12 September 2010

Wearing my Silver Nerd-Slippers with pride.

I was gonna post about the recent New York Times article which claims animation is currently the top "genre" at the box office ( animation is a medium), but the nice guys at cartoon brew have said pretty much all I'd want to say, and a great deal more succinctly.

So instead I'm gonna talk about why Return to Oz is one of the Best Movies Ever.
And here's where I lose all of my readers...
What is it?

Short Answer: Return to Oz is a poorly received, rarely remembered 1985 sequel to the Wizard of Oz.
"A what now?"

Long Answer: Return to Oz is
a film, Directed by Walter Murch, based off of the books "The Land of Oz" and "Ozma of Oz"; L Frank Baum's second and third installments in the Oz series.
Yes, "based off a book" Yes, "more than one".

As well as including elements from the books, the movie functions as a sequel of sorts to the MGM musical, notably through the use of the Ruby Slippers as a plot device.
These were actually silver in the book. Yeah, I know you don't give a damn.

This being one of those cult movie things that inspires frightening enthusiasts or "fans", I'll just try to keep it simple, and give three big reasons you should watch and enjoy this film.

1. Scary Moments

Return to Oz is often remembered for being unusually freaky: with headless witches, Dorothy locked in a metal asylum and Wheelers, who.... well they wheel.

Of course that's outrageous for children because there's never ever, Ever been a children's film with notoriously frightening...
Oh, well at least there aren't any equally notoriously scary moments in the old-

Oh, never mind.

I hear people blather on about movies that are too "scary" for children. Know what?I'm not a child. Chances are you aren't, either. And I happen to like "scary moments" in my movies. I'm weird that way.

2. Nerd-Points.
Fans tend to hate motion pictures based on their favorite books/tv shows/other movies/comics for this reason: they aren't enough like the original.
Singing Dolphins?

What happened to, like , the chorus?

No, Just...no.

Return to Oz is very much like the books. Please remember that the Judy Garland version, based off of a book, is not "the original".
"Say what?"

All of the "new" characters in Return, such as the flying sofa, talking chicken, gnomes and lost princess are taken from the books, in many cases closely replicating John R. Neil's illustrations.

As opposed to other, more famous,"Wizard" spinoffs that just made stuff up.
"Psst. None of the audience
ever heard of the damn book.

3. The Brand
Let's look at this poster.

See which studio made this?
Possibly the most "anti-Disney" movie ever to bear the Disney label: no songs, decidedly dark, and respectful to the source material in ways that only, anal-retentive blogger book-nerds appreciate.

As a bonus, if you ever have to babysit a rather unpleasant child, you can show 'em a happy Disney-Oz movie and simply SCARE them into submission.
Like so.

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