Friday, October 07, 2011

Review: "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz" (2012)

It's Friday! And today, I'll be doing a movie review!

The highly-anticipated feature film, "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz" stars Back to the Future legend Christopher Lloyd and gives the classic story a modern twist. Watch the official trailer here.

If you've been reading my previous blogs, then you know that I've been expecting a review copy of the theatrical version of "The Witches of Oz", now re-named "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz", for quite some time now. It arrived on Wednesday, and I immediately popped it into my Blu-Ray player to watch it! If you've seen the TV version of the movie, which I know many of you have, let me just say that the theatrical version of the movie is very, very different.

The theatrical version is not only shorter than the TV version, but 90% of the special effects have been re-done as well. There are fifteen minutes of all new footage, and overall, I was really impressed with this version of the movie. It works much better as a feature film than a TV mini-series. It flows much better in this version.

Dorothy and the Witches of Oz follows the exploits of the grown Dorothy Gale, now a successful children's book author, as she moves from Kansas to present day New York City. Dorothy quickly learns that her popular books are based on repressed childhood memories, and that the wonders of Oz are very, very real. When the Wicked Witch of the West shows up in Times Square, Dorothy must find the inner courage to stop her.

The Oz sequences in the movie really stand out visually. Oz is mostly CG, but all the characters, of course, are live-action. Throughout the movie, we get to see Baum characters like Princess Langwidere (played by Mia Sara most of the time), Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, Locasta, and the more common Oz characters like Dorothy, Glinda, the Wizard, etc.

All of the effects were great, except for a few shots of a CG dragon-like creature that the Wicked Witch sends out towards the end of the movie, which still looked a bit out of place with the rest of the shot.

The movie is cleverly written, and really does have a little bit of everything. There's a bit of romance, plenty of action, a lot of fantasy elements, and some comedy in there, too.

Even if you've watched the TV version, I really recommend watching the theatrical version. The effects are beautiful to see, and it's just an all around fun movie to watch. Now let's give this thing a score!


Acting: B+
Music: A+
Special Effects: A-
Sets: B
Plot: A+
Costumes/Make-up: B
Editing: A


A limited theatrical release for "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz" is currently planned for early 2012 in the United States, with a home video release to follow shortly thereafter. The TV version of the movie is available to all Dish Network and Time Warner customers in the U.S. Follow "The Witches of Oz" on Twitter and Facebook for updates.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Jared. I'm reading this post more than two years after you wrote it. A few months ago I bought the DVD for this movie/tv-series. I read here that you talk about the difference between the movie version and the tv-series version. Would you know which version is the one that came out on DVD?? Or are both available on DVD?

Jay said...

The "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz" cut has not been made available on DVD. It was screened at the 2012 Winkie Convention, though there weren't a lot of attendees.

(By the way, Angelo wrote this particular entry. I've actually yet to see this cut myself!)