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Journey Back to Oz
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Reviews & Ratings for
Journey Back to Oz More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Very Good Cartoon Sequel! Liza rocks in it!

Author: tponei from Victoria, Australia
24 January 2001

I first saw this film when I was about 5 or 6, and to this day I've always loved it! Just the story, the voices the songs, the animation was really cute and simple, the gorgeous backgrounds- Liza Minnelli is in the lead as the voice of 'Dorothy', the rest of the cast include, Mickey Rooney (Scarecrow), Ethel Merman (Mombi-the wicked witch of the west's cousin) Paul Lynde (Pumpkin head), and the original 'wicked witch of ther west' from the 1939 MGM classic, does a cameo as Dorothy's Aunt Em! The plot is a mesh of "Ozma Of Oz" and "The Land Of OZ" (The wizard of oz's author's, other book sequels) I've always loved this movie, it is a little cheesy mind you, (and some of the songs would be severly critisced by film critics)and are waaaay too long, but the story is a good sequel, it fits in better to the mgm version everyone knows, better than the 1985 film "return To Oz" (which i also love mind you) because it has, the same cheery backdrops, songs, and voices. This film is very rare and hardly known by anyone. In 1964, apparently Liza Minnelli PROUDLY recorded the voice for Dorothy, but then regretted doing it later on, and was embarrassed, seing as it was was designed as a crude exploit of her mother's (Judy Garland's) work!.... "It was easy" quotes Liza, "All I had to do was mimick my momma's voice!" Anyway it's an excellent film, (it should keep most children entertained--all the one i've showed it to have been anyway)so if you are a die-hard Oz-fan you should see, it (it's on video) I personally have "Journey Back To Oz" in my video collection, and it is a favourite for little cousins e.t.c!

P.S I LOVE the soundtrack score for the 'tornado' scene! It's so dramatic and awesome! you've never heard anything like it! it's really cool with heaps of differant instruments!

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Sequel!

10/10
Author: Michael Vezza (mvezza@erols.com)
7 February 1999

This movie is excellent! Liza sounds just like her mother when she did the film that it gives me chills every time! I love the new songs and the wonderful plotline which is mesh of "The Marvelous Land of Oz" and "Ozma of Oz". A fantastic sequel =)

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

well, I liked it anyway.

7/10
Author: polo_tottie from United Kingdom
22 November 2006

I haven't seen this film for years, but I remember loving it when I was about six years old - the main thing I remember about it was the song 'an elephant never forgets' which I thought was amazing and went around singing for weeks which drove my parents mad because they didn't like the movie very much. I'm glad Liza played Dorothy - it's only right that Judy Garland's daughter played her character in this cartoon sequel. *goes to dig out the video* I know it's the same character, and played by Judy's daughter who looks and sounds a lot like her, but No comparison can really be drawn from Journey Back to Oz and The Wizard of Oz as they are two completely different things - each with their merits and their weaknesses - but both (in my opinion) are brilliant and well worth a watch!

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Surprising!!

Author: kita117 from Maryland
27 June 2003

This movie was great for an animation. The music in my opinion was the best overall. I liked the opening of the movie. I loved the characters in the movie, and Dorothy can sing really well. A must see for children and adults.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Another visit to the Wonderful World Of Oz

10/10
Author: lordzedd-3 from United States
12 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, this has got to be the best animated movie practically ever, it has good animation, a great cast, the supporting cast does a great job. Memorable songs and great dialog. The cast does a great job and it's amazing how well this is put together. I had the record soundtrack when I was a kid and watched every time it was on TV and now that is on DVD, I will be buying it ASAP. But for now I must regale you with what I think of the best animated movie, even better then THE LAST UNICORN. That's right, better. Not much better and it does get draggy at points. But a must for any fan of the WIZARD OF OZ and if you love LIZA, then see the ironic movie that places her in the role that made her Mother a star. JOURNEY BACK TO OZ again and again, 10 STARS.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

For Liza completists...

4/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
5 March 2001

...and Ethel Merman buffs, too, will love her loud, bossy vocals as the wicked witch Mombi, but this cartoon sequel to "The Wizard Of Oz" is bereft of real imagination, substituting fantasy and excitement with noisy action (and cheaply repeating its footage like a bad music video). Little Dorothy is whisked back to Oz, which has gone to ruin, and meets old and new friends. The inelegant animation is stuck somewhere between the weakest Walt Disney and the less-inspired shows from Hanna-Barbera, however many of the songs are good, particularly Dorothy's sweet lament "It's a Far Away Land", superbly performed by Liza Minnelli. You can count on Minnelli for energy, which is why the movie perks up whenever Dorothy is around. Much of it is unmemorable, and I'm not even sure baby-boomers will get a charge from it since it has been out of circulation for so long. As a curiosity item, just fair. ** from ****

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An excellent sequel to the 1939 film "The Wizard of OZ"

10/10
Author: Julia Arsenault (ja_kitty_71) from Canada
21 October 2007

At first, I have never even heard of this film, nor that this film is intended to be a sequel to the 1939 live action film "The Wizard of OZ." I've bought the movie on DVD and I after watched it, I found an excellent sequel film. Though I was shocked and surprised by the negative reviews I would see on the web.

I love the talents of Paul Lynde, who played Uncle Arthur from TV's live-action comedy "Bewitched" and Liza Minnelli, who provided the voice of Dorothy, reprising the role originally played by her mother Judy Garland. And Liza DOES sound a lot like her mother, when said "You wicked old witch!" I love Judy, I have a few of her films.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Much better than expected!

8/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
17 June 2009

I don't think it is quite as good as the 1939 classic, which was and still is my childhood favourite, but it is an enjoyable underrated film, that is nowhere near as bad as some people say it is. The animation while simple, is colourful and adds to the charm of the film. The songs, while not as fabulous as the 1939 film, are still very nice and quite charming, even "Carousel". Liza Minelli does an excellent job as Dorothy, and I think her singing voice here was beautiful, and here she sounds like her mother, the wonderful Judy Garland. I loved the characters Pumpkinhead, Glinda (voiced by beautiful opera singer Rise Steevens) and the Horse, but the biggest surprise was Ethel Merman as the witch Mombi. This is still the same person who has the big, brassy voice from films like Call Me Madam, yet she does this film, and manages to do a truly excellent voice over, that is both sinister and fun. Even Margaret Hamilton, the wicked Witch in the 1939 film, voices Aunt Em here The story is like the animation, cute and charming, not the best story line in the world, but stays fairly true to the film it obviously drew its inspiration from. All in all, an enjoyable, charming film. It's not perfect, but I've honestly seen worse. 8/10 Bethany Cox.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Long story short, it doesn't work

3/10
Author: stitch-99 from United States
14 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd wanted to see this for years because I heard it was the official sequel to Wizard and finally got my chance the other day. It did not meet my already low expectations.

Ignoring the poor quality of the animation (which actually was better than expected from Filmation), the story flat-out fails. The only reason this manages to be feature-length is because of the repetitive sequences of Dorothy and co. going to characters from the first film for help, but being told the character is either unwilling or unable to do so. Admittedly, this does give rise to a funny moment from the new character Woodenhead Stallion III who comments, "Ah, great. I wonder who he's gonna send us to." The songs range from awful to fun, if not that clever. The best songs are, of course, the ones sung by Ethel Merman (surely the reason she was cast). All the others are completely forgettable. I only remember the songs by Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion because they, like their first film counterparts, were all built around the respective character's trait they had been seeking previously (and are now demonstrated to not truly have).

The voice acting is all right. Liza Minelli sounds exactly like her mother at that age, which neatly helps bridge the films. The only other returning actor is Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch) now playing Auntie Em of all people! She does okay, but she doesn't capture the spirit of the character; most notably she overdoes a thick Southern accent which is distracting, since they're in Kansas.

To top it off, the moral is contrived and forced. I won't give spoilers, but they fall prey to a common kid's film problem by just sweeping any and all dilemmas the characters may suffer as a result of doing the right thing under the rug in a deus ex machina. And that's to say nothing of the song which just out-of-the-blue starts talking about God, despite nothing being about him up until that point or afterward.

If you're still curious to see the official sequel or just want something colorful to keep your kids occupied for a while, watch it. If not, a much better treatment of a very similar story is Return to Oz. Thank you.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Retro Hand Drawn Animation

8/10
Author: johnstonjames from United States
5 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hadn't seen this in years. I am a big fan of hand drawn animation, especially the vintage retro stuff. if it's vintage and old I like it, even if it's garbage. I bought this because I was curious about it and wanted to see if it was any good,(I had remembered it being pretty bad at the time I saw it it in the seventies) I was surprised to find that the years have been good to this film.

The Hal Sutherland animation studios were never the top of the craft. even now one can hardly make a claim that they are on a par with the Disney studio. but this little film was their most major effort,( they usually assigned themselves to the Saturday morning TV cartoon post. something at that time Disney wouldn't touch).But now that classic hand drawn animation is a dying craft, this film seems quite ambitious and unique. it's backgrounds are lush and colorful, the character animation cute and funny, and the vocals are basically good with Liza Minnelli being an exceptional treat. who else to voice Dorothy but the original film Dorothy's daughter? and they were able to obtain her because at the time she was only fifteen and not yet famous.

I noticed from the other reviews that this sweet little film has some other fans. that is really cute and very touching. it takes a lot of gentle sweetness and heart to like a little film like this and considering how under appreciated this film is, and how under appreciated hand animation has become by mass taste who seem to prefer computer animation to hand drawing these days,these people who liked this film deserve to be truly commended for their gracious perceptiveness. there really are still some very nice modest little people left in the world and that is touching.

OZ is a wonderful place. It should always be kept close to our heart. God bless.

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