Also titled the Witches of Oz, the director’s cut was renamed Dorothy and the Witches of Oz for the film’s release in select theaters. The story follows Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas), a children’s author continuing the Oz series. After her uncles death back in Kansas, Dorothy discovers that her stories were not from her imagination but from her own experiences in Oz. Now, the evil witches are in New York and looking for a key that Dorothy hid as a child. Only Dorothy and her friends can stop the Wicked Witch of the West from destroying both Oz and this reality.
Based on L. Frank Baum’s books not the popular film starring Judy Garland, fans will notice the additional characters right away. And Dorothy’s slippers are silver not Garland’s ruby red. Christopher Lloyd as the Wizard was my biggest reason for seeing the film. He was fantastic. But I was happy to see other known faces as well such as Sean Astin and Ethan Embry as the cute, funny, and miniature Frick and Frack. And Jeffrey Combs has a brief but memorable performance as Dorothy’s heartbroken father. Paulie Rojas as Dorothy is a bit wooden, but her sweetness and innocence is believable. And Eliza Swenson as Billie Westbrook was pure fun to watch in her complex role.
At first I was confused about the target audience. The mood seemed darker and suddenly violent, until I realized all of the action and fight scenes were stylized. Some of the monstrous creatures might be a bit scary for young children, but it’s still only rated PG and is certainly a family movie. The (director’s cut) special effects are clever and most of the evil creatures look like something out of a campy 70’s or 80’s film, which I think adds to the charming storybook feel. At times the movie reminded me of a favorite show ABC’s Once Upon a Time – with the campy feel meets the real world. Yet Dorothy and the Witches of Oz is much more family friendly and light-hearted. Full of adventure, magic, mystery, and colorful characters – this film was unexpectedly heartwarming and a bright homage to the classic Oz books.
The official site can be found here:
And the official trailer can be viewed here: