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Return to Oz
     

Return to Oz

4.2 19
Director: Walter Murch

Cast: Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Fairuza Balk

 

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Get ready for a strange voyage back to a strangely familiar fantasy land with Disney DVD's release of this belated sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is clean and nearly flawless. Sporting solid blacks, even skin tones, and little evidence of edge-enhancement, this disc will look great no matter how it's viewed. The

Overview

Get ready for a strange voyage back to a strangely familiar fantasy land with Disney DVD's release of this belated sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is clean and nearly flawless. Sporting solid blacks, even skin tones, and little evidence of edge-enhancement, this disc will look great no matter how it's viewed. The Dolby Digital 5.1 remix rings through loud and clear, with no hiss to speak of, offering a great showcase for David Shire's wondrous score. Of course, Return to Oz wasn't exactly a box-office phenomenon when originally released in 1985, but that hasn't stopped Disney from including some interesting extra features. It's great to hear Fairuza Balk recollect her first major role in a candid and easygoing interview, and it's obvious that everyone involved in the production truly believed in the film. In addition to addressing issues of stratospheric audience expectations, Balk also talks about her longtime relationship with director Walter Murch and the grueling audition process she endured to land the coveted role of Dorothy. Though original TV spots and a theatrical trailer are also included, the television spots are in particularly poor shape and appear almost completely desaturated in addition to sporting onscreen timecode.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2004
UPC:
0786936233780
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
4,083

Special Features

"Fairuza Balk Returns to Oz" interview; Original TV spots; Original theatrical trailer; French-language track

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 Tik Tok's Voice
Tim Rose Tiktok
Mak Wilson Bilina
Denise Bryer Billing's Voice
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 Actor
Bruce Boa Policeman
Cheryl Brown Dorothy's double
Susan Dacre Supporting puppeteer
Tansy the Dog Toto
Peter Elliott Actor
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

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/A Shooting Star [9:19]
2. Electrical Marvel [9:54]
3. "Run, Dorothy, Run!" [9:23]
4. The Yellow Brick Road [11:59]
5. Princess Mombi [5:41]
6. Jack Pumpkinhead [5:54]
7. Powder of Life [2:01]
8. Crash Landing [10:22]
9. Three Chances [6:11]
10. Scarecrow [1:43]
11. Emerald City [11:49]
12. End Credits [1:58]

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