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Oz The Great and Powerful – Movie Review

Oz The Great and Powerful
Facebook – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The works of L. Frank Baum have inspired generations of artists. From MGM’s ground breaking “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939 to Broadway’s smash hit “Wicked“, now Disney is taking a swing at the beloved franchise with “Oz The Great and Powerful“.

One thing that you have to keep in mind going into “OTGP” is that all the previous timelines don’t necessarily intersect. In other words, if you’re a “Wicked” fan, you’ll notice right away that the stories don’t live in the same “universe”.

That being said, “OTGP” tells the story of Oz before Dorothy and Toto show up, specifically, how “The Wizard” came to be in Oz in the first place.

James Franco does a nice job of playing an early 20th century traveling carnival magician (closer to a snake oil salesman than a modern illusionist). Franco is a little stiff on the emotion meter and overcompensates a bit with his unnaturally white-toothed grin, but his character is supposed to be one of these charmers who could sell ice to Eskimos.

I like Mila Kunis as an actress, but I have to say that I think that she was miscast in this role. It felt like she was one extreme or the other – either swooning in love or furiously spurned. To take an example from another popular entertainment evil witch, there wasn’t any of the subtle evilness that Lana Parrilla brings to her role on “Once Upon a Time“.

The visuals are where “Oz” really shines – I usually try to avoid 3D movies. I guess I’m a traditionalist when it comes to movies, and I also feel like I’m watching a movie with sunglasses on when watching a 3D flick. But “Oz” was obviously made with 3D in mind. The depth, colors, and motion are extraordinary. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see “Oz” mentioned in awards conversations for at least production design.

All in all, it was an entertaining two hours. There are definitely parts that may be too intense for little kids, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a family movie. But if you want to get some insight into pre-Dorothy Oz, it’s worth a trip to the local cinema.

Have you seen “Oz The Great and Powerful” yet? If so, what did you think? Tell us in the comments section!

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