Loosely based on the novel Dorothy of Oz, Summertime Entertainment’s Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return picks up immediately after the events depicted in the 1939 film.

Stylistically, it couldn’t be any different.

Animated and featuring a number of pop/rock songs (with some penned by Bryan Adams no less), Dorothy’s Return treats the world of Oz to colourful new palette, with a visual make-over not too far removed from the likes of Shrek and Tangled. ¬†Essentially all very modern.

With the Wicked Witch of the West defeated, her brother the Jester has stolen her broomstick from the Emerald City and is wreaking havoc through out Kingdom of Oz. Cue the familiar faces of the Scarecrow (Dan Ackroyd), the Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and the Cowardly Lion (Jim Belushi) to stay behind and send a message to Dorothy Gale (Lea Michell) to bring her back to help them.

The first thing to be noted about Dorothy’s Return is that it features quite an impressive cast.

Lea Michelle, with her angelic singing voice, is pretty much perfect as the animated Dorothy Gale. While none of the songs are particularly memorable in the same way as something like Let It Go from Frozen, she does a fantastic job of settling into the role.

The film also makes good use of comedy legends and voice actor veterans such as Dan Ackroyd, Kelsey Grammer and Jim Belushi, as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion respectively. However, the real stand out has got to be Martin Short who hams it up as the films villain, the Jester, maniacally laughing his way through the proceedings.

Kudos must also be given to the film makers for casting Megan Hilty as the China Princess, a performer who rose to prominence playing Glinda in the Broadwasy musical Wicked.

Visually the film is strong, vibrant and sure to grab the attention of the younger audience.

With the vast mix of characters, including Marshal Mallow, Wiser the Owl and Tugg, the film’s production designers were not short of any visual imagination here.

The same goes for the scenery, with each part of Oz having a different distinctive style. There’s Candy Country, a realm full of sweets coated in icing. Dainty China Country, a place bordered literally by a great wall of china and the of course there is¬†the familiar favourite, Emerald City.

As mentioned earlier, the film is drastically different in it’s looks when compared to the Wizard of Oz (1939). However, this does not stop the film makers from referencing it in several places, meaning the film features some nice Easter eggs for the beady eyed fans out there.

There’s a number of visual cues which also appear to pay tribute to 1985’s Return to Oz, with the Jesters puppets mimicking Princess Mombi’s collection of heads.

One major criticism of the film is the script.

While the film is great to look at, for the older audience it’s all a bit too generic and unless you’re a major fan of the world of Oz, you’ll get very little out of it. Even the cameos of Brian Blessed and Patrick Stewart’s vocal talents aren’t enough to lift the film to the next level, and I can’t help thinking had the writers included a few subtle jokes for the older viewer, it would’ve made a more entertaining experience for anyone over the age of 10.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is out now and available on Lionsgate DVD and blu-ray.

DVD Review: Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Older viewers may want to give this a miss. For the younger audience though, it's sure to spark the imagination and serves as a good introduction to world of Oz.
The Good
  • Looks great
  • Imaginative
  • Great for kids
The Not So Good
  • Bit light on jokes
  • Not so great for adults
3.0Overal Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.