Siskel and Ebert Movie Reviews

Original movie reviews untainted by time!

9 thoughts on “D.A.R.Y.L., Cocoon, Return to Oz, 1985

  • I love Siskel and Ebert, but they were way off on Return to Oz. Not only were they unfair to the movie, they also didn’t do any in-depth research on the L Frank Baum books at all. Here’s some examples:

    1. Return to Oz were more true to the books than the 1939 classic, despite that film being a great musical.

    2. The reason why the movie wasn’t a lighthearted musical is because director Walter Murch wanted to make a movie that is faithful to the books. It’s no way inspired by then recent special effects films.

    3. This isn’t mentioned here but in both of their Worst Summer Movies of 1985 and Worst of 1985 episodes, Gene keeps calling Tik-Tok a Star Wars rip off. This isn’t true at all, because Tik-Tok is from the books and he looks exactly like he was in the movie.

    Seriously, there’s no excuse for doing so little research. And that’s lazy if you ask me.

    • Roger mentions in his print review that Tik Tok looks ripped off from Star Wars too.

      • I actually know that because I used an emulator of a DOS floppy disk version of Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion series on But it still proves my point that he didn’t do any research on the source material at all. There’s simply no excuse.

        • You don’t have to do that. You have to see if the film works or not. According to them, it wasn’t in the same spirit as The Wizard of Oz, which wasn’t just scary, but fun. Not Return to Oz.

          • Still doesn’t doesn’t change the fact that without reading the source material, they clearly don’t understand what Walter Murch was going for. The 1939 musical is fine for what it is, but if Return to Oz was like the 1939 film, it would be watered down and fans of the books would burn down Disney.

    • I don’t think your criticism holds water, because they scene they specifically complain about – the electric torture scene at the beginning of the movie – was not in the books, nor was there anything similar too it.

      You’re also ignoring the fact that Walter Murch said he used the book “Wisconsin Death Trip” as inspiration for the film. If he wanted to be faithful to the books, he would have used John Neill’s illustrations (which helped sell the books as much as the text ever did) as the visual basis for the film.

      • My main issue with the review is that they comepletely expected it to be like the 1939 MGM classic, which don’t get me wrong I do love, but if they make it like the original film, it would be pandering to nostalgia.

      • Also calling Tik Tok a C 3PO rip off is not valid criticism because he looks the same in the source material and he appeared long before Star Wars.

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