mediocre at best at all, as the characters are flat, the plot is pretty thin, and there is nothing really special about it, but it did not even ignite a strong emotion out of me. This feels like a bootleg copy of a Disneytoons film.
I literally have no information about the production of this film, other than the fact that there is apparently 2 Legends of Oz sequels and a TV series in the works.
The film starts with the tornado taking effect in Kansas City, and while this tornado is happening, we get some credits. We are then taken to the land of Emerald City, where there are dark clouds and thunderstorms hovering over it. We are introduced to the three characters we love from the original film, the now genius Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), the overly loving and sensitive Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer), and finally, the overly cocky Lion (Jim Belushi), and just from reading all of that, you can tell how much they changed, and they made them change too much.They try to send Dorothy a message to come back and to save Oz, with Scarecrow’s invention the Rainbow Mover.
Back in Kansas, Dorothy (Lea Michele) wakes up, and cries and whines about it not being fair that their house is in wrecks, and that they will have to move because there is too much damage done. The Appraiser (Marttin Short) comes by to inspect the house, (and it is so clear that they are trying to paint him out as the villain), and after he is done, he tells her Aunt Em (Tacey Adams) and Uncle Henry (Michael Krawick) that they have until sundown to move.
She sees the rainbow (the ones that her old friends in Oz made to get her), and she walks up to it before her and her dog Toto is taken to Oz. She overhears their message, and as they are delivering it to her, they are taken by the Jester (Martin Short), who happens to be related to the Wicked Witches of the East and West. We are then seeing Glinda the Good Witch (Bernadette Peters), and as her and the Jester speak, we learn that Oz is in ruins because of him (whatever happened to the Wizard of Oz? We never know. Jester turns Glinda into a lifelike, hypnotized, sringless marionette, by using an orb, and the broomstick that was his sister’s. Soon enough, the Scarecrow, Lion, and the Tin Man meet the same fate as Glinda.
Dorothy arrives in Oz, and meets a huge owl maned Wiser (Oliver Platt) who cannot fly because of his huge weight. She asks him where the Yellow Brick Road is, and he does not know, but he says that he will help her, causing them to end up at Candy Country, with the sign saying “Eat all you want”, which the two of them do.
They go to the Candy Courthouse for their trial, and it does not go well, since this is Owl’s 499th crime, and their sentence is death, but all of the charges are dropped because she is THE Dorothy Dandrige (huge mother fucking eye roll. This film is getting stupider and stupider, since this is an excuse to get Marshal Mallow to join them, which he does because he needs to find the person that needs to drop the charges).
Dainty China Country is in their way to get to The Emerald City, and the guard won’t allow them to cross because the China Princess (Megan Hilty) is looking for a suitor, which causes them to put Marshal allow for a suitor (and I am sure you all know where this is going), and as the China Princess insults every single suitor int he most brutal way before ridding the, it is Marshal’s turn, and he ends up impressing her with his singing.
So we come to learn that Jester is just jealous of his sister and the power she had. This reminds me of Morgana being jealous of Ursula in The Little Mermaid 2.
The rest of the crew are walking, and they come across a broken bridge, and they realize that they need to make a boat to go through the river. An old talking tree named Tugg (Patrick Stewart) sacrifices itself, so they can make a boat, and OH NO. Dorothy and the gang are singing a pointless song about making a boat, and I really do not see the point of this song, and I really do not see the point of this being a musical. Anyways, they finally end up in Emerald City and the palace, to find Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow, only come across Jester’s message, where he reveals what he did to her friends, and demands that she goes home.
So they all split up, with Marshal Mellow staying with the China Princess to restore her, and Wiser goes to get some more helpers for them to defeat Jester, and Dorothy goes to his castle, only to see all of her friends as marionettes. Jester finally pops out, and applauds her for killing his sister, but rants on and on about how she is not going to ruin his plans, as the orb is his (though it was really his sister. Honestly, his plan and motivation could have been done a bit better). So soon after, her and Toto cut the ties, and free their 3 friends from their marionette hypnosis state.
I am gonna wrap this up real quick. A monkey takes the orb, Dorothy and Jester follows the monkey, Dorothy falls, to only be caught by a flying Wiser, everyone attacks Jester and the monkeys, Dorothy uses the staff to take everyone off the hypnosis and to fix Oz, she throws the orb in the tornado, which Jester jumps after, ding.
She returns back home, and finds out that the Appraiser is a fraud, and they all get their houses back (how fucking convenient.) As the end credits go on, we are shown that Dorothy is leading everyone when it comes to rebuilding their town. I don’t see how this and the story of Oz really connect with one another.
Oh my goodness. There is little to no characterizaton with any of these characters. None of them are memorable, and there is little to like or care about with any of these characters.
The animation is………unpolished. While the character designs are pretty impressive on most of the characters, and a lot of the backgrounds are right, there is like no texture in this film, outside of the china dolls. Most of the characters look like they are as tough as bricks, and there is no light shining on them the way that they are supposed to shine in animation. Because of the issue with the textures, it is a rough looking film at times, and it makes the film look aged.
The music is simply terrible. The orchestrations and the voices do not go well together, the lyrics are weak, none of the songs are catchy, and half of them have no purpose in the film. It is VERY frustrating to listen through the songs.
When the film was released on May 9th, 2014, it performed horribly. It made $8,464,027 domestically, and $8,539,000 overseas, for a worldwide total of $17,001,027, which is treacherous on its own, but with its $70,000,000 budget (which is low for animation), it makes the failure of this film even worse. People need to stop making sequels before they get the box office and critical receipts.
When it comes to the critics, this film received negative reviews, and was panned for it having no content, being shallow, hollow, lifeless with a bad plot, with bad characters, and being a bad idea in the first place.
= 18.5/40 = 46% (I think this is the lowest I ever gave a film. Never mind what I said earlier. This IS the worst film I have seen so far on this blog.
5 thoughts on “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return review”
I had such low expectations when seeing this film, that I actually…didn’t think it was that bad?
I mean, I can’t say I hated any moment of it. In short, it’s a huge guilty pleasure movie for me. If I made my ‘Top 13 Animated Movies that I Like, But Nobody Else Does’ list now, this would definitely be on it!
I plan to work on a review of this for Rob Lydon’s site. You can read it when I’m done.
I was not stressing in anger over this, like at all, and there was not a lot that annoyed me about it either, but the film just is no good to me. I do remember reading your review some months ago on this.
Who is Rob Lyndon?
He’s an animation fan who has his own Youtube channel reviewing animation and other things.
As far as I’m concerned every return to Oz since the original has been a disaster. Leave it be! The animation looks like a grade school project and gave me a headache, the songs are unmemorable. So for me it goes in the Return to Oz, Great and Powerful Oz garbage pile… (wizard of oz is a favorite of mine)