Back to Oz (Johnsonverse)
Back to Oz is a 2000 American fantasy film written and directed by Timothy Hill. The film stars Anne Hathaway, Malcolm McDowell, Jim Carrey, Dan Castellaneta, Gary Nelson, Tori Nelson, Pat Kilbane, Steve Carell, Will Sasso, Katey Sagal, and Carol Burnett.
The film follows the adventures of Dorothy, one year after having a delirium about a place called Oz, having another delirium where a new threat has arisen, and Dorothy must save the land from the evil Mombi, meeting new friends along the way, such as a boy named Tippetarius (Mombi's adopted son), as well as a clockwork man named Tik-Tok, and a man with a pumpkin head Tip built named Jack Pumpkinhead.
Based on the book The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the film was released by Johnson Studios on August 25, 2000. It received praise from critics for its acting, songs, and writing, as well as keeping the family-friendly tone of its predecessor.
Dorothy (Anne Hathaway), Aunt Em (Frances Conroy), Uncle Henry (John Mahoney), and their three farmhands (Pat Kilbane, Steve Carell, and Will Sasso) are still cleaning up after the twister when they find themselves on the verge of losing what is left of the family farm, when neighboring Mr. Bibb (Malcolm McDowell), the ex-husband of Almira Gulch, files a lawsuit claiming that the twister released some of the Gale pigs who then plundered his prize watermelon patch. He takes the animals away unless Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and their farmhands can get jobs to get the money to keep their farm animals in one month. Dorothy wants to help, but to her dismay, they tell her that she's too young. While her family is out looking for jobs, Dorothy stays at the farm to clean up the mess, along with the Gales' newest farmhand Wallace (Dan Castellaneta) and his daughters Jenna (Scarlett Johannson) and Erin (Tori Nelson). When a disastrous storm comes, Dorothy is hit in the head by a falling window and knocked out, causing her to have another delirium like the one she had the year before.
When Dorothy wakes up, she finds herself back in the land of Oz. She sees a young boy a year older than her named Tippetarius (Gary Nelson), who's the adopted son of an evil sorceress named Mombi (Carol Burnett). Tip tells Dorothy that Mombi is plotting to take over Oz, and Dorothy agrees to join him. Tip then introduces Dorothy to Jack Pumpkinhead (Dan Castellaneta), a scarecrow he built to scare Mombi. When Jack agrees to come along, the three come to the Emerald City, where they see the ruler, the Scarecrow (Pat Kilbane). The Scarecrow and Jack couldn't understand what each other is saying, so the Emerald City's maid Jellia Jamb (Scarlett Johannson) acts as their "translator". She intentionally mistranslates everything they say before they get confused, and Jellia laughs, explaining that they're speaking the same language. Suddenly, an army of women, led by Jinjur (Katey Sagal), comes to the Emerald City, and forces the Scarecrow out of his throne. It's revealed that Jinjur and her army are being manipulated by Mombi, who plans on discarding them after they did her dirty work.
Dorothy, Tip, the Scarecrow, and Jack then decide to go to the land of the Winkies to meet up with the Tin Man, the Emperor of the Winkies (Steve Carell). On their way, they go to a shed to sleep, when they meet a robot named Tik-Tok (Harvey Korman). Dorothy winds the key on Tik-Tok's back, and he explains that he spent years in the shed while his action, voice, and thought all ran out. When they wake up the next day, they decide to continue their journey to the Winkies, and meet the Hungry Tiger (Jim Carrey). The Hungry Tiger agrees to join, and when they get to the Winkies' country, they are immediately greeted by the Tin Man, who got coated with nickel and built tin statues of himself, Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard, and Glinda, and explains that the Winkies crowned him Emperor in Dorothy's absence. The Scarecrow tells Nick that Jinjur's army forced him out of the throne, and asks the Tin Man to help. The Tin Man agrees,and stays at the Winkie castle along with the Scarecrow to recruit soldiers. When they pass by a jungle, they see the Cowardly Lion (Will Sasso), who got crowned the King of Beasts, and agrees to help as well; he also goes to the Winkie castle to assist in the fight. A furious Mombi sends a jitterbug (a pink and blue, mosquito-like creature) to sting them and send them into a jazzy swing.
However, Glinda (Bernadette Peters), saves them by sending the jitterbug back to Mombi, and tells Tip that he's actually Ozma (Tori Nelson), a fairy queen who was kidnapped by the Wizard so he could take control of Oz, and was adopted by Mombi. At first, Tip is so reluctant to become Ozma that he would rather stay as Tip, but after he concedes, Glinda casts a spell and turns him back into Ozma. With her power, Ozma transports herself and the party back to the Emerald City, where the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion have brought out a Winkie army, and Jinjur has sent men to the kitchen. They attempt to tell her that she and her army are being used. Jinjur doesn't believe this, but Ozma shows Jinjur through a magic mirror. Jinjur realizes her mistake, and rescinds control of the Emerald City to Ozma, shifting their focus to getting rid of Mombi. Ozma reveals that this was her alternative to violence.
When they get to Mombi's castle, they see her escaping and use a Gump (Mel Brooks) to chase her. Mombi is eventually stripped of her magic by Glinda, who declares that only certain people can use magic with her permission. Ozma gives Dorothy the Ruby Slippers, and Dorothy taps her heels three times while chanting, "There's no place like home". Dorothy wakes up in a hospital bed, surrounded by Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, the farmhands, Jenna, and Erin, who are relieved that Dorothy's all right. They tell Dorothy that they successfully managed to pay Mr. Bibb by going into the crop business. Hunk tells Dorothy that he's going to an agricultural academy in Topeka, and promises that he'll write letters to her every week. Hickory tells Dorothy that he's "perfected" his machine, a heart-shaped contraption that supposedly wards off cyclones, and Zeke introduces Dorothy to his good friend Karl (Jim Carrey), who's in the military. Dorothy finally gets up from her bed, and the credits play.
- Anne Hathaway as Dorothy Gale
The film was conceived in 1994 when Hill made a bet with Sheldon Johnson, Jr. that he can make a sequel to any film released at least five decades before.
The music score was composed by Michael Tavera, who also wrote several new songs. In addition, another song, "The Jitterbug", was cut from the original film--its beginning lines were altered to reference Tip, Tik-Tok, Jack, and the Hungry Tiger instead of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.
The film has a 100% critic and audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Its critic consensus states, "This long-overdue sequel manages to fully live up to its predecessor, and is undoubtedly a worthy successor". Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film "two thumbs up" on Ebert & Roeper and the Movies. Variety called it "the best sequel we've seen since EarthBound, and a must-see for moviegoers".