211 user 60 critic

Return to Oz (1985)

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.


Walter Murch


Walter Murch (screenplay), Gill Dennis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,254 ( 145)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Fairuza Balk ... Dorothy
Nicol Williamson ... Dr. Worley / Nome King
Jean Marsh ... Nurse Wilson / Mombi
Piper Laurie ... Aunt Em
Matt Clark ... Uncle Henry
Michael Sundin Michael Sundin ... Tik-Tok
Tim Rose ... Tik-Tok
Sean Barrett ... Tik-Tok (voice)
Mak Wilson ... Billina
Denise Bryer Denise Bryer ... Billina (voice)
Brian Henson ... Jack Pumpkinhead (voice)
Stewart Harvey-Wilson Stewart Harvey-Wilson ... Jack Pumpkinhead (as Stewart Larange)
Lyle Conway ... Gump (voice)
Stephen Norrington Stephen Norrington ... Gump (as Steve Norrington)
Justin Case ... Scarecrow


Dorothy Gale has recently come home to Kansas from the Land of Oz is now almost back to perfect health since the incident of the tornado, only she cannot get that wonderful place out of her head. She frequently talks about it and cannot get any sleep at night. Aunt Em worries about her health/well-being. Thinking that she is suffering delusional depression and acute insomnia, she decides to take her to see a special doctor in another town. While he tries to treat her with electro-shock treatment and take those nasty dreams away from her head, she is rescued by a mysterious girl who leads her back to Oz for a new adventure. Written by Nichola McDougall

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's an all-new live-action fantasy - filled with Disney adventure and magic. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oz See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,137,801, 31 December 1985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


To create the stop-motion puppets of the nomes, Nicol Williamson and Pons Maar were photographed against a background grid. Will Vinton (of "Claymation" fame) then watched the footage frame by frame and manipulated the puppets based on the movements and expressions of the actors. See more »


Dorothy appears to only take a few minutes to reach the Emerald City from her old house. However, in The Wizard of Oz it's implied that the journey is considerably lengthy. See more »


Dorothy: [On her final guess Dorothy is about to guess on a bird statue, but then spots and emerald and chooses that instead] Oz!
Scarecrow: [Restored from ornament form] Dorothy!
The Nome King: [In his throne room the Nome King hears the echo of the scarecrow saying "Dorothy"] Smudge and blazes!
Dorothy: [Back in ornament room] Scarecrow!
Scarecrow: Dorothy.
[the two embrace]
Dorothy: You were green.
Scarecrow: What?
Dorothy: You were a green ornament.
Scarecrow: I was?
See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Captain Planet (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Major Impact
18 April 2006 | by MightyViperSee all my reviews

Most of the comments on this film seem to be from people who saw this when they were little, and haven't been able to forget it. The imagery of this film lingers long after first view, and its marked stylistic and thematic differences to Wizard Of Oz have a hypnotic effect on a certain type of viewer.

In Return, the central theme is one of deep unhappiness with reality and a wish to return to fantasy, where as Wizard focuses more on the concept of "there's no place like home". I admire and am still deeply effected by this film because, in some ways, it is braver than Wizard. It isn't afraid to deal with the conflict - that the misery of a grey Kansas is very real.

It expresses a rippling dissatisfaction that seems more in keeping with Baum's original works, and is all the more satisfying for it. In particular, I enjoyed the parrallels between the real world and Oz- for what it suggests about our world- and the Nome King's conversation with Dorothy. For a children's film, there is great depth in both, and most of the film can be interpreted on several different levels. The implications of the corridor of heads alone is enough to send any first year pysch/lit student into a whole mess of garbage.

But don't be fooled. This also an excellent children's film, that deserves more attention than it got.

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