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LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN

New Friends Join The Journey
Transported back to Oz by the magical "rainbow mover" invented by Scarecrow, Dorothy knows something is very wrong as soon as she lands. She knows she has to get to Emerald City to find Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man, but the road ahead is much different from what she remembers.

As Dorothy begins her journey, she encounters a rather rotund Owl named Wiser, played by Oliver Platt. "Wiser is this fellow who is dying to be asked on the adventure and he just doesn't know how to say, 'Can I come?'" says Platt. "He needs to be asked - he's got his pride. He's a softie both literally and figuratively, and he gets very attached to Dorothy. He's so clearly a delicate soul." He's also a very knowledgeable creature, demonstrated by his bookish appearance, although he lacks a most birdlike quality: the ability to fly. "My favorite part of Wiser is his argyle chest. It sort of fades into his massive stomach," laughs Platt. "I also like his sort of suggestions of wings which, you know, aren't too operational."

Luckily for Dorothy and Toto, despite his inability to travel by air, Wiser knows the way to the Emerald City by foot. But to get there, they will have to travel through new mysterious lands.

The first stop is Candy County, an enchanted wonderland filled with confectionary delights. With Wiser guiding them, Dorothy and Toto are foiled by one of the Jester's many optical illusions. Warning signs that once read "No Eating the Candy" have been manipulated to say just the opposite. In the midst of devouring all the candy surrounding them, the three friends are stopped by a man made entirely of marshmallows: Marshal Mallow, second in command of the Garrison at Candy County.

Dorothy, Wiser and Toto are placed under arrest for violating the highest law of the land.... eating candy! Fortunately, Judge Jawbreaker, who resides over Candy County, realizes that Dorothy needs to be released in order to capture the Jester and restore peace to Oz. He orders Marshal Mallow to accompany the group to the Emerald City.

"When we meet Marshal Mallow, his superior, General Candy Apple, has been abducted by the Jester, so Marshal finds himself in command. He's suddenly the authority figure, and he's not fully comfortable with that. He's trying to be very authoritative and strong, but he's actually kind of a softy," says Dancy, who gets to display a much softer side as Marshal Mallow than he does as FBI consultant Will Graham in the crime thriller "Hannibal." "Most of us are wrestling with how tough we want to be as compared to how tough we actually are. But Marshal Mallow is a pretty tremulous, timid kind of guy who constantly has to force himself to take control. That's part of his journey."

"Directing Hugh is amazing," says Finn. "He may be the king of subtext, because there's almost nothing you have to tell him. He's so smart about reading layers into each line that it's a joy to work with him."

Getting to Emerald City requires first getting across the boundaries of Dainty China Country, governed by the porcelain beauty, China Princess. "The China Princess is a fantastic character because she becomes a completely different person by the end of the film. In the beginning, she starts out a little bossy: she's in a place of power and she knows how to use what she has to get what she wants. But through the course of the film, what she learns from Dorothy and Marshal Mallow and all the other characters softens her she becomes a very lovable character," says Megan Hilty, who voices the China Princess.

A budding romance develops between the China Princess and her reluctant suitor, Marshal Mallow. The poetry of their attraction isn't lost on Dancy. "Ultimately what happens is that the timid Marshal Mallow and the imperious China Princess - who seem like polar opposites in every respect - are drawn together, and he's tougher than he seems and she's a little softer than she seems."

The last obstacle standing in their way is a broken bridge that leads to Oz. Volunteering his services is Tugg. "My character Tugg starts out as a very, very old tree, and then he transforms into a youthful tugboat," says Patrick Stewart, who plays the sage Tugg. "We spent a good amount of time before we began recording, talking about, 'if a tree would speak and have the kind of thoughts and feelings that this tree has, what would he sound like?' So it was fun finding a voice that would match that image, because that's the actor's duty: to create a believable sound that could conceivably have come from a character like this." With his gravely voice and loyalty to his new friends, Tugg bravely navigates a treacherous waterfall to safely deliver Dorothy and her new friends to the Emerald City.

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