Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

I’ve loved The Wizard of Oz since about 3rd or 4th grade, first because I read the book and then I was introduced to the movie. I read Wicked during high school, memorized all of the songs from the musical and saw the musical on Broadway this past spring. 
I like the merry old land of Oz.
So when I heard this movie was coming out, I was thrilled. I was floored. I could. not. wait. With my anticipation growing the weeks coming up to it’s release, I hoped I wasn’t building my expectations up only to be disappointed. 
Guess what…
I wasn’t!
It was everything I wanted it to be and more. A lot of times, it was the little things. Oz’s assistant’s name is Frank which is a reference to the author of the Oz books, Frank L. Baum. He also works for Baum Brother’s Circus. Glinda kisses Oz on the forehead for protection which is a reference from the books. And they included the little china figures! I was always in love with them in the book and was sad that they weren’t in the 1939 film. Even though they weren’t very nice to Dorothy, I was in love with the idea of an entire village made of porcelain. I can’t explain how much I loved these little references. 
Speaking of The Wizard of Oz (1939), that is why there are so many book references. All elements that are original to The Wizard of Oz movie are owned by Warner Brothers but the Oz books are public domain. Disney was not allowed to use anything of the iconic elements down to the costuming of the Wicked Witch of the West. Her shade of green had to be different and even the chin mole wasn’t allowed to be in the film. Movie politics… whatcha gonna do?! For more random facts like this visit IMDB’s trivia page on the movie.
For you Wicked fans, brush up on your Wizard of Oz knowledge. The plot is based on the works of Frank L. Baum, not the book by Gregory Maguire. I love the musical and the book isn’t bad, but I’m all for originals.
I saw this in 2D and was blown away. If it was that good in 2D, I wonder what it would be like in 3D! The colors were bright and bold in Oz, which is fitting for a land over the rainbow.

A word on a few of the actors:

Mila Kunis/Theodora: Am I the only one who can’t see anyone but Jackie Burkhart when she appears on the screen? In the Book of Eli… Jackie Burkhart. While she get’s a bit better later on in the film, (without ruining a bit of the plot, I can’t tell you why) she still bothered me.

James Franco/Oz: Other than this, I’ve only seen him in the Spider-Man films so I don’t know how usually is in films but I really liked him in this. The character of Oz is a liar, cheat, and con man. According to IMDB, Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. were also considered for this role. I love Johnny Depp and think he is great in any role he accepts, but I don’t think he would have been right for this. His characters are usually more quirky. Robert Downey Jr., however, would have been perfect for this role as well.

Joey King/China King: LOVE LOVE LOVE this character. That’s all. She’s my favorite. She had great lines… I just can’t even…
Jack Braff/Finley: Finley is adorable and comical and I want one! Some great moments with this little guy!
My advice: I left this movie feeling like a child floating on cloud nine. Go watch it. 
My rating: ★★★★★ 
                       

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