Monday, September 01, 2014

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Blu-Ray review

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return came out in theaters in May, a little over four months ago. It ran for one or two weeks (depending on the theater), performing very poorly and quickly going to second-run theaters.

And if you missed it then, you can now get the home video release and see what you missed. I reviewed the film after seeing it alone (both that I went alone and was the only person in the theater), so I won't critique the film here. If you want a plot summary, here we go:

With the Land of Oz in the thrall of an evil Jester, Dorothy is summoned to save the day! Joining her are a band of new friends: the candy-loving owl Wiser, Marshal Mallow of Candy County and the Dainty China Princess. But can this little band of friends stop the Jester?

 I will say one critique I didn't say in my previous review... This movie really could have used Ozma.


So, how's the Blu-Ray package?

Well, let me say this, if you're buying any format, you might as well go for the Blu-Ray as it seems to be available for a nice, low price ($15 on Amazon on its day of release). As it comes with a Blu-Ray, DVD and Ultlraviolet copy, you're getting the movie in three formats, and if you can get it for $15, that's $5 each.

The movie looks just fine on all formats. DVD and standard definition Ultraviolet playback will have a minimal blur for folks with larger screens. It's unsurprising as this was a computer-animated film. Why wouldn't a digitally created film look great on digital video?

The main menu on the DVD and Blu-Ray is pretty identical, except that the Blu-Ray main menu branches into every other menu, while the DVD has to use submenus as a limitation of the format. The main menu displays a series of clips from the movie while the overture plays.

The content is exactly the same on both discs, so it's not one of those cases where bonus features were withheld from the DVD version. However, there's not really any substantial bonus features. There's a singalong feature, playing most of the songs from the movie with color-changing lyrics over a yellow brick road over the movie clips. The rest of the features are all EP material. "The Music of Oz" and "The Legacy of Oz" both feature clips from the film as the cast and crew say a little about the movie and their love of Oz and excitement about the project. Then, there's a trailer. All in all, these non-singalong features add up to under 8 minutes of content. Given the under performance of the film, it's easy to imagine why the Blu-Ray did not get more substantial features. The history of this film is quite a thing in and of itself, but it's not documented here at all.

The discs contain subtitles in English, Spanish and French. They only have one English 5.1 audio track, however.

If you have a DVD or Blu-Ray ROM drive on your computer, both discs have printable activity sheets for children.

The Ultraviolet copy gave me a surprise by offering a QR code as well as the typical code to type in to unlock the movie. Using the QR code, I was able to add the movie to my Ultraviolet collection directly from my phone without typing in a code. (It does lead to a browser-based version, so it helps if you have a Flixster account connected to Facebook and have signed into Facebook already.)

Overall, while there are no "gotta have 'em" bonus features to sweeten the package, the value of it is good enough to add it to your collection. Unless you don't want to get the movie at all. And considering how many of us rewatch and even keep home videos of just about every Oz film, chances are good that you'll add it to your collection sometime.

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