Return to Oz – The Dom Reviews

The Dom takes a look at the (sort of) sequel to Wizard of Oz and talks about how well it works as a (sort of) adaptation of the books…. Sort of.

About The Dom

Reviewer of games, TV shows and movies. The Dom also likes to look at film adaptations of books and talk about what got lost transitioning from page to screen.

11 comments

  1. TragicGuineaPig

    About the doctor’s death and demonization in Oz: keep in mind, the story is from Dorothy’s perspective. From her point of view, the doctor’s intention to employ electroshock therapy is horrendous and evil. It doesn’t matter that his actual motive is benevolent; to Dorothy, what would matter would be the horror of his intended actions. At least that’s how I see it. The doctor may not be a terrible fellow at heart, but to a kid undergoing his treatments, that hardly matters.

    • Commenters on YouTube pointed out that the doctor appeared to be covering up the patients he’d harmed with reckless ECT. I can’t remember if that’s true, but I do remember that the facility was also a scary asylum with screaming at times.

  2. This is one of my favourite childhood movies. I get the impression it was largely disliked due to how dark it is in comparison to the original, but I enjoy it for that very reason. I’ve always loved the Wheelers, they’d make for a totally rad costume at a Halloween party, although, it may be difficult to drink a beer, much less do anything else besides wheeling around.

  3. Hey Dom, the Judy Garland version of Oz isn’t the first version of the story. There were at least two movies made before hand

    • Yes in fact one of them from 1914 was produced by Baum himself. He even had his own studio for a while Oz Film Manufacturing Company with a creepy Osma head smiling at the opening of every feature. Only three feature films his studio have survived and all are missing footage.
      Oddly, the only one he adapted from the first book His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914), has character that weren’t even in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He later included those in his next book The Scarecrow of Oz when it come out the following year.
      The other two films were The Patchwork Girl of Oz based on a book sequel of the same name and The Magic Clock or Oz which apparently was based on a completely unrelated Baum book. Guess they were just banking on the title.
      I think it’s true that pretty much everything since the Judy Garland film as been influenced by it in some way. Even an 1982 anime adaptation which is about the closest to the book as any version I’ve seen keeps the slippers being ruby instead of silver.
      So yeah, the Oz world of adaptations really does resemble Douglas Adams levels of complications!

  4. I can’t fault the movie for making the emeralds in the Emerald City real because by the second book they’d possibly been retconned into being real. Even though the citizens still used the glasses…

    Similar thing with Nomes and eggs. Different books had different described effects when Nomes touched eggs. One said that eggs turned Nomes into non-magical humans, another said that they’d shrivel up and disappear in a puff of smoke, and one said that Nomes could avoid the effects if they quickly said a counterspell (possibly the canon explanation for why the Nome King survived two eggs to the face).

    Basically I don’t fault Return to Oz for not following the book canon, the books themselves had issues with that.

  5. So technically the Wizard of Oz movie universe functions like Toho’s Godzilla movies, with multiple timelines all originating in the ´54 movie.

  6. Ugh. I hate this movie. I didn’t see it as a kid and saw it in high school a few years ago because of someone on this website. It makes no sense from a movie watcher’s perspective. Why did Dorothy de-age? Why doesn’t the Scarecrow blink? If you can’t include the red heels, don’t do a movie. I never even finished the first Oz book so no opinion on how it adapts book-wise.

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