Totally Unauthorized Commentary: Return to Oz (1985)

Norm and Danica are joined by professional modelmaker and new Tested contributor Kayte Sabicer to watch a classic “Dark Age Disney” film, Return to Oz! We talk about the expectations for this film, how it haunted us as kids, and its amazing effects puppeteering and animation work.

Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “Totally Unauthorized Commentary: Return to Oz (1985)

  1. One of my favorite “science fiction” books is called “Barnstormer of OZ” by Philip José Farmer.

    It is a great interpretation of the Oz stories from a science fiction “how is this real” perspective. The basic idea is that Dorothy did go to Oz, told Baum about it and he wrote the books. In this book Dorothy’s son or grandson, ends up getting to Oz during a storm flying a plane. I always wished it would get made into a movie but of course it’s not “public domain” like the Oz books and very very dark. Farmer invisioned Oz as an alternate reality with different physics. The Oz books simplified the dark reality for children. Farmer made it more real and extremely dark. There was war, death, battles and adult-ish themes. If you are a fan of the Oz stories definitely check it out.

  2. Holy crap! Never realized this was written and directed by Walter Murch. I remember this and Flight of the Navigator getting a lot of play on the Disney Channel in the mid ’80s.

  3. This is the first of the Commentary episodes I’ve watched, as I have a copy of the movie and have always loved it. It was great, I didn’t know any of the BTS insights that Kayte shared, and really enjoyed this one. Great job!

    My top ten 80s fantasy movies: Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Willow, Krull, Legend, Dragonslayer, Ladyhawke, Return to Oz, Princess Bride, and NeverEnding Story.

  4. That was amazing. Such an inspiring film, specifically in creating really accurate representations of classic characters. Every few years I revisit this movie and I all ways find myself sketching or sculpting about half way through. Not due to any lack of interest but seeing the characters and the production design gets me so energized and I cant help but work on something.

    I thought that this viewing would be different as I would want to watch along very closely with the commentary, but having the fun facts and entertaining dialog along with the film made me feel like I was hanging out with my regular group of maker friends and sure enough I completed half of my sketches for the 1989 Grappling Gun that I’m about to model in Fusion 360!

    I can’t wait for the next one and thanks to the whole tested team for the great content!

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