Thursday, May 05, 2005

childhood fish-back

Welcome to my time-portal and please don't mind the squiggly flashback marks.

Last night I re-watched a childhood favorite of mine: Return to OZ(1985). The creepy sequel to the Wizard of OZ(1939) (though I have to admit, parts of that movie freaked me out when I was a kid as well - oo, flying monkeys). If you have never seen this - you should. If you need an excuse, introduce any child that you know to it.

Tik-Tok meets Dorothy

Often when I re-watch movies that I loved as a kid, I realize just how stupid they are, or that they are just not all that I remember them to be. The strangest experience of this is when I watched the Neverending Story(1984) a few years ago. I still love the movie, even after re-watching it, actually especially after watching it. That's just it - I love the memory of the movie. Watching the movie itself was a bit unsatisfying as the acting and effects were very cheesy. It's the story-line that really carries the Neverending Story.

Unlike the sequel to the Neverending story, the Return to Oz was actually good. The best thing though is that Return to OZ was still just as great now as I remember it to be as a kid and unlike the first movie, this one is not a musical. Fairuza Balk plays a great Dorothy in her first movie ever.

You may remember her from such movies as The Craft(1996), American History X(1998) and Almost Famous(2000). It's interesting to note that the Dorothy in this movie is obviously a young girl and seems much younger than the Dorothy in the first movie played by Judy Garland. The Tik-Tok man is one of my favorite characters and I was pleasantly surprised to realize that Nicol Williamson plays the Nome King and the Doctor. He also plays Merlin in another of my favorite childhood movies and probably still my favorite King Arthur movie, Excalibur(1981).

Nicol Williamson as Merlin

I'll try not to give too much away but the plot is pretty simple, as long as you don't talk about the CHICKEN! Dorothy Gale is saved from electric therapy by a mysterious girl during a thunderstorm. She falls into the flood waters and is swept away to OZ. In OZ, she finds that the Emerald City is in ruins and the people are turned to stone. The city is inhabited by the movie's replacement of the flying monkeys: a creepy gang called the wheelers and the Scarecrow, who had become the King of Oz, has been taken prisoner by a devilish creature called the Nome King. Incidentally, there is a villainess, and though she is no Wicked Witch of the West, she does have many replaceable heads. Can Dorothy save the day and return to Kansas? Of course she can, but then you didn't need me to tell you that.

head wheeler

This movie pulls a lot from the books which followed the Wizard of OZ. There were something like 15 OZ books written by Frank L. Baum and I read them all. After a while they got really repetitive - Dorothy ends up in OZ after some storm or something, lot's of things go wrong which Dorothy and her friends have to overcome and then she somehow makes her way back to Kansas. But they are pleasant books to read to kids as bedtime stories.

16 little fish:

Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

This looks great! I've never seen it but have vague memories of having heard of it back then...I was "16 going on 17" in '85 and had cars and girls (not in that order) on the brain. I will be Netflixing this puppy!

Revisiting movies and books that we saw as kids is always and interesting experience and its wonderful when you discover that they are actually as good or better than you remember.

And I can't believe you mentioned Balk and didn't mention that classic she was in....Waterboy!

2:37 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

your right - i did forget that movie - my turn to hang my head

2:46 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Vicki Vallencort!...I have to admit that the only reason I remember is because of the "..and I saw her boobies...and I liked them too!" line. Juvenile, I know.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Emily swam up to say...

mysfit-you made my day- this is one of my all time favorites-
the shock therapy part always creeped me out

3:19 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Its now officially added to the Netflix list!

I remember how surprised I was years ago to find that Baum had written so many Oz books...I literally had no idea!

3:22 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

"this machine has a face".

i always like the gump.

8:30 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

emily - yay! i hope i did it credit

carl - you will love it!

jenn - "i don't feel very well put together" :)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Luke swam up to say...

The Wizard of Oz was the best movie I ever saw ... I still desperately need those red shoes.

1:43 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

just don't lose them if you ever get ahold of them

1:49 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i always thought nicol williamson played the nome king as a not-so-closet queen. i love it. i can't say more for fear of revealing secrets of the shoes.

3:20 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i always call them "wheelies", i don't know why.

4:52 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

ok, jennsee, i kind of remember watching this with you recently, though i think i was not sober at the time - the only thing i remember about the incident was wondering whether the Nome King and Merlin were one

9:29 PM  
Blogger theleftsock swam up to say...

i thought that was what i said about rewatching the neverending story. that the memory of it is better than watching it, mostly cause the soundtrack is a little over the top.

2:58 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

im not sure if it was you, sock, or me who siad it first, but i know we agreed

3:01 PM  
Blogger theleftsock swam up to say...

dont know. havin a dont plagiarise
me kinda week. smile.

11:26 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

how can you visit the fish & not expect to be plagiarised?

Fish! fish you! you fish you!



11:48 AM  

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