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Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

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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.

Director:

Sam Raimi

Writers:

Mitchell Kapner (screenplay), David Lindsay-Abaire (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,415 ( 505)
6 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franco ... Oz
Mila Kunis ... Theodora / Wicked Witch of the West
Rachel Weisz ... Evanora
Michelle Williams ... Annie / Glinda
Zach Braff ... Frank / Finley
Bill Cobbs ... Master Tinker
Joey King ... Girl in Wheelchair / China Girl
Tony Cox ... Knuck
Stephen R. Hart ... Winkie General
Abigail Spencer ... May (as Abigail Leigh Spencer)
Bruce Campbell ... Winkie Gate Keeper
Ted Raimi ... Skeptic in Audience
Tim Holmes ... Strongman
Toni Wynne ... Strongman's Wife
Rob Crites Rob Crites ... Firebreather
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The land you know. The story you don't. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brick See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$215,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,110,453, 10 March 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$234,911,825, 13 September 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$493,311,825, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oz's assistant Frank is named for "Oz" creator L. Frank Baum. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Front Gate Barker: Hurry, hurry, step this way. Get your tickets now. Don't be shut out, friend. Step this way. See the most wondrous sights imaginable. pulled from the four corners of the Earth. Acts to delight, to thrill and to mystify! Walk through these gates and into the world of wonder.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are seen in a 1930s nickelodeon, with certain credits having their own qualities:
  • James Franco's credit appears in a puff of smoke
  • Mila Kunis' credit appears alongside a couple dancing (whose shadow turns into that of the Wicked Witch)
  • Rachel Weisz's credit is held by monkeys
  • Michelle Williams' credit is contained within a bubble
  • Zach Braff's credit appears with a puppet of Finley
  • the make-up credits Greg Nicotero and Howard Bergman are seen with an eye mask
  • VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk's credit is seen within an optical illusion
  • composer Danny Elfman's credit is seen with a trumpet
  • the costume designers' credits are seen fitting clothes on an elephant
  • production designer Robert Stromberg's credit is seen in China Town
  • cinematographer Peter Deming's credit is seen with the projector
  • the screenwriters' credit is seen within a tornado
  • and director Sam Raimi's credit is seen within a crystal ball.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was also shown in 3D. Some shots displaying 3D effects are exclusive to the 3D version, being altered or removed in the 2D cut. See more »

Connections

Follows Tales of the Wizard of Oz (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

The Munchkin Welcome Song
Music written by Danny Elfman
Lyrics written by David Lindsay-Abaire
Performed by Danny Elfman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
From The Evil Dead to Disney....
10 March 2013 | by Matt_LaydenSee all my reviews

A magician finds himself transported to the magical land of Oz, where witches, flying monkeys and yellow brick roads exist. He is mistaken for the saviour of Oz and must decide whether or not to stay and be king, or leave and find his way home.

I love Sam Raimi, the man and his invented work with a camera are what made me want to get into filmmaking in the first place. So to see him handling big projects like this (and Spiderman) was a joy for me to see. Oz the Great & Powerful is a CGI heavy film that demands a creative eye behind the lens. After his work on big budget films like Spiderman, it seemed like an easy choice for Raimi to be the one behind Oz and for the most part, it works. The films shortcomings keep it from being really magical and memorable, like the original from 39, but Oz has enough whimsy to keep the kids entertained and the adults smiling.

The land of Oz is indeed magical, with vibrant colours around every corner, memorable spots like the poppy fields and the dark forest for us older viewers, but even in saying all that I can't help but feel how fake it all is. This film suffers from the same troubles that plagued Burton's Alice in Wonderland, the visuals, although great for the story, add no sense of realism to the image. I hate overly used CGI in films to the point of noticing the awkward placement of actors in front of the green screen. The first major offender of this is Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, none of the actors made me believe they were in the settings they were. Both Wonderland and Oz have this same feeling.

While I'm getting the negatives out of the way, I must say that what everyone is saying about Mila Kunis is true, she was miscast in this role. I think she was chosen more for her beauty and star power than her acting abilities, which is sad cause it looks like she really is trying here. The story for her character here is a sad one and the second half I think suffers a bit because the threat from her is not really present. I don't really know why I'm tip-toeing around the issue because those who know The Wizard of Oz, know that Dorothy kills one witch with her house and the other with water, leaving Glinda the good witch in a bubble as the saviour. Seeing the Kunis character go in the direction she does didn't really effect me as much as I wanted it to. Consider that the failure of the script more so than the actors. Not enough time is really given to her for her transformation to affect the viewer.

The film opens in black & white and and the transformation to colour had a smile on my face. Despite the "fakeness" of some of the scenes (not all) Raimi does a decent job of not letting the effects overpower the film. Raimi steers the film in the right direction, but it is James Franco's shoulders it has to rest on. He is the type of actor that comes off as not really caring. It works in some films like Pineapple Express and he does manage to turn in some great performances, look at 127 days or Freaks & Geeks for that. Unfortunately I don't know if he has enough charisma and power to command a film like this. At times it looked like he was in the role, other times it felt like he couldn't care. Maybe it's his acting style, I can't really put my finger on it, but clearly Raimi sees something in him because he has worked with him previously on the Spiderman films.

Where the acting does work, marvellously and in every scene is Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Two polar opposites that look like they actually enjoy the characters and the movie they are in. They elevate the material a bit to make the drama more tangible. Whereas without them I think the film would have fallen more flat. The drama and character choices didn't really bring me into the story. The film didn't feel like it took chances, or tried to have complex situations for the characters. It had mapped out beats, hit them and marched on.

It was nice seeing some nice Raimi touches in the final product. More than 25 years later and I still smile when I see Bruce Campbell getting hit in the face, knowing full well that it is Sam Raimi on the other end of the camera hitting him. Surprisingly, moments did indeed feel Evil Deadish to me, with the flying witches holding out their hands in a deadite possession form. But I digress. Oz is a good film, with weaknesses that bring it down. Raimi and two witches try their best to elevate some bland material and in the end we are left with a film that is neither great, nor memorable....just satisfactory enough.


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