Oz the Great and Powerful
Recommended for: Ages 8 and up
This is the story of how Oz came from Kansas to the land of Oz and how he became the wizard in the Emerald city.
As with most Disney movies, I wasn't interested in it when it came out. I have been a big fan of The Wizard of Oz since I was about three. My sister turned Oz the Great and Powerful on and I ended up watching it even though I had intended to work ahead on school. There are some things I don't agree with in this movie but I really enjoyed it.
I think that overall it was done really well. There are some things that don't look entirely realistic but it could have been done on purpose. The movie starts out in black and white and then goes to color when Oz reaches Oz. I liked the way that they switched it, it wasn't too sudden. There were also references to things that will happen in The Wizard of Oz, such as someone who is going to marry a John Gale, and a person who makes scarecrows. I think that there were some parts with the munchkins where you could definitely tell that they were fake.
Oz works at a circus at the beginning of the movie. It was very much the same as all the circuses I have come across in fiction and didn't seem out of place. Oz is very colorful and bright with many fantasy elements, like flying monkeys and china people. There are familiar places and landmarks like the Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald city.
This is an origin story about how Oz became the wizard. I don't know if there is a book about it or not but it did tie into everything you learn about the wizard in The Wizard of Oz, except that in this movie he doesn't think that he is a good man, but that is a view that can change over time. The slippers are silver like in the books and they did incorporate the china village, only you only see one of the people. There still are good witches, which don't exist. The plot made sense to me and wasn't confusing. The finale was pretty funny and clever on the characters' part.
Disney always has well developed characters even when they aren't good people. Oz is not a good person, he is a trickster and tries to kiss several different girls but gets interrupted a couple of times. He is not very nice to those who work for him and is willing to lie for power. He is told that he is a wizard from a prophecy and goes along with it even though he is not a wizard. Glinda might have been okay with him lying to give the people hope, but I couldn't quite hear what they said. He does grow throughout the movie in a good way, but he still is tricking people at the end, which is consistent with The Wizard of Oz. Glinda is pretty good and doesn't seem to really have any flaws. The wicked witch of the west becomes evil in this movie. It was sad because she was nice at the beginning of the movie and someone's lie is what brought her to it.
I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to people who like fantasy, origin stories, and The Wizard of Oz.