Film Review: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

Animated feature Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is suitably entertaining fare for young children, although older viewers may demand more.

After Dorothy wakes up back in Kansas, it is not long before she must return to Oz. Her old friends Scarecrow, Tin-Man and the Lion need her help when Oz faces a new threat…

L. Frank Baum’s Oz stories offer such a rich volume of fantasy, it cannot be surprising that another feature based on his works has been produced. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return smartly chooses to encompass elements which have been featured in various Oz films, but never in one single film. In this sense, there is something complete about the film.

Nonetheless, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is not without its issues. The script needed to be sharper to make the film truly enjoyable. There is not enough humour in the film, and some of the expository dialogue feels awkward.

The characters that are featured in the film are interesting enough, but require more investment. Dorothy and her friends have already been established in previous incarnations of the story, therefore more could have been made of the supporting characters. The antagonist in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is weak, which does not help to keep the narrative engaging.

The animation has a generic CGI quality to it. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is more reminiscent of a television cartoon rather than a feature film. The songs that are included simply are not memorable. There is no hook to reel viewers in.

Lea Michelle is in fine tune vocally, but the actress fails to exude a range of emotion. Martin Short is decent enough as the Jester, although like other actors he is hampered by the script.

If it was a cartoon made for television, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return would be watchable, although not terribly exciting. As a cinematic feature, the film disappoints.