Journey Back to Oz

Journey Back to Oz

Infobox Film
name = Journey Back to Oz

caption = Original film poster
director = Hal Sutherland
writer = Fred Ladd
Norm Prescott
Bernard Evslin
L.Frank Baum (uncredited)
starring = Milton Berle
Herschel Bernardi
Paul Ford
Margaret Hamilton
Jack E. Leonard
Paul Lynde
Ethel Merman
Liza Minnelli
Mickey Rooney
Danny Thomas
Mel Blanc
Bill Cosby (Live segments of TV Version)
producer = Preston Blair
Fred Ladd
Norm Prescott
Lou Scheimer
music = Walter Scharf (score and song arrangments)
James Van Heusen (songs)
Sammy Cahn (lyrics)
cinematography=Sergio Antonio Alcázar
editing = Joesph Simon
distributor = EBA
Hallmark Video
released = 1974
runtime = 88 minutes
language = English
budget =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0067280
preceded_by =The Wizard of Oz (1939 film) |

"Journey Back To Oz" is an official animated sequel to the 1939 MGM film "The Wizard of Oz". It is loosely based on L. Frank Baum's second Oz novel, "The Marvelous Land of Oz". Baum received no screen credit.

Produced in 1964 by the Filmation studio, copyrighted 1971, released in 1972 in the UK and 1974 in the U.S.), it features the voice and singing debut of Liza Minnelli as Dorothy (played in the previous 1939 film by her late mother, Judy Garland). Other voices were by Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Paul Lynde, Herschel Bernardi, Paul Ford, Danny Thomas, Margaret Hamilton (also from the 1939 film, but now playing Aunt Em rather than the Wicked Witch of the West), and opera singer Risë Stevens as Glinda. The songs are by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. The arrangements and score are by Walter Scharf.

Thanks to another twister, Dorothy is knocked unconscious and once again dreams herself into the land of Oz, where she meets new characters such as Pumpkinhead, Woodenhead Stallion (a carousel horse loosely based on the Sawhorse), Mombi (another wicked witch who has now taken over the land of Oz, voiced by Ethel Merman), and killer elephants.

The Wizard was nowhere to be found, at least in the theatrical version of the film. A television version shown in 1976 featured live-action segments starring Bill Cosby as the Wizard.

A special edition DVD was released on October 24 2006. This DVD features a feature-length audio commentary, interviews with creators Lou Scheimer, Hal Sutherland, and Fred Ladd, behind the scenes photo gallery, image galleries featuring poster art and animation cels, a sing-a-long feature, the Bill Cosby interstitials used in the TV version (presented separately from the original theatrical version contained on the disc), and the first draft script and storyboards.

The start of the movie uses "The Awakening", a piece of library music by Johnny Pearson, also used as the theme for ITN's News at Ten.


After a Kansas tornado sideswipes the Gale farm and causes a loose gate to knock her unconscious, Dorothy is returned to the land of Oz with Toto. The first new character they meet is a talking signpost, which has three signs pointing in three different directions, and each sign says "Emerald City", so Dorothy and Toto are going to have to find it themselves. They then fall into some spooky woods where they meet Pumpkinhead, the unwilling servant of Mombi, the cousin of both the deceased Wicked Witch of the East(who was killed when Dorothy's house fell on her in the first movie) and the Wicked Witch of the West. Toto chases a cat to a small cottage where Dorothy has the distinct displeasure of meeting Mombi's pet crow, and Mombi herself face-to-warty-face. Dorothy is pushed into a chair which comes to life, and hooks Dorothy's arms. Pumpkinhead sneaks into the house while Mombi is gone to get some more wood for the fire; she is brewing something big (and heavy): Green elephants. Pumpkinhead frees Dorothy, and they flee. After finding Dorothy gone, and knowing Pumpkinhead is responsible, Mombi flies out on her broom, and says their warning the Scarecrow won't help when her green elephants come crashing through the gate.

While heading to the Emerald City, they discover a horse upside-down on a pole. They get the horse off the pole, and he introduces himself as Woodenhead Stallion III (the third), and he explains how he ended up on the pole (he was a merry-go-round horse, who fell from the merry-go-round). Woodenhead takes them to the Emerald City, where Dorothy warns the Scarecrow about Mombi's green elephants. Unfortunately, Mombi happens to arrive moments later, and Toto and the Scarecrow are captured. Dorothy, Pumpkinhead and Woodenhead flee to Tinland, and try to convince the Tin Man to help them. However, after hearing that Mombi's army consists of green elephants, he turns chicken, and wimps out, suggesting they ask the Cowardly Lion.

The Lion puts on his best brave act, saying he'll snap off the elephants' tusks and use them for toothpicks, but, like the Tin Man, the Lion turns chicken after hearing the elephants are magical, and suggests they go to find Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Glinda appears at that very moment with her Glinda Bird on her arm. The bird uses its Tattle Tail to show what's going on at the palace. Glinda then gives Dorothy a little silver box. She instructs Dorothy to open the box only in the Emerald City, and then only in case of a dire emergency. Dorothy repeats Glinda's warning, and then opens a hollow panel under Woodenhead's saddle where she hides the box, and they ride off. Glinda tells her Glinda Bird to keep them tuned in.

Mombi has been watching them through her crystal ball, and knows that their path will take them through the Ferocious Forest. Using her magic, Mombi brings the trees to life. Luckily, Glinda is also keeping a watchful eye on things, and she conjours up a golden hatchet, which she zaps to Pumpkinhead. One of the trees snatches the axe from Pumpkinhead, but ends up hitting one of the other trees, turning it to gold, and making it bloom. The tree with the axe ends up hitting the other trees, turning them gold too, and finally, ends up doing the same to himself. Woodenhead continues to carry Dorothy and Pumpkinhead back to the Emerald City.

When they arrive, Mombi's elephants surprise them, but, when Dorothy flips open Glinda's box, a large army of mice emerges from the tiny box, and scares the elephants off. Mombi sees the elephants in retreat, but doesn't see the mice chasing them. She brews a potion to shrink Toto to mouse-size so she can feed him to her cat. One of the magic mice scares Mombi, who throws the potion all over her pet crow, and a drop drips from the crows perch, landing on the cat. The magic mice are much larger than normal mice, and the tiny crow and cat are scared off.

Running outside, Mombi disguises herself as a rose with poisonous thorns. Unfortunately, the elephants trample all over her, killing her. The elephants disappear, and the Scarecrow explains that when a witch dies, all her magic dies with her. That also means that Pumpkinhead loses the life Mombi gave him. However, he comes back to life when one of Dorothy's tears falls on his head, and Glinda tells Dorothy that there is a magic stronger than Mombi's, and her own. The strongest magic in all the world; faith and love.

The Scarecrow makes Woodenhead the head of the Oz cavalry, and knights Pumpkinhead. Now, all Dorothy wants is to go home to Kansas. The Scarecrow flips through the Constitution of Oz, and reads a section that states that a visitor to Oz may return the way they came if similar transportation is available. After Dorothy reveals she came by cyclone, Glinda asks for some leaves. Pumpkinhead gives her some of the leaves from his neck, and Glinda waves her wand, and the leaves take on the form of a cyclone, which takes Dorothy and Toto back home to Kansas.

ee also

* Wizard of Oz (adaptations) — other adaptations of the "Oz" books

External links

* [ IMDB]
* [ DVD Press Release]
* [ Entertainment Rights] - Current rights holder for the movie

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