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
Jim Belushi
Kelsey Grammer
Martin Short
Hugh Dancy
Megan Hilty
Oliver Platt
Patrick Stewart
Bernadette Peters
Music by Toby Chu[2]
Edited by Dan Molina
Stan Webb
Production
company
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
India
Language English
Budget $70 million[4][5]
Box office $21.6 million[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 directed by Daniel St. Pierre and Will Finn.[6] The film stars Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Dancy, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt, Patrick Stewart, Bernadette Peters, 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.

Plot[edit]

In the Land of Oz, the Emerald City's co-leaders the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion discover that an evil Jester has stolen the broomstick of the late Wicked Witch of the West and taken control over the Flying Monkeys. With Oz's future at stake, the Scarecrow decides to use his invention called the Rainbow Mover to summon Dorothy Gale to save the kingdom again. The Jester's forces later invade the royal palace and capture the trio, taking them prisoner.

In Kansas, Dorothy's farm is wrecked by another tornado leaving it in disrepair. A sleazy man claiming to be a government appraiser arrives and condemns the farmhouse, handing the Gales an eviction notice. Dorothy discovers people all across town have been handed the same notices and are moving on. Dorothy and Toto encounter a rainbow which abducts them, transporting them to Oz, but not to the Emerald City as intended.

Dorothy meets Wiser, an overweight but intelligent owl who cannot fly. They enter Candy Country, where everything is made out of confectionery including the people. They are promptly arrested by Marshal Mallow for breaking the "no eating anything made of candy rule" due to the Jester tampering with the signs and taken before a court presided over by Judge Jawbreaker. When Judge Jawbreaker finds them guilty, the lollipop stenographer asks for their names to put on the death certificates. Upon realizing who Dorothy is, Judge Jawbreaker drops the charges of eating candy and releases her and Wiser. under the suggestion of Judge Jawbreaker, Mallow joins the group on their way to the Emerald City as a promise he made to find the missing General Candy Apple. Meanwhile, Glinda confronts the Jester in his castle, who has attached his sister's crystal ball to her broomstick, creating a magic staff which he has used to turn Oz's leaders (with General Candy Apple amongst them) into subservient marionettes. Glinda also falls victim to this as well.

Dorothy's company enter the Dainty China Country and require permission from the vain China Princess to pass through her kingdom. With Mallow posing as a suitor, the group enter the China Princess' castle and see her brutally rejecting potential suitors but is enchanted by Mallow's singing. An earthquake caused by the Jester damages the land, prompting an angry China Princess to blame Dorothy for the Jester's torment but agrees to allow her group to pass through on the condition she accompanies them. Finding a bridge to the Emerald City destroyed, the group decide to construct a boat but the talking trees refuse to co-operate, save an aging tree named Tugg who is carved into a galleon. They sail into the Emerald City, finding it abandoned, only to be attacked by the Flying Monkeys. Dorothy's group escape into a cave system but tumble down a waterfall.

The China Princess is shattered by the fall and presumed dead, prompting Dorothy to head for the Jester's palace alone. Mallow mourns the princess, and sings to her about his newfound love for her, discovering she is alive and fixes her. Wiser overcomes his fear of flying and goes off to aid Dorothy. Dorothy and Toto confront the Jester who plans to kill her, only for Toto to drop a curtain on his head, with the lead Flying Monkey named "You" stealing the Jester's staff to regrow its wings after the latter shrunk them. As the Jester gives chase, Dorothy reunites with her captured friends and they confront the Jester on the rooftop. In the ensuing fight for the staff, Dorothy falls off the roof but is caught by Wiser.

The rest of Dorothy's friends arrive with Tugg built on wheels, engaging the Flying Monkeys in battle. The Jester tries to rid himself of Dorothy by summoning a tornado but Dorothy's own magic breaks the spell damaging Oz and freeing the marionettes. The Jester is nearly sucked into the tornado, but is saved by Dorothy. However, when she casts the staff into the tornado, the Jester throws himself in after it and vanishes. Glinda appears and sends Dorothy and Toto home.

Reuniting with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Dorothy rallies the townsfolk to stand up for their homes, discovering the appraiser is a con artist using multiple fake licenses to commit crimes. He is arrested by the sheriff while his lackey runs off. Everyone rips off the eviction notices and starts to rebuild their town with Dorothy's farm being among those rebuilt.

Cast[edit]

Flying Monkey vocal effects provided by Scott Menville, Alan Shearman, Randi Soyland, and Flip Waterman.

Production[edit]

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]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Legends of Oz, Dorothy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May 6, 2014 by Colombia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.[10]

  1. "When the World" - Lea Michele (4:06)
  2. "Candy, Candy" - Martin Short (2:25)
  3. "China Princess (China Country Anthem and Procession)" - Megan Hilty (3:56)
  4. "Jester (Jester's Song)" - Martin Short (2:26)
  5. "Work with Me" - Lea Michele & Company (2:40)
  6. "Even Then" - Hugh Dancy, Lea Michele, & Megan Hilty (2:43)
  7. "Finale (When the World - Reprise)" - Lea Michele (3:52)
  8. "One Day" - Lea Michele (3:21)
  9. "Overture" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (3:06)
  10. "Under the Jester's Spell" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:21)
  11. "The Spell Is Broken" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:26)
  12. "Escape from Emerald City" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:23)
  13. "Dorothy Wakes" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (3:51)

"When the World", "Even Then" and the "Finale" were written by Tift Merritt. "Candy, Candy", "Work with Me" and "One Day" were written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. "China Princess (China Country Anthem and Procession)" was written by Jim Dooley. "Jester (Jester's Song)" has music by Jim Dooley and lyrics by Mike Himelstein.

Release[edit]

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."[11] 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".[12] CinemaScore gave the film an "A" on an A+ to F scale, based on polls conducted during the opening weekend.[13]

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.[14] By the end of its run, the film grossed $8,462,027 domestically and $13,1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $21,6 million.[5]

Home media[edit]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 26, 2014.[15]

Accolades[edit]

At the 35th Golden Raspberry Awards, Kelsey Grammer won the award for Worst Supporting Actor for his vocal performance in this film as well as for his live roles in The Expendables 3, Think Like a Man Too and Transformers: Age of Extinction.[16] This is the second animated film to win a Razzie; previously, Thumbelina won the since-retired award for Worst Original Song in 1995 for "Marry the Mole".

Sequels[edit]

Despite the disappointing box office performance, two sequels and a TV series were said to be in the works.[17]

References[edit]

  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. ^ "‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’ Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. April 25, 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Friday Box Office: 'Neighbors' Squashes 'Spider-Man 2'". Forbes. May 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ Madison, Michael (July 2, 2014). "Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return Blu-ray is coming in August". Hi-Def Ninja. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  16. ^ King, Susan (January 13, 2015). "Golden Raspberry Awards: 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' earns 7 nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ Armstrong, Josh (May 15, 2014). "Legends Of Oz producer talks franchise's future after box office disappoints". AnimatedViews.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]