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Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return | 2014 | PG | - 1.3.1

In this animated feature Dorothy Gale (voiced by Lea Michelle) arrives home from Oz to find Kansas destroyed and a government official evicting everyone. She receives a strange message to return to Oz and finds that her friends, Scarecrow (voiced by Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) and Lion (voiced by Jim Belushi), are in danger. With help from other residents of Oz, Dorothy fights winged monkeys and a wicked Jester who changes people into marionettes. Also with the voices of Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt, Martin Short, Patrick Stewart, and Bernadette Peters. Directed by Will Finn & Dan St. Pierre. [1:28]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A tall marshmallow soldier and a short porcelain princess fall in love, hold hands and sing a love song to each other. Several porcelain suitors sing individually to a snobbish princess about her good qualities, but she rejects them all.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Toy soldiers and other characters fight many flying monkeys that blacken the sky as they fly; the soldiers use long sticks and spears against the animals as they land (we see no blood), and a straw man takes a tin man apart and uses one metal arm as a boomerang to knock out a monkey while the tin man's head becomes a machine gun that fires gumballs at the camera and into the mouths of monkeys that stop and blow bubbles; a catapult shoots many sticky gummy balls to glue dozens of monkeys' arms and wings down, a chocolate soldier falls apart but his hands punch monkeys independently, and a tin man's arms rotate around his body like a propeller and knock away several monkeys.
 A large funnel cloud fills the screen and twirls amid lightning and thunder, raising debris for a short time. A funnel cloud twirls fast as it is seen in several angles (side view, top view and moving away from the camera) and it carries away an evil Jester who shouts and "whoops" as he is taken away. A gigantic rainbow chases a little girl and her dog, fashions a hand and grabs them up into the sky. A rainbow cylinder spins around a girl and her dog to magically transport them from Oz to Kansas.
 An unscrupulous and pompous government worker and his assistant enter a town recently hit by a tornado and claim the US Government is evicting them for safety reasons; a little girl becomes upset and stops them and a police officer arrests them for fraud; a dog bites one of the conmen on the leg (no blood is shown) and chases the other into the horizon. A man is rude to people and knocks another man down when he opens his car door (no injuries are seen).
 A large hand smashes through a wooden door toward the camera, followed by three flying apes that break down the door and tie up a good witch whom they take an evil jester; the jester turns her into a marionette and hangs her in a display case beside other marionettes in dimly lit glass cases. Many marionettes dance a macabre dance in a circle and sing, "All hail the generous Jester," and then float back to their glass cases.
 In a candyland soldiers arrest a girl and a large owl for eating candy; a judge sentences them to death, but then commutes the sentence when he finds that the girl is famous. A lion, a tin man and a scarecrow fall off a castle roof, use a large cloth as a parachute and are carried off in a large tarpaulin-like bag by flying monkeys; taken to an evil jester, they are placed respectively into a cage, a tank of water that causes rust and a rotating carnival knife-throwing-act wheel standing inside a circle of fire.
 An old tree says that he is over 900 years old and will sacrifice himself to become a useful boat, rather than to take up someone else's sunshine; later, the boat falls over a rapids and the camera cuts to a beach, where the riders wake up in the sand, rattled but OK; one passenger, a china princess is broken to pieces and several people cry.
 A lion and a man of tin push and shove each other briefly. An ape picks up a magic broomstick and shocks himself; we see electrical bolts and his white skeleton for a few seconds. Two apes fight over a suitcase of old clothing, squabbling and spilling it all out. Trees in a forest hit a little girl and her friends with apples.
 A jester shouts at a little girl and threatens, "Do as I say, or die!"; his face becomes a purple mask with a long nose and black eyeholes and mouth, all taking up one full wall surrounded by purple mists as he vomits purple smoke at the girl (she is unharmed). A jester threatens a little girl and we see that his face is green. A jester shouts at a little girl, "Your fate is sealed!" and she takes away his magic broomstick and breaks it; the jester falls into a funnel cloud, the girl drags him out with help from friends, but he falls back in again and flies off inside the funnel cloud. A jester shouts loudly and continually at flying apes, pushing them, hitting their heads (no blood), blaming them for his mistakes and reducing the wings of one of the apes to tiny vestiges; throughout these events, the jester states several times that he wants to kill a little girl who killed his sister. A jester shouts that his sister put a curse on him, so that he can wear only jester costumes and clown makeup 24/7. A lion roars loudly in several scenes and asks if he will be punching flying monkeys. A dog and a man growl at each other several times.
 A soldier carries a sword by his side. A soldier waves a sword in the air and smacks his other hand, hurting it (no wound shows).
 Scenes of Kansas farmland and a local town feature buildings damaged by a tornado; a house, barn, and other farm buildings have holes in the roofs that leak rainwater; boards and debris lie in several places and in town, some buildings are demolished, electricity is out and a police officer directs traffic.
 In a candyland community a jester uses magic to make a girl and an owl see signs that read "Eat everything"; they eat candy until they pass out, while the jester sings a song about candy and it is implied that sugar is like a drug. Magic power waves emanate from a broomstick/crystal ball weapon that makes colorful auras that cause people to eat too much candy in a few scenes and become marionettes in a few other scenes. A little girl wakes up from two powerful magic-induced dreams and finds herself at home. A large message machine rattles and spurts orange smoke into the air as it displays a message to a little girl. A castle unrolls a red carpet that slurps up a girl like a tongue.
 A line of porcelain men in a town made of china breaks to pieces during an earthquake; pieces of broken faces talk and we see two medics transport a china man and then a china woman on stretchers, but we see no damage to the patients. A marshmallow soldier melts some of his marshmallow over a fire and uses it to glue a broken china princess back together.
 A man of tin says that he is having a heart attack and calls out, "Oh, the pain! The pain!" (he is fine). A fat owl falls out of a tree and says that he has a piece of bark lodged in his hindquarters, but we don't see it. The little girl's friends cry as she heads for home in Kansas.
 A dog lifts a leg as if to urinate (we see no urine) on a candy fire hydrant, but the hydrant runs away. A dog burps. A jester puts two fingers into his mouth and gags ("gag me" gesture of disgust). A jester's mascara begins to run as the movie proceeds and he looks more and more strange. A sequence shows a witch wearing a greenish-black pointed hat and cape, with a dark green face and big nose. A man has missing teeth and the rest are blackened and yellow with rot.


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LANGUAGE 1 - Name-calling (fools, famous [sarcastic], silly, little girl, little munchkin, rust bucket, genius, flying monkey, scaredy-ape, fuzzy evolutionary reject, freak, fuzzy freak, puffball, joker, mushy-mouth, petty, cowards, puppet, rabid, smart guy), stereotypical references to government officials, intelligent people, fat people, emotional people, con artists, snobbish princesses, witches, corrupt leaders, people who behave as puppets under a leader, British judges, Cockney workers, Russians, exclamations (Bosh, What the devil's food, What in the Land of Oz, What, pray tell? Oh, goody gumdrops [sarcastic]), 1 religious exclamation (Lord).


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SUBSTANCE USE - In a candyland community a jester uses magic to make a girl and an owl see signs that read "eat everything" and they eat candy until they pass out while the jester sings a song about candy and it is implied that sugar is like a drug.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fantasy, family, relationships, love, community, teamwork, helping others, sacrifice, recovering after disasters, revenge, power, justice, obesity and overeating, aging.

MESSAGE - Friendship and cooperation can overcome big challenges.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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