Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why "Return to Oz" (1985) is the Scariest Film Disney Ever Made.

People who think all Disney films are sentimental sod buckets are wrong. Dead wrong. Many of them have the dubious honor of traumatizing many a child. Bambi, The Black Hole, The Lion King...and this film. I have seen this for the first time about a week ago, and boy, was I overwhelmed.

6. The Deadly Desert
This surrounds the Marvelous Land of Oz. Anyone who is unlucky enough to touch it is turned into sand. You only see this happen to the horrible Wheelers, but still...

5. The (Practically) Deserted Emerald City
Just showing Dorothy wandering through the ruined City, with its crumbling walls and eerie statues of what used to be people, is just plain eerie. It doesn't help to know what it contains as well....

4.The Wheelers

This creatures may stink at capturing Dorothy (I blame their lack of hands), but that does not prevent them from being utterly terrifying. This is where sound effects help to add to the fear factor. The squeaky wheels and their sharp screams to alert their fellows, and their echoing laughter is enough to make any child eye their bike with more than a little dread.

3. The Nome King and his Minions

The Stones.....they are watching you. No puggy humanoid creatures from the Oz books are these. The Nomes are Rocks with faces. Or are they faces that so happen to be attached to rocks?  What can be said about them is that they are just plain malicious. And you don't want to get the Nome King mad....

2. Mombi and her Heads

Mombi is a witch. She collects heads. This heads can scream if you cross them. Did I mention that Mombi can walk around without a head?

1. Dorothy's Trials

She nearly goes through electroshock therapy, drowns in a monstrous rainstorm, gets beheaded, falls to her death, get turned into an ornament...and oh so much more. You would have to hard pressed to find another child who goes through so many near-death experiences in a film (unless it is part of the Harry Potter Series). It is no wonder that she spends half the film with a terrified look on her face.

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