Journey Back to Oz (1975)

G | 90 mins | Fantasy | 1975

Director:

Hal Sutherland

Production Designer:

Don Christensen

Production Company:

Filmation Studios
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HISTORY

The Journey Back to Oz characters are based on the Oz series written by L. Frank Baum. For further film adaptations of Baum’s works, The Wizard of Oz, (1939, see entry).
       In Journey Back to Oz, Liza Minnelli provides the voice of “Dorothy,” while her mother, Judy Garland, played the same role in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed “Miss [Almira] Gulch [Wicked Witch of the West]” in the 1939 version also performed the voice of “Aunt Em” in Journey Back to Oz.
       A 7 May 1974 DV news item announced that Filmation, a subsidiary of Teleprompter Corporation was preparing Journey Back to Oz as a summer ... More Less

The Journey Back to Oz characters are based on the Oz series written by L. Frank Baum. For further film adaptations of Baum’s works, The Wizard of Oz, (1939, see entry).
       In Journey Back to Oz, Liza Minnelli provides the voice of “Dorothy,” while her mother, Judy Garland, played the same role in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed “Miss [Almira] Gulch [Wicked Witch of the West]” in the 1939 version also performed the voice of “Aunt Em” in Journey Back to Oz.
       A 7 May 1974 DV news item announced that Filmation, a subsidiary of Teleprompter Corporation was preparing Journey Back to Oz as a summer release.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Dec 1974
p. 4741.
Daily Variety
7 May 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Jul 1975
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Filmation Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Seq dir
Seq dir
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story wrt
Story wrt
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ed supv
MUSIC
Mus dir
Songs
Songs arr and cond
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Film coord
ANIMATION
Supv anim
Key asst
Dir of col
Background artist
Background artist
Background artist
Background artist
Background artist
Continuity storyboard
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Checking supv
Checking supv
Checking
Checking
Checking
Xerography
Paint supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by L. Frank Baum.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
1975
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 July 1975
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Animation
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dorothy returns to Kansas after her first adventure in the Land of Oz. As a tornado approaches the family farm, Aunt Em dismisses Dorothy’s fear that she will be swept away again, and instructs the girl to corral the horses. Upset that no one believes in Oz, Dorothy sings to her dog, Toto, about how much she would like to go back to the magical land and visit her friends. A cyclone appears and Dorothy is knocked unconscious. She awakens back in Oz. After being misdirected by a living signpost that has no sense of direction, she stumbles into the evil forest controlled by Mombi, the Bad Witch and meets Pumpkinhead, a jack-o-lantern with arms and legs who is Mombi’s slave. He explains that he is a runaway who hates being a witch’s assistant. Dorothy invites Pumpkinhead to accompany her to the Emerald City. There, her friend, the Scarecrow, who is King of Oz, can free him. Before they can proceed, Mombi’s cat appears and Toto chases the feline into the forest. Despite Pumpkinhead’s protests, Dorothy follows Toto into Mombi’s cottage, only to have Mombi return, and trap the girl in a magical chair. Accusing Dorothy of murdering her cousin, the Wicked Witch of the West, Mombi reveals her plans to brew magical green elephants that will knock down the walls of Oz and scatter their Army. She will then tear the Scarecrow apart, so there will not be enough straw left to stuff a mattress. Mombi’s crow suggests using Toto’s ears and tail for the potion, but the witch realizes she needs firewood, and ... +


Dorothy returns to Kansas after her first adventure in the Land of Oz. As a tornado approaches the family farm, Aunt Em dismisses Dorothy’s fear that she will be swept away again, and instructs the girl to corral the horses. Upset that no one believes in Oz, Dorothy sings to her dog, Toto, about how much she would like to go back to the magical land and visit her friends. A cyclone appears and Dorothy is knocked unconscious. She awakens back in Oz. After being misdirected by a living signpost that has no sense of direction, she stumbles into the evil forest controlled by Mombi, the Bad Witch and meets Pumpkinhead, a jack-o-lantern with arms and legs who is Mombi’s slave. He explains that he is a runaway who hates being a witch’s assistant. Dorothy invites Pumpkinhead to accompany her to the Emerald City. There, her friend, the Scarecrow, who is King of Oz, can free him. Before they can proceed, Mombi’s cat appears and Toto chases the feline into the forest. Despite Pumpkinhead’s protests, Dorothy follows Toto into Mombi’s cottage, only to have Mombi return, and trap the girl in a magical chair. Accusing Dorothy of murdering her cousin, the Wicked Witch of the West, Mombi reveals her plans to brew magical green elephants that will knock down the walls of Oz and scatter their Army. She will then tear the Scarecrow apart, so there will not be enough straw left to stuff a mattress. Mombi’s crow suggests using Toto’s ears and tail for the potion, but the witch realizes she needs firewood, and she and the crow leave to gather some. While they are gone, Pumpkinhead sneaks in, uses a feather to tickle the magic chair into releasing Dorothy, and they escape.As the friends make their way to Emerald City, they stumble onto Woodenhead, a merry-go-round horse, upside down with his pole stuck in the ground. After they remove him from the pole, Woodenhead explains that he fell from a carousel and was left stuck. Upon hearing that Scarecrow is in danger, Woodenhead gives the travelers a ride to the palace. They find the Scarecrow, who sings about how much happier he was before he had brains. Meanwhile, Mombi leads her legion of green elephants into the city and captures Scarecrow and Toto. Pumpkinhead and Dorothy escape riding Woodenhead and make their way to Tinland, to seek assistance of Dorothy’s friend, the Tinman. At first, the Tinman orders his army to assemble, but upon hearing that the enemies are elephants, he exclaims that this is a job for the Lion. When they go to the Lion, however, he balks at fighting magical elephants and claims he is too busy to help, as he has been hired to roar over film titles. The Lion suggests fighting magic with magic by consulting Glinda, the Good Fairy. Glinda appears and offers assistance, but warns that good magic has its limits and it will be up to Dorothy’s faith in herself to defeat Mombi. Glinda gives the girl a silver box, explaining it will only work if opened during a dire emergency. As the companions ride back to Oz, Mombi animates the trees, which attack. Although Pumpkinhead insists they use the boxed spell, Dorothy refuses. All seems lost until Glinda, who is watching through the tail of a magic bird, sends a magic hatchet. Instead of chopping down the trees, the hatchet turns them into flowery foliage that let Dorothy’s group pass unscathed. Back at Emerald City, the friends discover that Mombi’s magic has turned the city into a pile of ruins with jade colored pachyderms patrolling the streets. The heroes are soon surrounded, but Dorothy opens the box to reveal white mice that scare the elephants away. Meanwhile, Mombi threatens to pull the Scarecrow apart and to shrink Toto so she can feed him to her cats. Mombi is interrupted when a white mouse appears, causing her to unwittingly throw her shrinking potion onto her crow and cat. More mice appear and chase Mombi away, allowing Dorothy to free Scarecrow and Toto. Mombi attempts to hide by turning herself into a poisoned rose, but a herd of stampeding elephants run the flower over, and Mombi dies. With her death, all her evil magic vanishes and the glory of Oz is restored. After parading before cheering crowds, Dorothy realizes Pumpkinhead, who was made by Mombi’s magic, has reverted back to an ordinary pumpkin. Distraught, Dorothy begs Glinda to change him back, but the good witch explains that witches cannot alter each other’s magic. However, if Dorothy has enough faith, she can restore the jack-o-lantern herself. Dorothy concentrates and Pumpkinhead is reanimated. Later, King Scarecrow appoints Woodenhead the royal steed, and Pumpkinhead the head of agriculture. When he asks what Dorothy wants most, she replies that she wants to go home. Both Glinda and Scarecrow explain their powers do not extend to Kansas, but then Scarecrow consults the Oz constitution and finds a clause stating that a visitor can return home by the same mode of transport that brought them to the enchanted land. Glinda whips up a cyclone which flies Dorothy and Toto back to Kansas as a rainbow fills the sky. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.