Return To Oz

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

return to oz movie

“Return to Oz” is a fantasy adventure film released in 1985 by Walt Disney Pictures. The movie is a loose sequel to the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” and is based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz book series.

The film picks up several months after the events of “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy Gale (played by Fairuza Balk) is now a young girl living on her aunt and uncle’s farm in Kansas. Despite her insistence that she has visited the magical land of Oz, everyone believes her experiences were merely a dream.

One stormy night, Dorothy is taken back to Oz by a mysterious girl named Ozma (played by Emma Ridley), who reveals that the land of Oz is now under the rule of an evil sorceress named Mombi (played by Jean Marsh). The Emerald City is in ruins, and the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion have been turned to stone by the Nome King (played by Nicol Williamson).

To save her friends and the Land of Oz, Dorothy must embark on a perilous journey to defeat Mombi and the Nome King. Along the way, she encounters new companions, such as Tik-Tok, a mechanical man, and Jack Pumpkinhead, a living scarecrow-like figure.

“Return to Oz” is known for its darker and more atmospheric tone compared to the 1939 film. It stays truer to L. Frank Baum’s original Oz books, which have darker and more adventurous elements than the musical adaptation starring Judy Garland.

The film’s impressive special effects and practical puppetry bring the fantastical world of Oz to life, and Fairuza Balk delivers a captivating performance as the determined and brave Dorothy.

While “Return to Oz” has gained a cult following over the years, it initially received mixed reviews upon its release and struggled at the box office. The darker tone and departure from the beloved 1939 film were not well-received by some audiences at the time.

However, “Return to Oz” has since earned recognition for its unique take on the Oz mythology and its imaginative storytelling. It is appreciated for its willingness to explore darker themes and its dedication to staying faithful to the source material.

Today, “Return to Oz” is recognized as an intriguing and underrated addition to the world of Oz, appealing to audiences who appreciate darker fantasy films and fans of the Oz book series. It remains a nostalgic and imaginative journey back to the enchanting Land of Oz, showcasing Disney’s willingness to take creative risks and explore different facets of beloved stories.

Fun Facts

  • “Return to Oz” is a 1985 dark fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It serves as a loose sequel to the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” and is based on the Oz books by L. Frank Baum.
  • The film is known for its darker and more surreal tone compared to the original “Wizard of Oz.” It explores themes of mental health and features scenes and characters that are both eerie and imaginative. Despite its initial mixed reception, the film has gained a cult following over the years.
  • One of the notable aspects of “Return to Oz” is the character of Tik-Tok, a mechanical man who is brought to life using practical effects. Tik-Tok’s design and functioning mechanisms were impressive for the time, and he became a memorable addition to the Oz mythology.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $11.1 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Fairuza Balk: Dorothy Gale
  • Nicol Williamson: Dr. J.B. Worley/Nome King
  • Jean Marsh: Nurse Wilson/Princess Mombi
  • Sophie Ward: Mombi II
  • Fiona Victory: Mombi III
  • Piper Laurie: Aunt Em
  • Matt Clark: Uncle Henry
  • Justin Case: the Scarecrow
  • Bruce Boa: Policeman
  • Tansy: Toto
  • Denise Bryer: Billina
  • Sean Barrett: Tik-Tok
  • Brian Henson: Jack Pumpkinhead
  • Lyle Conway: the Gump
  • Pons Maar: Nome Messenger
  • Beatrice Murch: Princess Ozma


  • Director: Walter Murch
  • Producers: Paul Maslansky
  • Music: David Shire

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and