The Rainbow Bridge to Ozgard
'Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return' blows
With stars like Bernadette Peters, Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Dancy, Jim Belushi, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Oliver Platt lending their voices to the semi-musical Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, this movie should be a straight up smash hit in the animated feature film arena with songs that should run the table at the Oscars. The key word is “should.”
The movie puts Peters in the role of Glinda. Peters, the queen of musicals and Broadway for decades, has a tremendously charismatic singing voice. For her role she sings an unforgivable zero songs. No song, none, not even a note, how the producers, directors, and others involved in the casting, directing and creating of this film missed that Peters doesn’t sing a note is a question best left for the Wizard, who is conveniently not in this film.
Short, on the other hand, gets a lion’s share of the musical numbers in a variety of musical styles that never really coalesce. One number is an “eating candy montage” where Short gets to show off his heavy metal side – it’s more like his aluminum side since this is a kid’s film, and he is “Martin Short,” who apparently merits singing several more songs than BERNADETTE PETERS. (Did I mention she didn’t get a single song in the movie? WTH?)
Michele can sing – she’s responsible for carrying “Glee” through the first season at a minimum. Unfortunately, her vocal talents are wasted in this film. She gets to sing more than, well, you know who by now, but when combined with the animation, it really looks like lip synch night at the local bar.
Following an iconic film is a difficult proposition at best. Following the Wizard of Oz for this film is impossible. It is possible that the people that made the film thought that they could just follow the yellow brick road, but they must have got lost in the poppy fields.
There weren’t enough puns to carry the film into the realm of cheese, even though there were several jokes made at Candy County’s expense, and there was even a dig at Disney near the end. The filmmakers didn’t commit enough to make those puns anything more than groan worthy and quite a few of them were less than that.
The animation carried no weight, and the songs were basically in place not to advance the story or develop character but to give a middle school science fair showcase to the vocal stylings of Martin Short and Lea Michele. The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, like the Tin Man and Scarecrow of old, is missing its heart and its intelligence. Bringing this film to the screen did take plenty of courage, but everything else failed.
Read Romney's Review of Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return on Movie Pilot