Creepy Kids’ Movie #2: Return to Oz:
I picture someone pitching the story of this movie like this…
‘Kids generally love the The Wizard of Oz, so I think a sequel would be a perfect fit for the Walt Disney Company… PLUS, we’re going to have a script written by Lawrence Kasden, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark… AND we’re going to have the Oz creatures created by the Jim Henson Company… you know, the guy behind the Muppets! Sounds great, right?
‘But wait… let me tell you about the movie… Ok, so it’s a few years after the events of the first movie… Dorothy is now home and telling everyone about her adventures, so everyone thinks she’s crazy. So, of course they lock her up in an old insane asylum, where they want to give her shock therapy. As the doctors are about to flip the switch to shoot electricity into Dorothy’s brain, the lights go out… and then the fantastic adventure begins!
‘I know what you’re thinking, “an insane asylum and shock therapy? Isn’t that a little intense for a kid’s movie?” But don’t worry, another little girl rescues Dorothy and they both escape the hospital. However, in the process, they both fall into a river during a severe storm and the other girl disappears under the water, never to be seen again. Did she drown? Was she only in Dorothy’s mind? We don’t know. Then Dorothy wakes up in Oz… But of course when she gets there, she finds out that the yellow brick road has been torn up, the Emerald City is destroyed and all her friends from the last movie have been turned to stone. Sounds like fun, right? Seeing people and places that kids love destroyed won’t traumatize them, right?
‘So now Dorothy has to go on an adventure with new friends, but instead of having people dressed up (like the last movie), we’ll have creatures designed by the Jim Henson Company to give them that unreal, slightly creepy feel. This new group would then confront this insane gang called “The Wheelers”, an evil ruler called the “Goblin King” and a new “witch” who can remove her head and replace it with other heads. (I can even picture a scene where all the heads come to life as Dorothy is chased by the witch’s headless body!) Sounds great, right? Kids will love it!
‘The best part is the entire time you’re watching the movie, you’re thinking, “Is this really happening or did the electric shock work and everything is just in Dorothy’s mind as she sits drooling in a corner of the insane asylum!” Now if all this doesn’t sound like a fun kid’s movie, I don’t what is!
‘So what do you think, Mr. Disney Chairman? —Great! Where do we sign!’
Return to Oz 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray