Oz The Great and Powerful Review
This Tuesday, June 11th, Disney reintroduces the enchanting perils of the classic The Wizard of Oz, but with a slight twist. Viewers will be able to take home Oz The Great And Powerful when it debuts for in-home release on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital and On-Demand!
The tale begins twenty years earlier, revealing the true identity of the renowned wizard and the origin of his “magical” gifts. Leaping into the story, the adventure begins in Kansas 1905, presenting Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a womanizing and pretentious small-time magician in the traveling circus. Despite his talents and beliefs that he is “great” enough to be playing the Orpheum Circuit, Oscar and his assistant Frank (Zach Braff) fail to amaze and attract more than a half a house of patrons; only earning a pitiful amount of loose change. Surprisingly, the mediocre performances are given by what most know as the great and powerful Oz. A short and important scene in the film is when a small girl begs Oz for the ability to revive her paralyzed legs. Unfortunately, he is faced with denying the young child and fleeing to his quarters. This lays the foundation to proving how Oz’s antics bring little entertainment, only dismal reality. Eventually strolling in is Oscar’s old romance, Annie, announcing her soon to be marriage to another man. Hoping to encourage him to rekindle their love, she is let down by his disappointing congrats. The casualness of this beginning scene, sets up the building blocks of the soon to occur adventure.
After experiencing the trauma of meeting Annie, enters in a slightly “angry” friend… Well, at least frustrated enough to break the doors off his quarters and seek the potential death of Oz. He had become aware of Oz giving his companion a music box, which he gives to all of his lady victims before trying to swoon them. Scurrying for escape, Oz jumps into a close by air balloon, fleeing with his useful suitcase and trusty hat. Feeling sly and accomplished by his prevented misfortune, his eyes focus on a worse fate. Similar to the original Wizard of Oz, he is engulfed by a tremendous tornado. Making several pleas to God that he will change his ways and do great things, he awakens in a strange area. Here he is greeted by an outrageous world of new colors and sounds, new adventures, and a new beginning to redefine his destiny. After the trepidation of waterfalls, musical water reeds, enormous flowers, and a frightful realization of his surroundings, Oz meets an unsuspecting witch named Theodora; she tells him of the prophecy that a man by the same name of their world will save them all from the malevolent ways of the evil witch. Already bouncing into his normal self, he seduces Theodora with his false charm and is on the mission to claim the piles of gold awarded to the “stupendous” wizard. Once becoming aware of the glorious treasure fit for a valiant king, he accepts his mission to stop the ominous witch and become the ultimate ruler of Oz. What he doesn’t know is the effect it will have on his fate…
One’s destiny is the destination of the final journey, but the ability to change the unclear fate with choices is the definition of true magic. Oscar Diggs, a filthy man with impure intentions, only dreamed of being a man like Thomas Edison; to be able to invent magic using the mere gift of the mind. Such an honest goal for a hubris man? Well, that is what drives Oz to eventually see beyond the ego of himself. The symbolism in the film is outstanding and inspiring to the viewer; for example, the movie begins in a small black and white box but when entering the world of Oz it expands throughout the screen in magnificent colors. It can almost be taken metaphorically for how Oz left his simplistic black and white qualities and grew into something beautiful, like the actual world of Oz. Also, several characters (like in the 1950’s Wizard of Oz) recur in the film and assist Oz not only in his mission, but to see the real good within himself, such as Annie as the witch, Glinda. There is a scene where the wicked witches monkeys destroy a delicate and beautiful city made of porcelain pots and kettles. Inside one of the broken homes, lied a gorgeous little girl (voiced by Joey King, who also plays the role of the girl previously shown in the beginning) made of China with shattered legs. Feeling lost and hopeless, Oscar returns her mobility and uses glue to restore her legs. This is alluding to earlier in the story where a small girl also could not walk, but it is showing his progression to bettering himself and living up to his promise to change.
For those who are not a fan of the original tale, or who are in love with the classic story can both enjoy the unique spin of Oz the Great and Powerful. It differs in its beautiful graphics and new depictions of the characters everyone knew as a kid. In my honest opinion, I have never seen the fascination in James Franco, but this movie has changed my mind towards his acting. He was alive and fully engaged as his character, making it very believable. The cast worked amazingly together, and the chemistry between Franco and Michelle Williams was wonderful. Admitting to my somewhat embarrassing fangirl obsession with the original The Wizard of Oz, this film impressed me more than I could have ever expected. I suggest this film for all families looking to engage in this insane and amusing adventure. There are numerous bonus features on the disc, such as how the characters and the land of Oz was created, the production of the amazing sound effects, Walt Disney’s interest in the tale as a child, Bloopers, a Mariah Carey music video, and much more that draws you even further into the magic of Oz! Additionally, fans can interact with the film with the free “The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful: Second Screen App” that helps in letting those inspired by the movie to indulge deeper into the making of the spectacular phenomenon!
Film Clip: Bananas –
Finley tries to convince Oz to return to the Emerald City and tell the truth.
- The Magic of “Oz The Great and Powerful” (Second Screen Experience) – An immersive Second Screen experience that details all things Oz. From an interactive map full of secrets and surprises, to an inside look at the spectacular world of Oz. All fans need to do is download the special “The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful: Second Screen” App (which is free and currently available for immediate download at the iTunes Store for iPads) which provides fans with infinite opportunities to remain connected to their favorite film, its cast of characters and to dive deeper into the magical world of Oz. This App provides exclusive access to invigorating and exclusive content including:
The Enchanting Characters and Creatures of Oz – From Munchkins and Tinkers to good witches, bad witches, and flying baboons, this piece follows each character and creature of the Land of Oz from inspiration to final outcome.
The Sounds of Magical Oz – What adds fragility to the sounds of China Girl’s footsteps; ferocity to the tornado; or weight to the flutter of Finley’s flapping wings?
Sleight of Hand: Zach Braff Puppet Theater – Actor, and voice of Finley, Zach Braff introduces viewers to the Finley mockup.
Mariah Carey Music Video
- My Journey in Oz by James Franco – A personal story produced and directed by James Franco.
- Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions – An interview with composer Danny Elfman unveils his inspiration in scoring “Oz The Great And Powerful.”
- China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief – This feature uncloaks the several forms of movie magic employed to bring China Girl to life, from the initial artwork and character design, to the on-set puppeteering during filmmaking, and finally, through each stage of the visual-effects process; and includes an interview with Joey King, the voice of China Girl.
- Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas to Oz – Production designer Robert Stromberg takes viewers through the set design of the Land of Oz, from sketching his original ideas on a napkin, through to the final set pieces and the accompanying visual effects.
- Mila’s Metamorphosis – Lead makeup artist Howard Berger expands on one of the oldest, most tried-and-true forms of movie magic: makeup design and effects.
- Walt Disney and the Road to Oz – It is well known that Walt Disney had a fascination with the Land of Oz since he was a child. See how that fascination grew into inspiration as he began planning for his own adaptation of the stories in the classic Baum books.
Walt Disney and the Road to Oz
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 a great wizard but into a better man as well.
“Temple Run” Oz Game:
In celebration of the in-home release, Temple Run: Oz will introduce China Girl as an all-new character to the exhilarating running experience (which launched during the theatrical release). The tiny China Girl might be small in size but she is packed with speed and a big attitude. Players will be able to run through all three stunning environments including the latest release Winkie Country and be able to use the “Head Start” feature to fast travel to any location. To learn more, please visit iTunes at http://bit.ly/WgSWAk or Google Play at http://bit.ly/15tVpYH.
To learn more and stay connected with the film, please…
- “Like” on Facebook: facebook.com/OzTheGreatAndPowerful
- Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyOzMovie@DisneyOzMovie
- Follow on Pintrest: pinterest.com/disneystudios/oz-the-great-and-powerful
- Website and Mobile Site: http://www.disney.com/TheWizard
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Blu-ray Combo Pack has a suggested retail price of $44.99, but is available for purchase at Amazon for just $27.99!
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway!
Courtesy of Disney, one lucky reader will receive a Oz The Great And Powerful Blu-ray Combo Pack! To enter the giveaway please follow the instructions provided on the Rafflecopter form. Any comments are welcomed below, but won’t count towards the giveaway. Only entries using the Rafflecopter form will be eligible for prize. Thank you!