Return to Oz (1964)

Article 2169 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-22-2007
Posting Date: 7-21-2007
Directed by F. R. Craley, Thomas Glynn and Larry Roemer
Featuring the voices of Larry D. Mann, Alfie Scopp, Carl Banas

Dorothy is whisked back to Oz where she must contend with the revived Wicked Witch of the West and help her friends once again regain the prizes they got from the wizard.

One of the problems I had with PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE was its attempt to clone as much of the plot of the original movie version as it could for a sequel; in general, if a sequel can do little more than repeat the original, it seems unnecessary. This one is even worse; Dorothy is whisked to Oz on a tornado, meets the munchkins and Glenda the Good Witch, and embarks on a quest to find her friends and take them to the emerald city to get a heart, a brain, and courage. From the emerald city they are sent to face the witch, etc. etc. Despite the fact that this is an early Rankin/Bass feature, I find it pretty charmless in comparison to their more famous holiday movies, and the extremely limited animation and the bad songs (when was the last time you hummed “I Wanna Go Back”?) really make this one a chore to watch. The most amusing variation it adds to the story is having the witch send flying crocodiles rather than flying monkeys to capture Dorothy. Fortunately, since it was made for TV, it is fairly short.



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