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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Children will learn a little about what happens after a disaster, since Dorothy’s family is shown dealing with the aftermath of the tornado. A streak of activism runs through the film, as Dorothy fights for her family’s right to stay in their home and rebuild.
Power corrupts, and so can hungering for it. Also, you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it. So think positively!
Positive Role Models
Dorothy is brave, humble, and caring, and she wants to stand up for what's right. Her friends also embody positive character traits, including courage, determination, generosity, and commitment.
Violence & Scariness
In 3D, some of the battle scenes (even if they're between flying monkeys and chocolate soldiers) can be intense, especially for very young children. After one skirmish, a character is injured severely, and younger viewers may be upset. The Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow are tortured by a villain; his "punishments" include submerging the Tin Man in water and attaching the Scarecrow to a spinning wheel surrounded by fire. Kansas is shown as having been ravaged by the tornado that originally transported Dorothy to Oz.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innocent romance between two of Dorothy's new friends.
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Words like "fool" and "knucklehead" are used to disparage others.
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Products & Purchases
Although there are no product placements in the actual film, Legends of Oz has lots of merchandise/tie-ins available.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is a sweet, if unoriginal, 3D animated musical that boasts a cast of characters who will be familiar to fans of the original Wizard of Oz, as well as many new ones. This time around, Dorothy (voiced by Glee's Lea Michele) returns to Oz to help face a new calamity. Expect some battles that may be scary for younger kids (especially in 3D) -- the flying monkeys are, as always, menacing, as is the central villain, the Jester, who essentially tortures the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man. Another character is gravely hurt after a skirmish, and Dorothy's Kansas home is shown as having sustained a lot of damage from the tornado that first took her to Oz. On the up side, there's no swearing (though words like "knucklehead" and "fool" are used), sex, drinking, or other iffy stuff. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Like the edible wonders of Candy County, LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY RETURNS is sweet, and it means well. But will it achieve the icon status of its legendary predecessor? Not likely. For one thing, the story is a retread of the original, with Dorothy picking up a different motley crew on her way back to the Emerald City. For fans of the original Wizard of Oz, that will either feel like an homage or a decided lack of originality. And the songs aren't nearly as compelling or memorable, aside from a catchy duet sparked by the budding romance between Marshall Mallow and the China Princess. (As an aside, given how sarcastic and superficial she is, it's a puzzling flirtation, though she does ultimately become more pleasant.)
The sidekicks from the original story -- the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow -- aren't given much to work with, and we miss them, especially given the talented voice actors who portray them. But at least we get lots of Martin Short, who's fantastic. And the animation, while not up to Pixar standards, bathes the film in nostalgic glow. Keep expectations in check, and you'll enjoy the film for what it is: a harmless return to Oz.
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