I am not usually taken aback by a film, but Oz the Great and Powerful was a film the whole family can enjoy. It showed us how to look inside ourselves and although we may strive for greatness, we often overlook the inner strength that is already there. I was pleasantly surprised buy the use of graphics in this film. Although, at times, I did fell like I had fallen on to Pandora and was waiting for a big blue cat creature to come out of the woods. Oz was beautiful and Raimi kept very true to the original while giving us a new vision of the fabled land.
Seeing this for the first time, and never having seen Wicked, I really didn’t know how most of the early story came to be. This helped to put together some of the missing pieces while building the great wizard into the man he was destined to be. This is one of those films where you know the outcome, but the journey to that realization was a good one. I especially enjoyed the well written parallels between the characters back home and his new friends.
I saw this in 3D. Generally, I am not a big fan of movies jumping out at me around every corner, but this wasn’t like that. Yes, of coarse there were a few moments but at points I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride right there with Franco! They utilized the 3D to bring you into the story ,rather than just to poke you with it. SPOILER ALERT*** At one point, they are dancing and it feels like you are in Francos arms right there in Oz.
The animated characters were something I was afraid of. In the previews, I saw a weird little girl doll and a flying monkey… WHAT!!! Oh crap, these are going to be the annoying comic relief to make the kids laugh… At least that is what I thought. The Monkey and the doll were integral to the wizards character arc and although they did pose as the comic relief at times, it wasn’t over the top.
All three witches did good job. I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics between the sisters and learning a little more about how the Wicked Witch became green and so evil. Franco is always a solid bet in my book and he never lets me down. One person that I felt was overshadowed in this film was Zach Braff. He is in the first part of the film and is the voice of the monkey throughout the remainder. His light comedic style really brought his characters to life and ensured that you didn’t take them too seriously unless you needed too.
Excellent visuals, beautiful sets, amazing acting, and a well written script. I would definitely recommend seeing this. More than once… probably. Will I buy it… maybe in $7.50 Blu-Ray bin. $9.99 tops. Absolutely worth a look, though.