Rating: PG, for some scary images and mild peril.
Creepy-looking and totally lacking in charm, this animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz is an insult to the classic original. But if it’s the only family-friendly movie that’s available to rent — well, you should still avoid it. Still, if your kids want to watch it, they (probably) won’t be scarred for life. Dorothy (voiced by Glee star Lea Michele) returns to Oz at the urging of the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and Lion (Jim Belushi). She must defeat the evil and power-hungry Jester (Martin Short), who has taken over and plunged the magical land into ruin. The flying monkeys look more impish than scary this time, but when Jester is projected in full-on, great-and-powerful mode, it might be a bit frightening for the youngest kids. A whole new motley crew joins Dorothy on the yellow brick road, where various dangers and obstacles await. One of these supporting character “dies,” but not really. Please seek out the 1939 Wizard of Oz — or even The Wiz from 1978 — instead.