Hawaii Mom Blog: Oz the Great and Powerful - Now in Theaters!




March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful - Now in Theaters!

Oz the Great and Powerful is now in theaters, and I was fortunate to attend an advance 3D screening to see how Disney and Director Sam Raimi put their magical touches on characters first introduced to us by L.Frank Baum so many years ago.

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well. 

Oz the Great and Powerful introduced us to the womanizing con artist, Oscar aka Oz, who works as a magician in a traveling circus.

He finds himself in the Land of Oz one day, where he meets Theodora, a stunning witch who believes Oz must be the wizard mentioned in a prophecy - the wizard that would save the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, and who would eventually become king.

Knowing very well that he could not possibly be the wizard spoken of in the prophecy, he plays along, since after all, he is a con artist.

Theodora takes Oz to the Emerald City castle, where he meets her sister, Evanora.  Evanora tells Oz he must find the Wicked Witch and break her wand to kill her in order to become king.

Oz soon finds out that it is Evanora who is the true Wicked Witch (of the East), and he is tasked to defeat not only Evanora, but also Theodora, who transformed into the Wicked Witch of the West after Oz broke her heart.

With the guidance and encouragement of Glinda the Good Witch, along with the help of the Quadlings, Tinkers, and Munchkins, Oz is able to defeat (but not destroy) the Wicked Witches, and order is restored once again to the Land of Oz, paving the way (or should I say the "yellow brick road") to the story of Oz that so many of us have watched when we were little and have grown to love.

Overall I really enjoyed Oz the Great and Powerful. Although I was a bit surprised to see Oz portrayed as a womanizer, once he dropped into the Land of Oz, it was immediately made clear why this was necessary.

I liked that there were many funny moments throughout the movie, many of which involved Finley, a winged monkey, and China Doll, both of whom were Oz's companions throughout his journey in the Land of Oz.

As expected, Oz the Great and Powerful was special-effects laden, and at times I felt all of the imagery was a bit too overwhelming.  However, the special-effects were indeed integral to the story, especially in the climax, in which Oz's delusions of grandeur led to the illusions of grandeur that helped to defeat the Witches.

I thought Williams was wonderful as the sweet, angelic Glinda; Weisz was great as a sinister, deceitful witch; and Kunis did a nice job evolving from the naive, innocent Theodora to the almost unrecognizable Wicked Witch of the West.

Initially I thought Franco was an odd choice to play Oz, but I warmed up to his character. His quirkiness was endearing and won me over, and I thought he did well in portraying a selfish, scheming magician who ultimately had the heart to do good.

Although there were a few parts that may be a bit scary for really young kids (primarily those that involved the Dark Forest, the evil magic of the wicked witches, or the flying baboons), Oz the Great and Powerful is a movie the entire family can enjoy, and it's a wonderful way to be introduced, or re-introduced, to characters from the Land of Oz.

Oz the Great and Powerful is in theaters now (Rated PG). To find a theater near you, click here.

Thank you to the sponsor for providing passes to the screening.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like fun. Thank you for the recommendation. We shall consider it.


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