Return to Oz

( 19 )

Overview

This '80s follow-up to The Wizard of Oz is based upon two of L. Frank Baum's later Oz books. In Return to Oz a version that may be a bit too scary for young children, Auntie Em sends Dorothy to a sanitarium where hopefully she will clear her head from all of the "Oz nonsense." This doesn't work, for soon Dorothy manages to return to Oz, but things have definitely changed. She finds her old friends turned to stone and discovers that the awful Nome King has taken over Oz. ...
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Overview

This '80s follow-up to The Wizard of Oz is based upon two of L. Frank Baum's later Oz books. In Return to Oz a version that may be a bit too scary for young children, Auntie Em sends Dorothy to a sanitarium where hopefully she will clear her head from all of the "Oz nonsense." This doesn't work, for soon Dorothy manages to return to Oz, but things have definitely changed. She finds her old friends turned to stone and discovers that the awful Nome King has taken over Oz.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
A dark fantasy-adventure, Return to Oz follows in the tone of the original L. Frank Baum books, Ozma of Oz and Land of Oz, rather than posing as a sequel to the classic of all family films, The Wizard of Oz. While seeming pretty creepy for younger viewers, older audiences may just be disturbed at the faded post-apocalyptic settings and bleak story when compared to the cheery and bright Technicolor of the 1939 Judy Garland Hollywood version. Opting for depressing and evil characters in lieu of the beloved simple types of the first is only one example of how a comparison puts this new version at a disadvantage. However, Return to Oz is stylistically compelling, doing its best to cinematically render Baum's original character drawings of the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. Will Vinton (creator of the stop-motion California Raisins) did some award-winning work on some of the creatures and special effects. By avoiding the musical genre trappings and casting a Dorothy (Fairuza Balk, in her first screen role) of actual kid age, it doesn't seem to patronize the youth audience with sugar-coated moralizing. Not known for his work in family entertainment anyway, writer/director Walter Murch previously worked as an editor and sound designer for Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. By offering a family-friendly way into a nightmare fantasy, Return to Oz is one of the few creature-laden '80s movies that allowed curious kids to venture into the dark side.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/1999
  • UPC: 013131081831
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicol Williamson Dr. Worley/Nome King
Jean Marsh Nurse WilsonIPrincess Mombi
Fairuza Balk Dorothy Gale
Piper Laurie Aunt Em
Matt Clark Uncle Henry
Sean Barrett Voice Only
Tim Rose Tiktok
Mak Wilson Bilina
Denise Bryer Voice Only
Brian Henson Jack Pumpkinhead
Stewart Larange Jack Pumpkinhead
Lyle Conway Gump
Steve Norrington Gump
Justin Case Scarecrow
John Alexander Wheeler
Emma Ridley Ozma
Sophie Ward Mombi II
Fiona Victory Mombi III
Pons Maar Policeman, Nome Messenger
Rachel Ashton Wheeler
Robbie Barnett Wheeler
Alisa Berk
Bruce Boa Policeman
Cheryl Brown Dorothy's double
Susan Dacre Supporting puppeteer
Tansy the Dog Toto
Peter Elliott
Roger Ennals Wheeler
Geoff Felix Supporting puppeteer
David Greenaway Supporting puppeteer
Michele Hine Wheeler
Mark Hopkins Wheeler
Swee Lim Supporting puppeteer
Alison Lynn Dorothy's double
Nicola Roche Dorothy's double
Deep Roy Tin Man
Colin Skeaping Wheeler
Ken Stevens Wheeler
Michel Sundin Tik Tok
Philip Tan Wheeler
Robert Thirtle Wheeler
Sarah White Dorothy's double
Technical Credits
Walter Murch Director, Screenwriter
Charles Bishop Art Director
Gill Dennis Screenwriter
Mike Fenton Casting
Susie Figgis Casting
Michael Ford Set Decoration/Design
Robin Grantham Makeup
Leslie Hodgson Editor
Raymond Hughes Costumes/Costume Designer
Ken Kolb Screenwriter
Gary Kurtz Executive Producer
Marci Liroff Casting
Paul Maslansky Producer
Norman Reynolds Production Designer
David Shire Score Composer
David Watkin Cinematographer
Ian Wingrove Special Effects
L. Frank Baum Source Author
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Return to Oz is great

    I purchased Return to Oz recently because I remembered it as a childhood favorite. I had remembered this movie to be much scarier, but it is not frightening at all. The description claims that it picks up right where The Wizard of Oz left off. This is not so, many of the characters are different and the style of the movie is very unlike the first Wizard of Oz. This doesn't make it any less enjoyable. The characters are wonderful, and I think this is a great movie for younger generations, as well as an 80s classic for those of us old enough to recognize that distinct era's style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Return to Oz - a scaring version of a classic

    This movie was mistakenly designed with scary images and horrid scenes. It did not present scenes suitable for young children (grandchildren 2 and 4). it tries to gain attention by techniques to make the viewer afraid. It is complete flop as a movie for young children. We turned it off 1/4 of the way through.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A classic!

    When I first started searching for this movie I could not even remember the title. I think that this is one of those movies that stays with you though... I could remember parts from the movie. Like the witch removing her head and replacing it with one of the others that she has in glass cabinets. It truly is a classic. I love the way this movie was made. The animatronics are great. I like the digital stuff but it goes to show that even back then the movies were just as entertaining. When I ordered this movie I thought it was going to take a long time for it to get to me. I was trilled when I got home the day that it said that I was to receive it and saw it in my mail box. I couldn't wait to open it. I truly recommend this movie to all!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Weird but Good Movie!

    As a fan of the 1939 Wizard of Oz Movie that starred Judy Garland I saw Return to Oz in a movie theater back in the mid 80's and I like it. I have never read the L. Frank Baum books but from what I have heard this movie is actually closer to his books. Yes, Return to Oz is a weird movie but I like weird movies So I enjoyed watching it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Send it to the UK

    This was my ultimate film as a child and i have spent years searching for it in the uk, and im still to find a dvd that will play here. Why r we ignored?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great sequel

    Though this sequel to the 1939 musical is not as widely appreciated as the latter, it is still a must see for Oz fans. Fairuza Balk is darling as Dorothy and the blend of the 2nd and 3rd Oz books works very well. The characters are fun, the story is interesting, and the effects are cool.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Oz Rules

    I thought it kept with the basic Wizard of Oz and my attention. It was very creative and enjoyful! The new characters were a total surprise and very inventive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 29, 2010

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