I’ve loaded up my case with my first thirty or so movies that I am going to blog about, and my adorable son wanted to watch one with me. Good thing I decided to include the kids movies right? So first on the docket in this genre is a lovely gem called Return to Oz.
This is a childhood movie for me, and Fairuza Balk’s acting debut (you might remember her from the Craft…she was the crazy one). I watched this on a loop along with a few other favorites at the time (Beetlejuice most specifically. I can practically recite this movie by heart. One time I actually dreamed the entire movie but with me playing the part of Lydia!) All right lady, back on task right? This review is about Return to Oz… This movie both scared the shit out of me and excited my sense of adventure.
Unlike the original Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is a child. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry think she’s essentially cracked up because she won’t stop talking about Oz and her adventures there. So her and her Aunt set off for a creepy old mansion in the middle of nowhere. In this house of muffled screams, Dorothy is going to be subjected to what essentially amounts to electro-shock therapy. As in the original, the faces of the people in the creepy hospital are the same faces we see later when Dorothy returns to Oz. And didn’t we kind of wonder if Dorothy was really bat shit crazy? Something to think on…again…
So shocker, she winds up in Oz again but instead of Toto the adorable dog she’s accompanied by a chicken. And mind you, I still don’t know how the hell that chicken got all the way from their house to the chicken coop she ends up traveling to Oz on. So there were some strange plot holes…eh I was a kid.
Without giving too much away for my good readers who have yet to see this one, hijinks ensue and not everyone is happy to have her back in Oz. The one thing that did drive me nuts about the movie, and I’m not sure if it did back in the day, but the Cowardly lion, Tinman and the Scarecrow look seriously ridiculous in this. They are like cartoon caricatures brought to semi life. The plot is a bit darker then the original and has some spooky scenes which introduce new characters that have never been seen before, either by viewers or the lovely Dorothy. Trust me, you will love Princess Mombi as much as I do, the scenes with her are pretty sweet (it involves a room full of heads on pedestals that she can interchange at will)
If you haven’t seen this one and you have slightly older kids that aren’t afraid of a few scary images, have a sit down and watch it. You (probably) won’t regret it!
Join me next time for my review of Fight Club!