Sunday, May 4, 2014

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Releases May 9th, 2014
1 hr 30 mins
Rated PG
Animated, Children's/Family



Will Finn
Dan St. Pierre


Lea Michele as Dorothy Gale
Dan Aykroyd as The Scarecrow
Kelsey Grammer as The Tin Man
Jim Belushi as The Cowardly Lion
Megan Hilty as China Princess
Hugh Dancy as Marshal Mallow
Oliver Platt as Wiser the Owl
Martin Short as The Jester
Patrick Stewart as Tugg
Bernadette Peters as Glinda the Good Witch
Tom Kenny as Munchkin Suitor
Brian Blessed as Judge Jawbreaker
Douglas Hodge as Fruit Stripe Lawyer

Review by Stephen M.

I honestly did not have big expectations going in to see Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.  Just looking at the movie posters, I did not like the animation style because of its simplistic style.  I've seen computer games with similar or better CGI as far as the human characters like Dorothy than in this film.   What does it for me for this movie is the character designs for all the other characters as well as the music.  It helps that the lead actress playing Dorothy Gale is Leah Michele known for the TV series Glee as well as numerous Broadway performances.

In the movie, Dorothy is called back to Oz by the Scarecrow who is the leader of Oz as trouble is brewing in the form of the Jester (Martin Short).  Time as the Scarecrow explains passes differently in Oz then it does in Dorothy's world.  While many years have passes since Dorothy left Oz, Dorothy has only awoken the next day in her world from her adventures in the Wizard of Oz.  As with the original Oz, characters and troubles parallel between both worlds.  The filmmakers try to stay true to the original film and it shows.

Besides Dorothy and the adorable Toto, we have the Scarecrow (
Dan Aykroyd), Lion (Jim Belushi) and Tin man (Kelsey Grammer) back.  Besides the characters we're familiar with, we are also introduced to a whole slew of new characters in Oz.  When Dorothy's old friends are captured, she meets and are joined by Wiser (Oliver Platt)Marshal Mallow (Hugh Dancy) and China Princess (Megan Hilty).  The veteran actors does a great job in this film especially Dan Aykroyd as the Scarecrow.  The dialogue while clever at times could have used more humor to it.  My daughter and her friend, both 7 were scared of the Jester scenes but otherwise was fine and enjoyed the film.

Overall, I would recommend it as a matinee.  While there are lots to enjoy in the movie especially the singing.  There are parts of the film of which just drags with none of the key ingredients for a children film, being humor and music.  The newer characters just doesn't quite have the charisma and appeal as the original three.  The kids will love the candy scene with the adorable peeps even with Easter having just past.


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