Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is a 2013 American-Indian 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film that is loosely based on the book Dorothy of Oz by L. Frank Baum's great-grandson Roger Stanton Baum. It was directed by Daniel St. Pierre and Will Finn. The film stars the voices of Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Dancy, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt, Patrick Stewart, Bernadette Peters, and Martin Short.
|Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Will Finn|
Dan St. Pierre
|Produced by||Roland Carroll|
|Written by||Adam Balsam|
|Based on||Dorothy of Oz|
by Roger Stanton Baum
|Music by||Toby Chu|
|Edited by||Dan Molina|
|Distributed by||Clarius Entertainment|
|Box office||$20.1 million|
The film premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on June 14, 2013 and was released in the United States and Canada on May 9, 2014. The film received negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, as it grossed $20.1 million worldwide against a $70 million budget.
In the Land of Oz, the Emerald City's co-leaders – the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion – discover that an evil Jester has stolen the broomstick of his sister, the late Wicked Witch of the West, and taken control over the Flying Monkeys. With Oz's future at stake, the Scarecrow decides to use his invention called the Rainbow Mover to summon Dorothy Gale to save the kingdom again. However, flying monkeys invade the castle and force the trio out the window.
In Kansas, Dorothy's farm has been wrecked by a tornado, leaving it in disrepair. A sleazy man claiming to be a government appraiser arrives and condemns the farmhouse, handing the Gales an eviction notice. Dorothy discovers people all across town have been handed the same notices and are moving on. Dorothy and Toto encounter a rainbow which transports them to Oz, but not to the Emerald City as intended.
Dorothy meets Wiser, an overweight but intelligent owl who cannot fly. They enter Candy Country, where everything is made out of confectionery, including the people. They are promptly arrested by Marshal Mallow for breaking the "no eating anything made of candy" rule due to the Jester tampering with the signs, and are taken to court. Upon realizing who Dorothy is, the judge drops the charges and releases her and Wiser. Mallow joins the group on their way to the Emerald City as a promise he made to find the missing General Candy Apple. Meanwhile, Glinda confronts the Jester, who has used a magic scepter created from his sister's broomstick and crystal ball to turn Oz's leaders, including General Candy Apple, into subservient marionettes. Glinda falls victim to this as well, giving him complete control of Oz.
Dorothy's company enter the Dainty China Country and require permission from the vain China Princess to pass through her kingdom. With Mallow posing as a suitor, the group enter the China Princess' castle and see her rejecting potential suitors, but she is enchanted by Mallow's singing. An earthquake caused by the Jester damages the land. An angry China Princess blames Dorothy for the Jester's torment, but agrees to allow her group to pass through on the condition that she accompanies them. Finding a bridge to the Emerald City destroyed, the group decide to construct a boat. All the talking trees refuse to cooperate except for an aging tree named Tugg, who is carved into a galleon. They sail into the Emerald City, finding it abandoned, only to be attacked by the Flying Monkeys. Dorothy's group escapes into a cave system but tumbles down a waterfall.
The China Princess is shattered by the fall and presumed dead, prompting Dorothy to head for the Jester's palace alone. Mallow mourns for the princess before discovering she is alive and fixing her. Mustering his confidence and strength, Wiser manages to fly off to aid Dorothy. Dorothy and Toto confront the Jester, who plans to kill her, only for Toto to drop a curtain on his head, with the lead Flying Monkey named "You" stealing the Jester's staff to regrow its wings after the latter shrunk them. As the Jester gives chase, Dorothy reunites with her captured friends, and they confront the Jester on the rooftop. Dorothy falls off the roof in the ensuing fight for the staff, but is caught by Wiser.
The rest of Dorothy's friends arrive with Tugg built on wheels, engaging the Flying Monkeys in battle. The Jester tries to rid himself of Dorothy by summoning a tornado, but Dorothy's own magic breaks the spell damaging Oz, freeing its leaders. The Jester is nearly sucked into the tornado, but is saved by Dorothy. However, once she casts the staff into the tornado, the Jester jumps in after it and vanishes along with it. Glinda appears and sends Dorothy and Toto home.
Reuniting with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Dorothy rallies the townsfolk to stand up for their homes, discovering the appraiser is a con artist using multiple fake licenses to commit crimes. He is arrested by the sheriff while his lackey runs off, and Dorothy and her town's homes are rebuilt.
- Lea Michele as Dorothy Gale
- Dan Aykroyd as Scarecrow
- Jim Belushi as Lion
- Kelsey Grammer as Tin Man
- Martin Short as Jester, Appraiser
- Hugh Dancy as Marshal Mallow
- Megan Hilty as China Princess, Mouse Queen
- Oliver Platt as Wiser
- Patrick Stewart as Tugg/Tank
- Bernadette Peters as Glinda
- Tacey Adams as Aunt Em
- Michael Krawic as Uncle Henry
- Randi Soyland as You the Flying Monkey, China Handmaiden
- Brian Blessed as Judge Jawbreaker
- Douglas Hodge as Fruit Stripe Lawyer
- Debi Derryberry as Lollipop Stenographer
- Randy Crenshaw as China Guard, Kansas Sheriff
- Randal Keith as First Minister, Winkie Suitor
- Richard Horvitz as Munchkin Suitor
- Tom Kenny as China Suitor
- "When the World" - Lea Michele (4:06)
- "Candy, Candy" - Martin Short (2:25)
- "China Princess" - Megan Hilty (3:56)
- "Jester" - Martin Short (2:26)
- "Work with Me" - Lea Michele & Company (2:40)
- "Even Then" - Hugh Dancy, Lea Michele, & Megan Hilty (2:43)
- "When the World (Reprise)" - Lea Michele (3:52)
- "One Day" - Lea Michele (3:21)
- "Overture" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (3:06)
- "Under the Jester's Spell" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:21)
- "The Spell Is Broken" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:26)
- "Escape from Emerald City" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (4:23)
- "Dorothy Wakes" - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra (3:51)
"When the World", "Even Then" and the "Finale" were written by Tift Merritt. "Candy, Candy", "Work with Me" and "One Day" were written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. "China Princess (China Country Anthem and Procession)" was written by Jim Dooley. "Jester (Jester's Song)" has music by Jim Dooley and lyrics by Mike Himelstein.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a score of 16% based on 58 critics, with the consensus: "Faced with the choice between staying in or seeing Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, most filmgoers will be forced to conclude that there's no place like home." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 25 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". CinemaScore gave the film an "A" on an A+ to F scale, based on polls conducted during the opening weekend.
The film made $1 million on its opening day in the United States, and $3.7 million in its first weekend, against an estimated $70 million budget. By the end of its run, the film grossed $8.5 million in North America and $11.6 million internationally for a worldwide total of $20.1 million.
At the 35th Golden Raspberry Awards, Kelsey Grammer won the award for Worst Supporting Actor for his vocal performance in the film as well as for his live roles in The Expendables 3, Think Like a Man Too and Transformers: Age of Extinction. This is the second animated film to win a Razzie; previously, Thumbelina won the since-retired award for Worst Original Song in 1995 for "Marry the Mole".
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