A frustrated circus magician from Kansas is transported to a magical land called Oz, where he will have to fulfill a prophecy to become the king, and release the land from the Wicked Witches using his great (but fake) powers.
Oscar Diggs ('James Franco'), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well. Written by
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The film opens in sepia-tone academy ratio for the Kansas scenes, before widening out and blooming into full color in Oz. However, even the Kansas scenes are 3-D (when screened appropriately). Monochrome 3-D films are exceptionally rare, and the Kansas portion of this film is believed to be the longest sepia-tone sequence in modern 3-D. See more »
When Oz is telling Glinda his battle plan, he hands her a book. She thumbs through the book. In the process, you see the exact same page appear twice. It is the one with the trick box diagram. The wording on the pages is exactly the same. See more »
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The opening credits are seen in a 1930s nickelodeon, with certain credits having their own qualities:
Oz the Great and Powerful tells the story of how the great wizard Oz from the Wizard of Oz came to be. It follows the young Oz (James Franco) as he is swept away to an enchanted land ending up in the middle of a power struggle between three witches. The young Oz is a trickster who deceives those he wants and/or needs for his own ends. This attitude has consequences and those consequences are what drives the story forward.
James Franco plays the young Oz brilliantly. The character is a shallow small time magician and the story shows how he comes full circle to be the Great and Powerful Oz from the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately his change happens after taking a grievous toll. The three witches who Oz comes to affect are: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Rachel Weisz (Evanora), and Glinda (Michelle Williams). The three play their parts and give a great performance to add to their resume.
For those who watched and loved the Wizard of Oz in their childhood this movie is the perfect prequel. Watching it as an adult was a treat. The writers did well to adapt the script to make it a worthy prequel. In addition movie does well to entertain both children and adults. It slots in perfectly as the precursor to the Wizard of Oz.
The film didn't have the best reception but I encourage you to ignore this. The directing is probably the weakest link in this movie, but the story and actors more than make up for this. The character development is amazing and shows exactly why things were they way they are in the Wizard of Oz. Simply stated Oz the Great and Powerful is truly a prefect prequel.
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