Dorothy wakes up in post-tornado Kansas, only to be whisked back to Oz to try to save her old friends the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man and Glinda from a devious new villain, the Jester. Wiser the owl, Marshal Mallow, China Princess and Tugg the tugboat join Dorothy on her latest magical journey through the colorful landscape of Oz to restore order and happiness to Emerald City. Written by
Unusual Credit Style: In the closing credits, there are numerous entries for co-producers & other "producer" positions that list both husband & wife for each credit entry, such as "Jack & Jill Jones". Some credits are simply listed as a family unit. One such co-producer is listed as "The Ross Family". It is rare that credits are given in groupings of families. Most credits are a single person's name. See more »
Uninspired, mostly humorless film based on a second-rate book
As I suspected from its origins, this film is uninspired, unoriginal, and mostly humorless. Apparently it is doing poorly at the box office-- and rightly so. What is missing is the sense of humanity and wonder that infuses L Frank Baums's classic books (especially the first few) and the MGM classic film based on his first book. I think the problem with this film is that it is based on the rather mediocre "Dorothy of Oz" written by a Roger Baum, a great grandson of L Frank Baum. "Dorothy of Oz" has the same deficiencies as this film: lack of universality, originality, understanding of humanity or appeal to adults. Because of these deficiencies, even children will find this film as forgettable as Roger Baum's book. Instead of true originality we are given some new "cute" characters like Wiser the owl. It can't just "get by" on cuteness or nostalgia for the original Oz story. It just doesn't work. Successful children's books and films are driven by vision and heart: this film (and the book it's based on) have none.
I became aware of this film even before it was made, when people soliciting investors for the film contacted me. They were surprised to learn that someone actually knew about L. Frank Baum and his wonderful books (beyond the MGM film that almost everyone has seen). They appeared to believe that anything connected to the Wizard of Oz was golden, and were outraged by the idea that Roger Baum's book is uninspired and that a film based on it was doomed to fail.
Unfortunately, in the end the producers were not able to rise above the unoriginal "Dorothy of Oz." I feel sorry for whoever did invest in this boring debacle. I recommend that you skip this film, no matter the age of your children. Instead see a classic: rent Pinocchio, MGM's "Wizard of Oz," or Disney's "Mary Poppins" each of which has the heart that this film lacks.
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