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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not terrific, but still enjoyable.

7/10
Author: Figaro-8 (greyfigaro@hotmail.com) from Columbia, SC
8 February 2001

If you're like me, when you saw that this movie was about the Lion of Oz, you immediately thought of Bert Lahr's performance in the 1939 film. And you thought you knew the character pretty well.

And you come to find out, there's more to him than you thought.

Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser have written two of my favorite animated films (the underrated films "Balto" and "Cats Don't Dance"), and once again, they do a nice job with the script here. Like I mentioned above, there's more to this Lion than you thought. They do a nice job of tying into the original story at the beginning and the very end, but the majority is brand new material. The voice cast (Dom DeLuise, Bob Goldthwait, Jane Horrocks, Tim Curry, et al) does a serviceable job, though I believe they have given better performances. The animation is good, and of higher quality than some direct-to-video productions I've seen.

The only things I did not care for were the songs by Michael and Patty Silversher. They have done much better work before (their theme song for Disney's "Tale Spin" has got to be the single most irresistibly catchy theme song ever). Here, the songs just really didn't seem to do much, and I didn't really care for the vocalists' performances much. (Dom DeLuise has done MUCH better singing before.)

But this film is called "Lion of Oz," after all, and fortunately the best aspect of the production is the title character (appropriately called--Lion.) The animation of him is very good, and Jason Priestley's performance is wonderful. I love the way he delivers his lines, especially the "asides." His performance is the best one.

In closing, "Lion of Oz" has a few flaws, but it still makes for enjoyable viewing.

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Hugely enjoyable animated film, if a little contrived.

7/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
7 April 2009

I enjoyed this film very much, so much so that it exceeded my expectations. The animation, compared to some of the Disney Direct to video sequels, is in general very good. I wasn't too keen on the character animation of the witch though. The voice talents from Jason Priestly, Tim Curry, Lynn Redgrave and Jane Horrocks, amongst others are also excellent. I do agree though all of them have been better, but they put a lot of enthusiasm into quite well-written roles. Tim Curry has done a number of voice overs and rarely disappoints, likewise with Dom DeLuise, though they have both been in one or two duds. The writing is quite witty, funny and intelligent, and the characters especially Lion and Wimsik are likable. However, there are one or two minuses. The first one is that I wasn't completely crazy about the songs. They weren't terrible, but they weren't outstanding either. Average is the best way to describe them. Same with the singing voices, especially Dom DeLuise, that song didn't really suit his voice. Another minus was the plot. It was clever and simple, but it a little contrived in the way it was put across. In conclusion, I was shocked at the low rating, for I found it a hugely enjoyable and charming film. Adults may find it a little contrived, but children will love it. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Sweet, fun, memorable

Author: earlydbl from Boston
6 December 2004

This is a wonderful film for young children. My son loves the characters, especially Silly, and he is engrossed in the story every time he watches it.

A great prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" story. I'd recommend it to anyone with kids under 10. The plot is simple to follow as the Lion takes a journey through Oz meeting up with interesting characters along the way. The acting is very good and includes performances from several famous names such as Lynn Redgrave as the Wicked Witch of the east, Dom DeLuise, and Tim Curry. This story makes the whole Oz family of books begin to make sense. Some of the characters are familiar already, and of course there are some new ones too. My kids really like it and keep watching.

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