Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

Go To

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is a 2014 3D computer-animated musical film based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and the book Dorothy of Oz by his great-grandson, Roger Stanton Baum. It was produced by Summertime Entertainment (the family entertainment division of Alpine Pictures), directed by Daniel St. Pierre and Will Finn, and starred Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt, BRIAN BLESSED, Patrick Stewart, Bernadette Peters, Tom Kenny, and Martin Short. The film was released in the US and Canada on May 9, 2014.

Dorothy Gale returns to Kansas to find it devastated, and then finds a new way to get back to the Land of Oz, only to discover that her old friends - the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion - and the entire Land of Oz are all in grave danger. On Dorothy's new journey through Oz, she meets new friends like a china doll princess, a marshmallow man named Marshal Mallow, a large owl named Wiser, and an ancient tree-turned-tugboat named Tugg. With the help of her new friends, they band together against a wicked Jester who wants to control Oz by turning important people into marionettes.

It was also preceded in 2013 by a prequel comic.

Not to be confused with Return to Oz or the 2012 comic book series Legends of Oz: Wicked West.

Tropes found in this film include:

  • Acrofatic: Wiser becomes this at the end of the film.
  • Adaptational Villainy: in the original book, the Jester was being controlled by the wicked witch of the west’s ghost and in the end redeems himself. In the movie, he only fakes having a Heel–Face Turn to trick Dorothy into ruling Oz with him. Dorothy is having none of it.
  • Artistic License – Physics: When their boat falls vertically down a waterfall, everyone somehow stands straight and perpendicular on the deck without holding onto anything, instead of falling up at their own speeds.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's never made quite clear when Dorothy is in Kansas - the original book and MGM movie suggest early 20th century, but there are visible cars in the background in Kansas, and fashions seem to be based around the 1980s.
  • An Aesop: It is easier to face something challenging or scary with friends.
  • And You Were There: The Jester is portrayed by the same actor as the realtor - this is given an allusion when Toto bites him and the Jester says the same thing.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: The Jester was this to the Wicked Witch.
  • Art Shift: Oz has a more saturated colour palette with more exaggerated character animation than the slightly more muted Kansas.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Yes, the Jester does bounce around and do cartwheels. Yes, he has bells on his hat. No, he should not be underestimated.
  • Big Bad: The Jester/The Appraiser.
  • Big Eater: Wiser - Dorothy and Toto jump in.
  • Big Sister Bully: The Wicked Witch of the West. That should have been no surprise though.
  • Blow You Away: The Jester summons a tornado to do this to Dorothy.
  • British Teeth: The smile of the Dainty China princess's first suitor, a giant of a man with an old Russian-style uniform and long beard.
  • Broad Strokes: The film was not preceded by its own adaptation of the source material, so it essentially serves as a follow-up to either the original book or the more iconic 1939 film adaptation. Aside from vague references to the general events of the original story, more specific details such as Dorothy's slippers and the Wizard himself are not shown or mentioned, and the scenes in Kansas seem to be set in a completely different era from either the book or film.
  • The Cameo: BRIAN BLESSED as Judge Jawbreaker, and Tom Kenny as a Dainty China Country suitor.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: The Jester changes the sign in Candy County to tell them to eat all the candy they can.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Sure, the tornado sent Dorothy on a whimsical, life-changing journey to Oz. It also caused a lot of damage that isn't easy to bounce back from.
  • Creepy Circus Music: "Jester" is a creepy circus song befitting the Villainous Harlequin who sings it.
  • Crush Blush: Marshal Mallow gets this. And since his face is made of white marshmallows, it is really obvious.
  • Disability Immunity: during the climax, one of the flying monkeys tries to punch scarecrow but because he’s made of straw, he feels nothing.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Jester grows increasingly confused and frustrated at how willingly people will fight with Dorothy against him.
    The Jester: "Why are people always helping Dorothy Gale?!"
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Subverted big time with the Jester's strong tenor.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: The China Princess thought that someone who defeated a Wicked Witch would be taller than Dorothy.
  • Expy: The Jester appears to strongly resemble another well-known evil clown that antagonizes Gotham City.
  • Foreshadowing: After capturing Glinda, there is one empty puppet case along the Jester's wall. If you look closely, you can see it's labeled "Dainty China Princess."
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: It appears that The Jester tries a Heel–Face Turn, but Dorothy will have none of it. Of course, it's pretty clear that he's just trying to squeeze power out of whatever he can get at that point, since he did the same thing he was offering to Dorothy for his elder sister, the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Hidden Depths: Wiser is, true to his name, actually quite booksmart.
  • Hope Spot: A swarm of beautiful fireflies arrives to light the way for Dorothy and co. after a harrowing encounter with the Jester's flying monkeys. For a moment, it looks like everything will be alright, until the Jester reveals its another one of his tricks and sends them hurtling over a waterfall.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Marshal Mallow and the China Princess end up together.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • After Dorothy, Wiser, and Toto burp, Dorothy tells Toto that's rude.
    • Wiser says he's at a loss for words... and proceeds to be reminded of an anecdote.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The marshmallow man being named Marshal Mallow.
    • The Great Wall of China - it is made out of China porcelain.
    • The Tin Man has a "heart attack".
    • The fruit-striped gum attorney mentions that Dorothy and her companions are entitled to a verdict from a jury of their peeps, who happen to be marshmallow peeps.
    • The peanut gallery, that "goes nuts" when the judge sentences Dorothy, Wiser and Toto to death, only to overturn the conviction a moment later when he learns that Dorothy is among the ones accused of eating candy.
  • Immediate Sequel: zigzagged. In oz, years have passed while earth only experienced a day.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Actually, some houses might have property damage too extensive to simply repair - though granted, the credits montage shows Dorothy and the townsfolk working together to fix any buildings that are left standing.
    • When China Princess says, "And how will we, or rather you, build this boat?" It sounds like being a Royal Brat again, but then you remember that she's a delicate china figure who shouldn't be anywhere near hammers or other tools. She makes up for it by sewing the sail, though.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even if China Princess starts as a Royal Brat, rejecting various suitors with snide comments and even shattering a few of them with her singing because they were already cracked, she does obviously care about China Town and the people she rules over. Hence why she joins Dorothy's quest: to stop the Jester's attacks on her people.
  • Karma Houdini: Dorothy, after a fashion. She gets special treatment in Candy County ( her death sentence is commuted to just a warning, and Wiser & Toto are pardoned as well) and China Town, due to her status as a legendary witch-slayer.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "Wow, you are faaaaa-bulous!"
  • The Legend of X
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jester's clown suit. Every time he tries to take it off, a new one, in a different color, appears underneath.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Happens in China Town.
    • China Princess.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Jester," the Jester's Villain Song, has about a whole extra minute of content in the soundtrack version that's cut out in the actual movie. The movie skips over some major parts of the song.
  • Love at First Sight: Marshal Mallow is hit pretty hard with this when he first meets China Princess.
  • Made of Plasticine: Dainty Chinatown.
  • Magical Clown: This movie's Jester is no ordinary jester - he's the brother of the Wicked Witch of the West! In the climax, he summons a tornado!
  • Mix And Match Creature: The Flying Monkeys have bat wings in this version.
  • Motor Mouth: Wiser is very loquacious. He certainly will go on and on about a lot of stuff, he will even try and finish your sentences all the time, which usually results in the occasional Last-Second Word Swap when he tries to finish Dorothy's sentences and...
  • Mythology Gag:
    • There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo by what seems to be the Saw-horse (a character from the books) leading a carriage of mice.
    • The scarecrow is wearing blue, a reference to his description in the original books.
    • At one point, the Lion is trapped in a cage, referencing his imprisonment and subsequent starvation by the Wicked Witch of the West in the books.
    • The Queen of all Field Mice and her subjects makes a cameo.
    • The talking trees mention Dorothy stealing apples from a relative of theirs, as reference to a scene in the 1939 film.
    • During the climax of the movie, Scarecrow recites a mathematical formula at a very fast speed just like he did when receiving his brain in the 1939 film when trying to stop the Jester.
  • Never My Fault: Jester's mantra for failure must be, "When things go south, blame the flying monkey."
  • No Name Given: Most characters are referred to by a description - Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, China Princess, the Jester.
  • No One Could Survive That!: the jester assumes that the waterfall will assure the hero’s downfall. they survive of course, minus the China princess
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The attire of the China Princess and her court bring the Baroque period to mind. The travelling clothes she wears for most of the film, however, are more subtle.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I. Can't. Take. It. Off. Ever!"
  • Puppet Permutation: The Jester's M.O.
  • The Reveal: The Jester is the Wicked Witch's brother.
  • Royal Brat: China Princess before Character Development.
  • Sad Clown: As much as the Jester really gets into his role, it's revealed in his Villain Song that he wanted to be a powerful and respected warlock, but his sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, cursed him to be a jester permanently because she was afraid he might overpower her. As a result, nobody takes him seriously, which he highly resents. The Jester has quite a sad tone as he sings about how he longs to have power like his sister's, although he goes back to a more clownish tone at the end of the song, as he accepts that he's still a jester.
  • Save the Villain: Despite his wicked acts, Dorothy tries to save the Jester, but he won't have it.
  • Scenery Porn: Candy County also counts as Food Porn.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dorothy unintentionally puts Marshal Mallow and China Princess together.
  • Stealth Pun: The Jester captures Oz's authority figures and turns them into life-size marionettes. They're puppet rulers.
  • Sugar Bowl: Marshal Mallow's home. A literal example.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The realtor is one to Miss Gulch.
  • Sweets of Temptation: Candy County is a land filled with all sorts of candies and other sweets. There are multiple signs at the entrance warning visitors not to eat the candy.note  The Jester uses his magic to change the signs so that they encourage Dorothy and Wiser to eat the candies, and he even sings a Villain Song called "Candy Candy" in which he commands them to eat as much candy as possible. This gets Dorothy and Wiser arrested and nearly executed because the people of Candy County consider it a very serious crime.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: When he captures the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, the Jester places them in individualized containment that would be the worst for them to experience. Scarecrow is on a spinning wheel surrounded by magical flames that flare up at whim. The Tin Man is rusting away in a clear box filled to the top with water. And the Lion is in a cage the tends to shrink and squeeze him whenever the Jester feels like it.
  • Take My Hand!: Dorothy attempts to save the Jester from the tornado. She asks him to do this, but he refuses.
  • Thin Chin of Sin: The Jester is somewhere between this trope and Lantern Jaw of Justice. His chin is long and thick, but with a pointy tip and a curve.
  • Tragic Villain: See Sad Clown above. The Jester was made into a mockery by his jealous sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, and now no one will take him seriously like they did with her. He wants to take over Oz to gain that respect.
    I shall possess / my one happiness / The power I covet, and who wouldn't love it? / Would you? / Now would you dare try me / and would you deny me what's mine?
  • Trapped in Another World: Oz - natch.
  • Too Much Information: Wiser.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Judge Jawbreaker's "What the devil's food is going on here!" and "Well, where in confection is he?"note 
  • Villainous Harlequin: Jester wants to take over Oz specifically because no one takes him seriously.
  • Villain Song: The Jester has Jester, in which he sings about how he despises his sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, for making him a jester, and how he aspires to gain power. Interestingly, the last stanza of the song seems to indicate that he does somewhat enjoy being a Villainous Harlequin. He also sings Candy Candy when he changes Candy County's sign to encourage people to eat its candy.
  • Voice of the Legion: In some parts of "Jester," the Jester's Villain Song, his voice has a layered effect to add a little extra oomph to the song. This effect is absent in the soundtrack version, though.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Jester tries this. Dorothy just tells him no, smashes his power orb, and then throws the broom into the twister.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to General Candy Apple? It's not made clear, but he's seen as a puppet in the Jester's courtroom and is brought back to life in the end. It's easy to miss if you're not paying very close attention, though.
  • When Trees Attack: Once again Dorothy finds herself being pelted with apples, though she did pull a branch off one tree without remembering that they were sentient in Oz.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: The Jester's motivation for taking over Oz is to finally be taken seriously after a life of being the butt of his own jokes.
  • Wise Tree: Tugg, in comparison to the other trees Dorothy encounters, is quite helpful and smart. He even volunteers to be a boat to help them on their journey.
  • The Worf Effect: Glinda being turned into a puppet by the Jester serves to show how dangerous he is.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: At the beginning, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion are talking about how Dorothy might not remember them because "it's been years" since she was there last, but Scarecrow says that for Dorothy it's only been a day.


Video Example(s):


Puppet Glinda

Even Diva, a demon of Musical Hell, is creeped out by this thing!

Oh and AniMat too...

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / DerangedAnimation

Media sources: