Monday, August 3, 2015

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2013)

Number Rolled: 92
Movie Name/Year: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2013)
Genre: Family
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Summertime Entertainment, Prana Animation Studios, Prana Studios
Executive Producer: Greg Centineo, Nick Centineo, Christie Hsiao, Neil L. Kaufman, John A. King, Robert Laimo, Joe Occhiogrosso, Jim Roberts, Rene Torres
Director: Will Finn, Daniel St. Pierre
Writer: Roger S. Baum, L. Frank Baum, Randi Barnes, Adam Balsam, Daniel St. Pierre
Actors: Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Lea Michele, Tacey Adams, Michael Krawic, Martin Short, Bernadette Peters, Oliver Platt, Hugh Dancy, Bryan Adams

It’s been a year since Dorothy’s been in Oz (or a day, depending who you ask) and things have gone drastically downhill. An evil Jester has stolen the power of the broom and controls the magical lands as only a tyrant would.

Selina’s Point of View:
There are very few films that I watch with a fully blank expression on my face. This is one of them.

I do like a great deal of family movies, despite the fact that I don’t have a child and I haven’t been a minor for roughly 14 years. At the very least, I have it in me to appreciate a movie that might be too young for me to truly enjoy. That is approximately where this film stands for me.

I didn’t like the animation much, especially where Glinda was concerned. Played by Bernadette Peters (Anastasia, Annie, Animaniacs), I feel like the good witch’s animation never fully synced up to her sounds. It was like a colorful dubbed kung-fu movie. I also found the plot lacking for something coming from such an influential story as The Wizard of Oz (1939). Of course, I haven’t read the book Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return was based off of, so that might not have been the fault of the writer (who is L. Frank Baum’s great-grandson).

It wasn’t all bad. Lea Michele (Glee, Scream Queens, New Years Eve) has a lovely singing voice and Martin Short (The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That!, Father of the Bride, Damages) voices characters like very few can.

In the end, it was just too juvenile for me to really want to sit down and watch. I believe it felt more geared toward very young children.

Cat’s Point of View:
I had missed this movie, somehow, when it was released in 2013. I wish that we had caught it then, when my daughter was a little younger. I think she would have enjoyed it more.

The lengthy opening credits splashed the names of the stellar cast immediately. Automatically, I had high expectations for this movie.

It was a treat to have the likes of Patrick Stewart (X-Men, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Green Room), Oliver Platt (2012, The Ice Harvest, Kill the Messenger), Bernadette Peters (Coming Up Roses, Wine and Kisses, It Runs in the Family), Martin Short (Inherent Vice, Frankenweenie, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil), Kelsey Grammar (The Expendables 3, Fame, Middle Men), James Belushi (Underdog, The Ghost Writer, Thunderstruck), and Dan Aykroyd (Pixels, Tammy, Yogi Bear) in the film.

The movie was cute, and I think it would appeal to younger kids – about the age range that enjoy Dora the Explorer (2000-) and Sofia the First (2013-).  It was just lost on me, and my daughter got bored about halfway through.

Something was missing that I just can’t put my finger on.

The animation was about on par with most of the animated kids shows on TV these days. There wasn’t anything that was deficient with the acting or singing, either.

Though, I do feel that they went too far with the appearance of the Jester character towards the end – he ended up looking like a cheap knockoff of DC’s Joker.

Singer Bryan Adams (Jock the Hero Dog, Twisted Tango, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) even had a small role and wrote three of the musical numbers on the soundtrack: "Candy, Candy", "Work With Me", and "One Day" (though, he only performed one of them).

I love stories of Oz, and so I am glad that I have seen this movie, I just don’t think we’ll be watching it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 16%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 70%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.1/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. Some small scenes during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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