Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

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Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Dorothy of Oz Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Will Finn
Dan St. Pierre
Produced by Roland Carroll
Ryan Carroll
Bonne Radford[1]
Written by Adam Balsam
Randi Barnes
Based on Dorothy of Oz 
by Roger Stanton Baum
Starring Lea Michele
Dan Aykroyd
Kelsey Grammer
Jim Belushi
Megan Hilty
Hugh Dancy
Oliver Platt
Martin Short
Music by Toby Chu[2]
Edited by Dan Molina
Stan Webb
Summertime Entertainment
Prana Studios
Distributed by Clarius Entertainment[1]
Release dates
  • June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (AIAFF)
  • May 9, 2014 (2014-05-09) (United States)
Running time 88 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million[4][5]
Box office $18,662,027[5]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is a 2013 American-Indian 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film that is loosely based on Dorothy of Oz by L. Frank Baum's great-grandson Roger Stanton Baum.[1] It was produced by Summertime Entertainment (the family entertainment division of Alpine Pictures), and directed by Daniel St. Pierre and Will Finn.[6] The film stars Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt, and Martin Short.

The film premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on June 14, 2013[7] and was released in the United States and Canada on May 9, 2014. The film was panned by critics and was a box office bomb.


The story begins in the nearly deserted Emerald City. Dark clouds hang overhead, damage is apparent throughout the area, and it is clear that something is wrong. The only brave enough to stay are the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. All of them are on edge due to recent events, but they have all come together with a common goal, to bring Dorothy Gale back to the Land of Oz and help her save Emerald City. They prepare to use Scarecrow's invention called the Rainbow Mover to summon Dorothy. Unfortunately, things are indeed worse than they believed, as the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West was recently stolen from its case and Flying Monkeys are on the loose. As the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion hold the door closed from the Flying Monkeys, the Scarecrow begins to send a message to Dorothy.

Back in Kansas, Dorothy awakes in her home to see the damage done to her farmland following the tornado as she gets dressed and heads outside to where Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are examining the surroundings. The damage is beyond repair so they have to move, but Dorothy refuses to give up their home-it can be fixed. Just then, a pink car comes driving down the path toward their home as a government appraiser with his lackey come to survey their home. He inspects, even pushes a support beam to make it look like it'll fall and thus condemns the house as he gives the Gales until sundown to move out. As he leaves, Dorothy refuses to give up her home and tries her best to fix things up. After a few failed attempts, Dorothy explores her town watching as people leave before heading up the hill. As she views her town thunder roars in the distance as she turns around seeing a rainbow, yet it was beginning to turn and was heading toward her. Dorothy runs back to her house and tries to take shelter, but is scooped up with Toto into the rainbow and within it holographic images of her friends appear as the Scarecrow tries to tell Dorothy of what's going on, but the message is cut short when the Flying Monkeys in Oz break through the door, and the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow have to move from their room so they won't be seen. Dorothy is then dropped in Oz by the rainbow, and is determined to get to Emerald City to help her friends.

Meanwhile, at the Jester's castle, Glinda the Good Witch is captured and confronted by the Jester who wields his sister's broomstick with a stolen orb that helps to control its power. The Jester has captured important people of Oz and has them encased in glass cases in marionette forms. Glinda warns Jester that Dorothy would stop him, yet he isn't threatened for he has magic to defeat her. The Jester then uses a spell to turn Glinda into a marionette and encases her in a glass case. The Jester uses the glass orb (which turns out to be the Wicked Witch of the West's crystal ball) to locate Dorothy and uses a spell to change the signs of Candy County that she was approaching.

Meanwhile Dorothy and Toto meet Wiser, a huge owl who can no longer fly, and he helps them on their quest by pointing the way to find the Yellow Brick Road that will lead to Emerald City. They come across Candy County and see the signs say "Eat all you want" and they go candy crazy, enjoying the sweets. They are soon arrested by a marshmallow man named Marshal Mallow and his troops and are taken to the courthouse. Judge Jawbreaker assumes them guilty even though they didn't know of the magical spell that made the signs change, and he sentences them to death since eating candy is a high crime (as seen on a candy corn poster of crimes). As their names are given, the court gasps at Dorothy Gale (who is identified as the Witch Slayer) causing Judge Jawbreaker to dismiss the charges. Marshal Mallow apologies for earlier and worries of General Candy Apple's whereabouts. Dorothy invites him to come along with them to Emerald City under General Candy Apple's orders.

Their journey takes them to Dainty China Country where they must get through to get to Emerald City, yet the China Guard doesn't allow them, and states that only the China Princess can give permission and at the moment she is looking for suitors. Dorothy volunteers Marshal Mallow to be a suitor and they are allowed in. The China Princess is disgusted at each suitor and dismisses each based on size, boredom, and cracks. When Marshal Mallow is next, he sings sweetly to her, which makes her fall for him. Suddenly the palace begins to shake as the ceiling begins to crack as the China Princess almost falls, but Marshal Mallow catches her as everyone heads outside. The city is in ruins, people are cracked. China Princess tells Dorothy and her friends that the Jester is responsible for the quakes on her kingdom, yet when she figures who he could be mad at for the cause of her land she blames Dorothy even though she knows nothing of the Jester. As Dorothy pleads with China Princess to let them through, she surveys her surroundings seeing her people in trouble and thus has a change of heart and allows them to pass, but she is coming with them.

Back at the Jester's Palace, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow are captured and are in the clutches of the Jester who takes them to where he has the marionettes of the Land of Oz's leaders. He tells them of his painful story of his curse and how he desired his sister's power before he chains them up in torture chambers.

Dorothy and her friends come across a broken bridge with no way to get across to the other side. The only option they have is building a boat out of wood, but the talking trees aren't very friendly to that idea and pelt them with apples because one identified Dorothy as the one who picked apples off one of her Uncles. When all hope seemed lost, an old tree named Tugg offers himself to become a boat to them. The gang begin building a boat with help from mice and beavers and in no time at all a mighty vessel was built and they set sail for Emerald City.

They arrive in Emerald City and go inside the castle where they find the machine. Dorothy plays the message left by Scarecrow about how the Land of Oz is being taken over by Jester and she must stop him. Suddenly, a burst of green smoke appears as the Jester taunts Dorothy before unleashing his Flying Monkeys on them. They retreat back to Tugg and sail off while avoiding the Flying Monkeys and fighting back against them before going into a cave to lose them. Inside, they are surrounded by fireflies that guide them on their way, but when it came to a fork in the path they go right only To find it was a trap by the Jester! They were heading straight toward a waterfall. Tugg falls down the waterfall and reopens to the gang on the shore. All but the China Princess are all right. She is broken into pieces. Dorothy, not wanting her friends to get hurt, decides to go off alone to face the Jester.

Marshal Mallow stays with China Princess as Wiser goes for help where he sums up the courage to take flight and he is able to fly. Marshal Mallow begins to repair China as Dorothy goes off to face the Jester. The two loves share a duet when China Princess is restored. Dorothy soon arrives at the Jester's castle where a welcome mat is rolled out for her and it slips her and Toto inside. They are soon greeted by a marionette of Glinda and the marionette of the leaders who dance as they praise the Jester. The Jester confronts Dorothy as he expresses his gratitude for her for killing his sister. As the Jester boasts, Toto bites the rope as the curtain falls on the Jester and the Flying Monkey as Dorothy runs to her friends Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion who awake as they were happy to see her.

The Head Flying Monkey runs off with the scepter as Jester gives chase with Dorothy and crew following behind them. The Head Flying Monkey uses the scepter to get back his wings and the Jester and Dorothy struggle to get him to give either of them the Scepter. The Scarecrow uses Tin Man's arm to knock the Scepter out of the Flying Monkey's hands yet the stumble causes Dorothy to fall. Luckily for Dorothy, Wiser arrives and manages to catch her. As the Jester struggles to get the fallen orb back on the scepter, a battle between good and evil began against Dorothy's Friends vs. the Flying Monkeys. They defeat the Flying Monkeys just as the Jester regains his orb and conquers a tornado to suck Dorothy in. Dorothy heads up to the tower as she confronts the Jester by grabbing the scepter and a green glow spreads across the land breaking the spell. Glinda and the leaders return to normal. Back on the roof, the Jester is almost sucked into the tornado if it wasn't for Dorothy grabbing his arm. He seems grateful for her rescue. When the Jester offers her to rule, she breaks the orb and throws the broom into the cyclone with him jumping in after it. Peace was restored and friends rejoice... even Glinda, who thanks Dorothy for saving the Land of Oz again. Glinda uses a spell to send Dorothy home.

Returning home, Dorothy reunites with her family. Realizing that fighting for her family and for Oz are practically the same thing, she convinces the town to fight back. Dorothy grabs the Appraiser's wallet and shows it to the office - showing different IDS that the Appraiser is nothing more than a con man. The Appraiser and his lackey are then arrested by the sheriff and everyone rips off the eviction notices.

During the credits, everyone in town is repairing things and fixing it up just like new with Dorothy's help.


Differences between the book and the film[edit]

There are some differences in the film that weren't in the book.

  • There are references to the events in the 1939 film.
  • In the book, the Jester was an entertainer of Princess Gayelette and Prince Quelala (whom do not appear in the film) who found the Wicked Witch of the West's wand and was possessed by her ghost where he was turning different inhabitants of the Land of Oz into china dolls. In the film, the Jester is depicted as the brother of the Wicked Witch of the West and was turning important leaders of the Land of Oz into marionettes. Also in the film, his Earth counterpart is a man claiming to be a Government Appraiser.
  • In the book, Glinda and Princess Ozma use a rainbow to bring Dorothy back to the Land of Oz while sending her the silver slippers. In the film, Scarecrow's Rainbow Mover brings her back to the Land of Oz.
  • Marshal Mallow was not in the book.
  • In the book, Dorothy and Toto were brought before the Great Royal Marshmallow for picking the lollipops which is illegal in Candy Country. In the film, Dorothy, Toto, and Wiser were apprehended by Marshal Mallow's army and brought before a Jawbreaker that worked as a judge.
  • In the book, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the China Princess traveled to Gillikin Country to find Glinda. In the film, Glinda was captured by the Jester and turned into a marionette.
  • In the book, Tugg was made by Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion from the branches of the talking trees that grow on the banks of the Munchkin River with the face being painted on by a combination of water and berries. In the film, Tugg was a tree who donates his body to be made into a boat where the Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects help Dorothy, Marshal Mallow, Wiser the Owl, and some beavers into converting Tugg into a boat.
  • In the book, the Sawhorse takes Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion to Glinda upon their arrival in Quadling Country. In the film, the Sawhorse just makes a cameo.
  • The Gamekeeper, Boq, Princess Ozma, the Wizard of Oz, the ghost of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the ghost of the Wicked Witch of the East do not appear in this film.


On the December 2, 2013 edition of the SpaceCast podcast, executive producer Greg Centineo confirmed that the film would be a musical and would feature music composed by Bryan Adams.[9] Two Legends of Oz sequels and a TV series are also in the works.[10]

Home media[edit]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 26, 2014.[11]


Critical response[edit]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return received negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has 16% positive reviews based on 55 critics, with the consensus: "Faced with the choice between staying in or seeing Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, most filmgoers will be forced to conclude that there's no place like home."[12] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 25 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[13] CinemaScore gave the film an "A" on an A+ to F scale, based on polls conducted during the opening weekend.[14]

Box office[edit]

The film made $1,007,382 on its opening day in the United States, and $3,747,780 in its first weekend, making it a sizable box office bomb, based on its estimated $70 million budget.[15] By the end of its run, the film grossed $8,462,027 domestically and $10,200,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $18,662,027.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g McNary, Dave (March 12, 2013). "3D Toon ‘Legends of Oz’ Sets 2014 Release (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Toby Chu Scoring ‘Dorothy of Oz’". Film Music Reporter. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ "LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN (U)". Signature Entertainment. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ Mendelson, Scott (11 May 2014). "Weekend Box Office: 'Neighbors' Opens To $51M, 'Spider-Man 2' Hits $550M Worldwide". Forbes. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  6. ^ Mcnary, Dave (June 11, 2010). "Lea Michele heads to 'Oz'". Variety. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (June 4, 2013). "Annecy Festival Unveils 2013 Feature Film Lineup". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mcnary, Dave (April 30, 2012). "Bernadette Peters joins 'Dorothy of Oz'". Variety. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ The Analyst (November 30, 2013). "Huge SpaceCast Guest! - Follow The Yellow Brick Road". Beware the Spaceman. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ Armstrong, Josh (May 15, 2014). "Legends Of Oz producer talks franchise's future after box office disappoints". AnimatedViews.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ Madison, Michael (July 2, 2014). "Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return Blu-ray is coming in August". Hi-Def Ninja. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ Busch, Anita (May 12, 2014). "BOX OFFICE: ‘Neighbors’ A Raucous No. 1 For Around $49M As ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Drops 61%; ‘The Other Woman’ On Strong Legs; ‘Heaven’ Surprises … Again". Deadline. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Friday Box Office: 'Neighbors' Squashes 'Spider-Man 2'". Forbes. May 10, 2024.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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