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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Review - Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)
Featuring the vocal talents of Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Dancy, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt, Patrick Stewart, Bernadette Peters, and Martin Short 
Directed by Will Finn and Daniel St. Pierre
***This film is currently strewing on Netflix***

$70 million was spent on Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return -- an animated film that picks up right where the popular and iconic 1939 film ends.  Where that dough was spent, I don't know.

Was it spent on a voice cast picked straight out of a 1980s casting call?  Although I can't say anything bad about their work in the film, Dan Aykroyd as the Scarecrow, Jim Belushi as the Lion, Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man, Oliver Platt as an owl, Bernadette Peters as Glinda the Good Witch, Martin Short as the "evil" Joker, and Patrick Stewart as a tree stump (you read that correctly) likely aren't raking in the dough.  Although rumors of her diva antics run rampant, I can't fathom that Lea Michele's agents were able to snag a boatload of cash for their client either despite the fact that Michele takes on the role of Dorothy.  While all of the voice cast does acceptable work, the money wasn't spent there.

Was it spent on the conglomeration of songwriters (including 90s staple Bryan Adams) who contribute a song or two to the plot?  If it was, that was certainly not money well spent as the songs are laughably disappointing.  Yes, Lea Michele's voice fits many of the ballads well, but the numbers lack emotion and sound much too similar to one another to merit distinction.

Was it spent on the animation?  I sure hope not.  The film looks little better than a cheaply made computer animated tv show.  Yes, some of the design elements are innovative in that they take the world of Oz (originally created by L. Frank Baum although this story [which is a retread of The Wizard of Oz but simply places new characters in the place of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion] is based on the work of his grandson) and shine a light on its fantastical lands, but the characters themselves are wooden, static, and as bland as can be.

So where was that $70 million spent?  Certainly not on this film, right?  They inadvertently added a zero after that seven, right?

The RyMickey Rating:  D

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