Dorothy Gale (Lea Michelle) wakes up from a devastating tornado that has ripped through Kansas. She is rushed back to Oz to save her old friends Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), The Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer), The Cowardly Lion (James Belushi), Glinda (Bernadette Peters) and the entire land of Oz from The Jester (Martin Short) – the devious brother of the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy’s quest brings her into contact with new friends. But time is running out for everyone to save Emerald City.
Based on the book by Roger Baum, who is the great grandson of L. Frank Baum, this animated film takes the Oz sequels into another direction. It’s a direction that isn’t signposted on the yellow brick road as it’s an area where no one should go – cash-in central. This hideous film looks, feel and is clearly written to continue the Oz franchise no matter who is involved.
The storyline itself is so utterly weak and preposterous that we were bored by it all after about ten minutes. Ultimately it’s the same story as the original, but with additional characters, but this lacks the magic of the original 1939 film. The new friends are annoying and lack heart (pun intended) and the jester as a villain is as pointless as his droopy hat. There is nothing here for children and adults to cling onto in the hope the film may pick up.
In fact it manages to drop further and further down with the woeful songs that are carelessly thrown into the proceedings. Trying to match up to Disney isn’t going to work when you have nothing like the style or character that the Mouse House has. Legends Of Oz singing segments are all too stage school and vastly over sung. Every note brings a bigger cringe than the note before it.
With such a stellar voice cast you would at least expect to be able to pick out which person is voice the character, but they are all so drab sounding that they blend into one. Only Martin Short, as the jester, is recognisable and that is mainly due to it being so over the top.
Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is one of the worst films we have seen this year. The animation is about ten years behind the times alongside a story that lacks any redeeming features or interest. Don’t bother with this movie; just watch The Wizard Of Oz again.