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My Favorite Childhood Film!
on July 9, 2004
"Return to Oz" is one of those rare movies that captures your heart and truly makes you believe in magic. To this day, it still hasn't let my heart go! This amazing, underrated film is a real Hollywood gem. Buy it, and you will surely treasure it forever.
Of course, that depends on your expectations of this trip to Oz. Although there are no sugary sweet characters bouncing about singing and dancing, there is an abundance of subtle beauty in the ways of costume and set design. Instead of the cutesy munchkins and radiant Glinda, there are the horrible Wheelers and the pretty-yet-terrifying Princess Mombi. Additionally, there are some scenes (i.e. the Hall of Heads, the Deadly Desert, the Nome King Showdown, etc.) that may frighten young children (it scared me, but I love the movie nonetheless). The point is, like many movies, you'll enjoy "Return to Oz" if you go in open-minded and ready for anything. :)
This movie and the 1939 musical classic were produced by two different companies, with different budgets, different set managers, different actors, different screenwriters, and different directors. It just so happens that "The Wizard of Oz" was an enormous hit during the "Golden Age" of movies (esp. musicals) and has remained a family favorite ever since. Any follow up to such a successful movie is going to be criticized unless it is even better than the "original." A large number of fans enjoy "Return to Oz" so much because it parallels L. Frank Baum's original stories closer than the Judy Garland adaptation.
Please don't get me wrong--I adore each and every aspect of "The Wizard." I just like "Return to Oz" as well and feel it is worthy of a second glance/chance. Try it and see for yourself. I'm sure there will be something about it that you will never forget! :)