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Oz: The Great and Powerful


Mar 9, 2013 #film, #movie, #OZ, #Wizard

Oz-The-Great-and-powerful-franco-posterOz: The Great and Powerful – Out Now
Certificate: PG
Running time: 130 minutes
Review By: Jenfi

I can still remember running through my garden shouting “Oh no! A twister!!!” and pretending I had been magically whisked away to the Land of Oz to do battle with the Wicked Witch. Then in my 23rd year I was lucky enough to get to play Dorothy with a local Musical Theatre company. So you can imagine my excitement when Oz; The Great and Powerful’s release date was announced?!

I arrived at the Cinema, dragging my 5 year old daughter along, obviously for her benefit, filled with excitement! I was not disappointed.

The film starts out in black and white, as did the original Wizard of Oz back in 1939. Where we meet the infamous Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, or Oz to those who know him. He works as an apparent magician in the travelling Baum’s Brothers Circus (a nod to the writer L. Frank Baum – the original writer of the Oz series), in truth he is a conman looking for any way to make a quick buck. In true Wizard of Oz style we meet characters at the start who we’ll meet again in different forms later on. I won’t spoil it for you, but needless to say, although some were a little predictable, the characters are as enchanting as they ever were.

Oscar (Oz), in a spot of trouble for womanising, jumps into his hot air balloon and is whisked off, Dorothy style, to the Land of Oz where a dying King has prophesied his coming and promised greatness from him. The screen then goes from 4:3 to full size glorious wide-screen and to full technicolour, as we look upon the beautiful and breathtaking Land of Oz for the first time. I went to see it in 3D and it was stunning visually. Bright and vibrant, I saw my little girl’s eyes widen and saw her sit up in her chair. Perfectly Magical. Oscar then gets caught up in the problems of the Land of Oz and it’s inhabitants, and he must discover who is good and who is wicked before it’s too late. Oscar must put all his knowledge of his “magical arts” and illusionary prowess to good use to defeat the evil. Transforming himself into the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz, and discovering a better self along the way.

We meet all the poignant characters in the movie early on, including the sisters, Theodora and Evanora, both witches, and both powerful at the Emerald City. They give Oz the task of finding (and killing) the Wicked Witch, who killed the King and has been attacking them and the surrounding towns with flying monkeys. Which he agrees to do so after being promised a room full of Gold and chalices.


This film has some surprising twists and turns. I love how the Wicked Witch becomes the Wicked Witch, not at all how I was expecting it, and I love how the balance shifts from evil to good. What I loved most about this film was all the homages to the original 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. The munchkins sing, there’s a shot of horses of a different colour in the background, there’s flying monkeys, the yellow brick road is laid out as the Munchkin Town of 1939, the poppy field, the throne room of the Wizard of Oz is as it was in the original movie as is “the man behind the curtain”, I could go on and on.

It had always intrigued me how a conman had become Oz; the great and powerful and this film depicts the story beautifully. A story of tragedy, heartbreak, and romance. Truly one for children and fans of the Wizard of Oz franchise.

James Franco as Oz was, in my opinion, OK. I have read a couple of reviews that have slated him, however, I found him to be easy to watch, not wooden and my daughter loved him. That’s all the believability I needed. I felt he played his part well going from the womanising conman to the… well… Wizard with ease. I was thankful for Finley, voiced by Zach Braff and the China Doll, voiced by Joey King – a gorgeous little girl with a big career ahead of her, who provided some of the more comedic moments within the film. For me though, the beautiful Rachel Weisz (Theodora) and gorgeous Mila Kunis (Evanora) stole the show. They were the perfect villains, and Michelle Williams as Glinda was the essence of goodness and loveliness.


All in all this is a wonderful film to go and see with your children, even if you’re not a massive fan of the original film, this film will make you laugh and take your breath away with the stunning visuals. In 3D there is the usual bits that fly out of the screen meaning you make yourself look like an idiot when you instinctively try and dodge out the way but it all adds to the experience. I would recommend anyone to go and see this film. It is a little cheesy but I love that about it, and I very much liked the quick glimpse of the Silver Slippers – not Ruby – as they were in the original series that L. Frank Baum wrote. I had a major fan-girl *squee* moment when they appeared 😀

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