Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oz, Revisited

In the months following her return home to Kansas, Dorothy finds she can't forget her trip to Oz. She begins catching glimpses of a blond girl in mirrors and finds a rusty key in the farm's chicken coop. Dorothy becomes convinced (obsessed, even) that these are messages from Oz and that her friends there are in trouble. Her naturally worried aunt and uncle take her to a terrifying old-school mental hospital where she's to stay until she's cured of her delusions.  Just as Dorothy is being prepped for electro-shock therapy, there's a thunderstorm and the power goes out. Dorothy escapes with the help of another patient--and magically finds herself back in Oz. Here, she learns her fears are true: The Munchkin village is in ruins and the Emerald City has been taken over by a villain so evil she makes the Wicked Witch look like a sweet old lady in comparison. After narrowly escaping with her head intact (watch the movie, this'll make sense), Dorothy embarks on a quest to find the lair of the evil Gnome King, where the Scarecrow is being held captive. Joining her are some quirky new friends. Dorothy saves the day and helps restore order to the Emerald City and to Oz (spoiler: Oh yeah, that blond girl Dorothy kept seeing? She's pretty important!). But not before enduring some truly terrifying ordeals that will likely scar her for life.

New to the Teen DVD Collection, Return to Oz, while a still considered a children's movie, is much, much darker than its predecessor. Claymation special effects that may seem quaint by today's digital standards help give the film its creepy feel. A word of warning: If you're expecting more of the original Oz movie (singing and dancing and cute winged monkeys), you'll be disappointed. But if you seek an unusual dark fantasy, this film is for you. Watch along with Coraline for a Creepy Kids Movie Double Feature --AJB

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