Sunday, May 18, 2014

Legends of Oz deserves your time

First off, this isn't "Frozen", nor will any other movie ever be, or should any animated movie be judged against it. This movie needs to be viewed for what it is, and what it is, is pretty darn good.Let me say I do have a little bias because I love the world and story of "The Wizard of Oz", and I am a fan of Lea Michele. That being said, this was a pleasant surprise of a movie the trailer and critics don't give it credit for.

Dorothy is back in blue in "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return".

It's true, the animation is not on the cutting edge, but remember this movie comes from an independent studio from a budget of half of what the other movies this has been compared to had at their disposal. And what they've managed to come up with is an enjoyable film. There's a nostalgic charm to the whole thing. Dorothy is brave, spirited, and fun. She's not a secret sexpot or being cutesy dumb like many female protagonists are these days. Wiser and Marshall Mallow are two fun new characters, and the Jester is an interesting while not necessarily scary villain.The filmmakers have taken steps to respect the world of Oz and hid a few darling nods to the 1939 classic. (Spoiler alert: one of my favorite moments was when the Wicked Witch of the West made an appearance.)
Some of the animated sequences are truly inspired, such as the beginning credits with the tornado sequence, Dorothy's rainbow trip to Oz, the firefly sequence, and the Jester's back story.None of the songs slowed down the action and advanced the story. Hugh Dancy had a surprisingly smooth and pleasant singing voice, and "When the World" sung by Lea Michele is a highlight of the film. There were only a few shortcomings of the movie, one of which was the end. It seemed very abrupt, with Glinda and friends basically saying thanks and goodbye and quickly sending Dorothy on her way. Bernadette Peters' voice wasn't really a good fit to the design of Glinda as well.In conclusion, "Legends of Oz" was a pleasant surprise. Oz fans will definitely enjoy it, and anyone who likes animated films will too if they give it a chance.

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