OZ the Great and Powerful does have some similarities to the original Wizard of Oz books. The movie starts in a medium format black and white framed screen. You wont see any color scenes until the Oscar Diggs makes it to Oz. Also like the original movies characters from his life in Kansas are represented in the characters he meets and befriends in Oz.
James Franco plays Oscar Diggs, or Oz and is swept away in a hot air balloon to Oz by way of Tornado (sounds familiar right). Once there he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis) and is sent on a quest to eliminate the Wicked Witch and save Oz in order to become the Wizard. Oscar is just a conman from the circus – can he actually be the wizard that the people of Oz have been looking for?
The movie has fantastic graphics and was well done for 3-D viewing. I would say there were a couple of missed opportunities in the 3-D but overall it was stunning. The world of Oz is spectacular vibrant with flowers made of jewels and ones that open as you go by.
Oz the Great and Powerful is rated PG – however there are some startling moments and some scary activity that might frighten younger viewers. That being said there were some small children in the theater at the preview and they didn’t have a problem with the film. I just know that Return to Oz scared me for years, and this had some similar frightening moments in film.
If you’re a fan of the Frank L. Baum books you wont be disappointed in the film. There are plenty of nods to the author and the original story. Oscar Diggs is a magician in the Baum Brother’s Circus. His love interest is Annie Gale – obviously related to Dorothy! Overall the movie was fantastic and I will end up having to see it again before it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray.
Another awesome fact about the movie – it was filmed completely here in Michigan! The movie was shot in the film studios in Pontiac, and while it was the cast were temporary residents of the Metro-Detroit area. Several local extras were in the movie – and that right there is a good enough reason to see it!