I watched two great movies I missed from the 80s. Not sure how I missed either of them, they were right up my alley.
Dragonslayer from 1981 is a traditional fantasy movie, complete with dragons and wizards. It was well-acted, and the special effects were really great for the time period. You could tell the people who made the film really believed in what they were doing, and loved being part of it. It was a great find.
Return to Oz from 1985 was the movie we watched last night. I’m guessing that it slipped past me because I was a rotten teenager, but that’s my only guess because I really loved the Oz books when I was a kid. I’ve written about how I picked strawberries in the fields to be able to afford first editions of the series, and I used to have the library get them for me from all over – sometimes from the Library of Congress.
So I’m surprised I hadn’t at least heard of this before this year. It was a Walt Disney movie which worried me, but it was really well done. Brian Henson was involved with the special effects, and you could tell it was done at the same time as Labyrinth. Gotta love a children’s movie where the main child actor is sent for shock therapy in the first 20 minutes. There were parts of this that were really dark, but the really out there stuff that startled all came from the books.
I was impressed at how well they cast Tic Toc (and wow, watching the extras and finding out how the actor and costume worked was wild) and Ozma (you’d think the book drawings were based on the movie rather than the other way around) but the Scarecrow was rather disturbing.
In any event, it is not a movie I’d probably let a smaller child watch just because it would be pretty nightmare inducing, but it was wonderfully done and really worth watching. I’ll probably end up owning it at some point.