Return to Oz is a live-action feature film written by Walter Murch and Gill Dennis based on the works of L. Frank Baum, and directed by Murhc also. It features Dorothy Gale, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and Toto, as well as, in their Disney debuts, the Nome King, Mombi, Billina, the Gump, Jack Pumpkinhead, Doctor Worley, Nurse Wilson, the Wheelers and Princess Ozma. It is a sequel to The Wizard of Oz.
After her aunt and uncle try to have her examined by villainous psychiatrist Doctor Worley because of her stories of Oz, a flood pulls Dorothy back there (along with the chicken Billina, to whom the magic of Oz grants sapience). But she finds it in ruins and soon discovers that the magical land is now under the control of the forces of evil, with the Nome King at their head. She sets off to rescue her missing Oz friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion with the help of Billina and new acquaintances, the oddball chimaera Gump, the scarecrow Jack Pumpkinhead, and the mechanical man Tik-Tok.
Behind the scenes Edit
Return to Oz was released in 1985. It is a sequel to the 1939 movie adaptation of L. Frank Baum's original book, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Ruby Slippers in place of the Silver Shoes of the original book.
Disney had long wished to create one or several films (animated or otherwise) based on the Oz books, despite the Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer beating them to the original. Purchasing the rights to the other books in Baum's Oz series, Walt Disney began to develop a TV series to be featured in the Disneyland anthology series, entitled Dorothy Returns to Oz. The project took root and blossomed into a full theatrical musical akin to the 1939 film, now entitled The Rainbow Road to (or "of") Oz. Unfortunately, unclear reasons led to the project being dropped in 1958, though a "sneak preview" of it had been featured in 1957.
Finally, in 1980, the project of an Oz sequel was revived as director and writer Walter Murch and Tom Wilhite chatted one day on the subject of possible films Murch might direct for Disney. Whilhite asked Murch if he had any pet projects that might interest them, to which Murch off-handedly replied he'd love to direct an Oz film; he was unaware that Disney still held the rights to Baum's books, and dearly wanted to get something out of them quickly at that, as the copyright would expire in 1985.