Disney has gone back to a classic story and created an enticing prequel to the events in The Wizard of Oz. The film takes cues from the original film by beginning in black and white, and even at a lower quality of filming. Once Oscar “Oz” ends up in the land of Oz, the film is in color, and even at a higher quality.
Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a travelling magician. Although he is a man of cheap tricks and theatrics, he dreams of greatness. After flirting with the Strongman’s wife, Oscar tries to escape in a hot air balloon, only to be sucked into a tornado. The famous tornado then spits him out, miraculously unharmed, in the land of Oz where he meets Theodora (played by Mila Kunis.) Theodora is one of the famous witches of Oz. Believing Oscar to be the wizard from the prophecy, she takes him back to the Emerald City to see her sister Evanora. Evanora is not as quick to believe Oscar is the wizard, and gives him the task of destroying the wicked witch to claim the title (and the gold) of being the Wizard of Oz. On his journey we encounter famous characters such as a flying monkey, a china doll, a lion, Glinda the good witch, munchkins and many other references. The film creates an intriguing story precluding to the events in the Wizard of Oz.
I don’t mind James Franco as an actor. He is a rather handsome man and has proved himself in the acting world. Through a lot of creativity, Disney has of course created another enjoyable family film. The film hosts a great cast including the leading witches played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. The previews show brief animated scenes of the witched witch, but you don’t get the full picture and story until you have seen the film.
I absolutely enjoyed this Disney take of the Wizard of Oz. There is an old cult classic done by Disney which I have not seen. I may have to check it out, and although I have only read the original Wizard of Oz, I learnt that there are quite a few other tales in the series. This makes me wonder if I had missed more references from the film, and may even clarify a few things. The character that most confused me was that of Evanora. Where she came from, what her role was and how much of a part she played throughout the saga. Although the film managed to squeeze in many references, one I was hoping to see were the infamous ruby red slippers. Not that I want Disney to ruin a good thing by creating sequels to prequels, but perhaps there is a number two? Doubtful, but its a thought.
Whether you are a fan of the Wizard of Oz or not, this is a great film for any age and is worth the watch.