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Return To Oz (1985)

Return To Oz was the follow-up film to that which had kids cowering under their duvets at night, The Wizard Of Oz. The sequel was made in 1985 by Walt Disney Pictures, so deviated from the original makers of the first film in 1939 (MGM). The new makers were forced to pay a large fee to use the intellectual property that had become MGM's ruby slippers - an essential prop in Dorothy's world. But even the ruby slippers were not enough to win over every critic, after the massive success of the original 1939 Wizard Of Oz film.

The story goes that, after her wonderful adventures in Oz, Dorothy Gale (this time played by Fairuza Balk, who later appeared in 90s film The Craft) is suffering insomnia. It doesn't help that her aunt Em doesn't believe her stories, and so decides to send Dorothy to a psychiatric hospital. Just before she is due to receive electro-shock therapy at the hands of Dr Worley, a power cut gives Dorothy a chance to escape via a nearby river, helped by a girl she's met at the hospital (who freakily then disappears).

Surprise, surprise. Dorothy ends up back in Oz - this time with one of the hen's from aunt Em's farm (rather than her dog Toto). Dorothy eventually finds the remains of the original yellow brick road and follows it to the Emerald city. She finds it policed by the stuff of nightmares - the Wheelers, who have wheels instead of hands and feet, and move at great crazed speed - and her favourite characters from the first film have all been turned into stone statues.

Other characters in Return To Oz could be considered to resemble their predecessors: there's scarecrow Jack Pumpkinhead, clockwork man Tik-Tok, and a Queen with multiple heads resembling something like a hall full of Girl's Worlds!

The nemesis this time - as well as the wheelers - is the Nome King. And in a bizarre twist to the storyline it is Dorothy's hen that ends up conquering the king by laying an egg in his mouth (eggs are poisonous to nomes). Her statue friends are all returned to life again once Dorothy rediscovers her ruby slippers and clicks them together three times.

At the end of the film, the strange girl from the beginning reappears and we realise she is actually the rightful queen of oz and she rightfully takes to the throne, while Dorothy once again decides 'there's no place like home'.


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Return to Oz Last post by Palazzo
12 November 2008

Do You Remember Return To Oz?

Do You Remember Return To Oz?