The first I ordered this novel it got lost in the mail, so I was unable to read it for the 20th Anniversary back in 2005. But I did get it a while ago, and now I can review it for the 25th Anniversary.
This movie novel was a great read!
Not only does it retell the whole movie, but it says so in detail, saying thoughts that goes through Dorothy, it describes moments that have an emotional pull to them. Here we can read about Aunt Em and how she feels about Dorothy and Oz and her own life, Dorothy's memory of her first adventure in Oz (she retells it to Billina under the lunch-pail tree) and what had happened in Oz when Dorothy was in Kansas with the Nome King and Mombi's taking-over.
Included here in the novel is a different scene of the friends landing on the Nome King's mountain, the deleted scenes of Aunt Em "painting" Dorothy's face, Aunt Em and Dorothy meeting Head Nurse Wilson and Dr Worley at the clinic, Dorothy being asked to stay and be Queen of Oz, the Kansas folk surrounding Dorothy when she is found again and ask about "the other one" and many other extra moments NOT in the film. Said to be the case with many movie novelizations, this is based on an earlier version of the script, but still is pretty much the same as the one we see.
The 8 pages of photos include the Tin woodman in stone, Dorothy and Billina with Tik-Tok in the Mirrored Palace, the Witch Mombi in her palace, Dorothy and Billina watching Tik-Tok control the Head Wheeler, the friends meeting the Nome King on his mountain, Nicol Williamson as the nearly-human Nome King, Dorothy and Jack Pumpkinhead escaping the tower, Dorothy running through the Hall of heads, the Coronation Parade, and Dorothy crowning Scarecrow (a Deleted Scene). The pictures are good, and some of them can only be seen here and no where else or any other books, they have good detail and are well-toned, but may appear too dark when compared to similar pictures in different books.
The only thing wrong with this book is the beginning of Chapter 20 where page 182 (somehow) accidentally continues a sentence from the next page too soon, causing a zig-zag when reading.
Other than that (and the constantly reused poster art for cover), this novel is a MUST-READ for a Great Disney / Oz movie and out of all the Return to Oz books is the only one to tell you the full story.