Return to Oz

Watch Return to Oz

"An all-new adventure down the yellow brick road."
  • PG
  • 1985
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 6.7  (29,974)
  • 42

In 1985, Return to Oz hit the cinemas, featuring Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, and Jean Marsh. The movie was directed by Walter Murch and produced by Paul Maslansky. Return to Oz is a dark and eerie adaptation of the books by L. Frank Baum, continuing the story of young Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. The movie begins with Dorothy, played by Fairuza Balk, living in Kansas with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Dorothy is troubled by nightmares of Oz, the land she visited in her previous adventure. Aunt Em, worried about Dorothy's mental health, takes her to a doctor who recommends an experimental electroshock-therapy treatment. However, during the treatment, the power goes out and a storm hits, causing Dorothy to escape and head back to Oz.

When Dorothy arrives in Oz, she finds that the land is now under the control of the Nome King, played by Nicol Williamson, who has enslaved many of Oz's inhabitants. Dorothy must team up with new allies to defeat the Nome King and save Oz from ruin. Her new friends include Tik-Tok, a talking mechanical man, Jack Pumpkinhead, a friendly scarecrow made out of a pumpkin, The Gump, a flying creature made of various nonsense items, and a talking chicken named Billina.

The movie is a departure from the colorful and whimsical world portrayed in the original Wizard of Oz film. Return to Oz is much darker and grittier, which may have contributed to its failure at the box office. The production design is impressive, with a gothic-tinged aesthetic and an overall darker feel to the movie. The special effects and set design hold up well, especially considering it was made in 1985.

Fairuza Balk gives an excellent performance as Dorothy Gale, capturing the character's bravery and determination. Balk's Dorothy is much more self-assured than Judy Garland's iconic portrayal from the classic 1939 movie adaptation. Nicol Williamson's portrayal of the Nome King is also noteworthy, presenting a villain that is both terrifying and somewhat sympathetic.

One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is when Dorothy and her friends enter the Nome King's underground kingdom. The kingdom features a vast collection of rooms filled with everyday objects, such as a living room with a sofa and clock, and a hallway filled with statues. As Dorothy and her friends progress through the rooms, they must find and return objects to their rightful place to move on. This scene has a surreal and dream-like quality that adds to the overall dark tone of the movie.

While some aspects of the movie may be too scary for young children, Return to Oz is a fantastic movie for older viewers who are fans of the original Wizard of Oz story. The movie is based on the books by L. Frank Baum, which were darker than the beloved 1939 movie. Return to Oz stays true to that source material and features strong performances from its cast and impressive production design.

Overall, Return to Oz is a unique and criminally underrated movie that deserves more recognition. While it may not have had the same success as the classic 1939 adaptation, it's a striking and memorable adaptation that defies expectations. The movie's use of special effects and imaginative production design hold up well today, and the performances by the cast are just as compelling as they were in 1985.

Return to Oz is a 1985 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 42.

Return to Oz
Where to Watch Return to Oz
Return to Oz is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Disney+, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Return to Oz for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (29,974)
  • Metascore