Friday, September 22, 2023

Podcast: Return to Oz (1985)

Your Stupid Minds whisks you away to a magical fantasy land based on the L. Frank Baum novels that no one has read in the last 100 years. It's Disney's reimagined 1985 sequel Return to Oz!

In an effort to reinvigorate its flailing film releases, Disney bought the rights to the Wizard of Oz book series with the intention of revitalizing the franchise. One small issue though: the books are very dissimilar to MGM’s beloved The Wizard of Oz from 1939. No worries, the bones are still there: the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodsman. Oh, they’re barely in the sequels? Who are these guys? Gump? Jack Pumpkinhead? Tik-Tok? Also where are the ruby slippers? They’re silver? We have to pay MGM royalties to use the ruby ones? Oh dear.

Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) won’t shut up to Aunt Em (Piper Laurie) about this magical land of Oz where she murdered two witches and saved the Emerald City and all its diminutive residents. So naturally Aunt Em sends her off to a quack psychoanalyst who plans to electroshock this 10-year-old until she stops using her imagination.

She escapes the sanitarium and returns to Oz, teaming up with a talking chicken Billina (Denise Bryer), a robotic soldier Tik-Tok (Sean Barrett), Jack Pumpkinhead (Brian Henson) who is, let’s face it, just the Scarecrow, and Gump (Stephen Norrington) a talking moose head strapped to a flying couch.

Dorothy is determined to save the Scarecrow from the evil Nome King, and must solve a series of puzzles and challenges that were probably more interesting when they were in a children’s book. Come along with us on our flying Davenport on this wild adventure!

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