“Oz: The Great and Powerful”- a modern look to a children’s classic

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Photo courtesy of Disney

The cast exploring the land of Oz.

“Oz: The Great and Powerful” is successful in bringing in a modern look to a children’s classic.

Disney starts off 2013 with a fresh and new spin on one of the greatest movies ever created. “Oz: The Great and Powerful” is directed by Sam Raimi and is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz”.

The story revolves around the origins of Oz and his journey in becoming the Wizard. James Franco plays Oscar Diggs, a.k.a. Oz. He is an illusionist and con man for a traveling circus.

During a tornado, Oscar is swept away in a hot air balloon and lands in Oz. The people see him as the Wizard who is prophesied to help bring peace and joy to their land.

He also meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams) who see Oscar’s real personality that is filled with greed and selfishness.

Amidst all of the celebration there is an evil in the land, which Oscar must face. Using the magic he knows and the art of illusion, Oscar becomes the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.

The special effects and the massive use of CGI makes it for a visual masterpiece.

It also makes you really appreciate the original “Wizard of Oz” even more. The original was made in 1939. It was made with less technology and it still holds as a high standard to movies being made today.

Much like the original movie, Oz is joined on his journey by two unique characters. Joey King and Zach Braff are the special glue that holds the film together.

King plays China Girl, a glass doll whose village was attacked by the evil witch. Braff plays Finley, a winged monkey who is in debt to Oz. King provides a playful and child-like feature to the journey while Braff provides timely comedic relief.

Despite it being a Disney movie, some content may have not been suitable for children. For one, the wicked witch scene proved to be slightly frightening for the children who were in attendance. With that being said, good and evil was clearly defined. Also, the movie made the older audience laugh when they happened to catch the adult innuendo.

“The Great and Powerful Oz” is a great film that relates to modern times by also pays tribute to a time-honored classic.