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Aug 122015
 

The newest movie version of Wizard of Oz to date is Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which takes place after the events of the original movie.

As a new evil threat occurs in Emerald City, Scarecrow (voice of Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (voice of Kelsey Grammar), and Cowardly Lion (voice of Jim Belushi) try to bring Dorothy (voice of Lea Michelle) back to Oz with a contraption called a rainbow mover. Even though it’s been years since Dorothy’s last visit, in her world it’s been only a day.

Meanwhile, Dorothy wakes up in Kansas to the aftermath of the tornado. The damage was so terrible all over town that everyone is forcibly evicted from their homes. Dorothy is the only one that’s not willing to stand for it, but nobody seems to listen since she’s not a grownup. Can you believe it?

When Dorothy and Toto arrive in Oz, she ends up off course in a completely different area altogether. She could just follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City, but it’s in ruins. Even in Oz, there’s a problem of weeds growing between the bricks in the ground.

The new villain is simply called the Jester (voice of Martin Short). He’s the Wicked Witch of the West’s brother cursed to only be able to wear a jester outfit. When he tries to remove it, another appears in its place. Now with his sister gone, the Jester is in control of her flying monkey army and is intent on taking over Oz.

The Jester also has the magic broomstick and has used it to turn all of Oz’s leaders into marionettes, including Glinda (voice of Bernadette Peters). It’s a little creepy when the Jester makes the puppets talk. That just goes to show that you shouldn’t take this jester lightly.

As Dorothy heads for Emerald City, she meets some new friends along the way. First there’s Wiser the Owl (voice of Oliver Platt). He struggles to fly and tends to interrupt people. One thing I can’t help but notice is that Wiser’s chest has an imprint that looks like he’s wearing a brown sweater. It makes you wonder how he got it.

The next new ally Dorothy meets is Marshal Mellow (voice of Hugh Dancy) a lawman from Candy County that is made of marshmallows. In a way, he looks like a Nutcracker from the way he’s dressed. It looks pretty cool.

Last to join the group is the princess of Dainty China Country, who is simply known as China Princess (voice of Megan Hilty). She is spoiled and picky when it comes to choosing suitors. Dorothy volunteers Marshal Mellow to be a suitor. He’s against it at first, but does manage to win the princess’s heart. Together they all journey forward and even build a ship out of an old talking tree named Tugg (voice of Patrick Stewart).

This was certainly a good sequel to the Wizard of Oz franchise. However, the timeline is a bit confusing since I remember Return to Oz being the true sequel with a completely different story line, villains, and allies. So where does this feature chronologically fit in?

Apr 112011
 

 

Now here’s a great animated parody on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s called Hoodwinked (Widescreen Edition), which stars Anne Hathaway as Red. She did very well as a princess in The Princess Diaries films and as a fairytale heroine on Ella Enchanted, where she showed some amazing fighting skills. I wonder if that was what inspired the writers to make Red a black belt in this movie.

The story starts the same way that the original fairytale ends, only to be broken up by the police. However, the story goes further than just a break in at Granny Puckett’s (voice of Glenn Close) house. There’s a goodie bandit on the loose putting goodie shops out of business all over the forest. There are four suspects who get questioned, Red, Granny, Kirk the woodsman (voice of Jim Belushi), and the Wolf (Voice of Patrick Warburton), which means four perspectives.

It starts with Red. She sings while making deliveries on her bicycle. Then after seeing the different goodie shops closing, she goes to see Granny. Red rides a cable car, but falls out of it and lands in the woods where she meets the Wolf and escapes. It’s neat that this fairytale forest even has a cable car that’s driven by a Bunny (voice of Andy Dick).

Red soon finds a singing Goat (voice of Benjy Gaither) to help her out. He’s a great character with a catchy song and lots of different horns. The Goat is also hilarious when his constant singing annoys Red. It’s too bad that we don’t get to see more of him in this movie.

Next up is the Wolf’s side of the story. It turns out that he’s a reporter on the trail of the Goodie Bandit and Red is his prime suspect. That’s why he was after her, with the help of Twitchy the fast talking squirrel who can swallow a camera with one gulp.

After that, Kirk gets questioned. He’s not really a vigilante. He’s an actor preparing for a commercial about bunion cream. Kirk is clearly innocent. As for busting into Granny’s house like he did, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The final story comes from Granny. She’s not the Goodie Bandit either, but she did reveal another secret. Granny is an extreme sports champion. She was participating in a ski competition and it gets real exciting, going up against those hardcore European skiers trying to take her down.

Even though all of the suspects are cleared, the mystery of the Goodie Bandit begins to unfold, which makes an amazing plot twist. It also gets exciting as Red fights the Goodie Bandit, but ends up captured instead. Now it’s up to Granny, Kirk, and the Wolf to save her and the recipes of the forest.

This was a terrific movie and definitely a favorite. I heard that a sequel is coming soon and I’m looking forward to it.