Oz the Great and Powerful: Disney, I’m not impressed!

Published: March 26, 2013

Sorry, Sam Raimi! I wasn’t impressed with your version of this fairy tale. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

So Oz the Great and Powerful is out! Sam Raimi’s Oz serves as a prequel to the Wizard of Oz, so don’t expect to hear of Dorothy or of her faithful compatriots, the scarecrow, the tin man or the lion.

The reason for this is that Disney does not have the rights to portray any of the characters or mention those infamous red shoes in this movie, as they belong to Warner Brothers.

The story revolves around a young and enterprising conman (magician) who goes by the name of Oz (James Franco). A series of philandering events lead him to jump on a blimp as a means of escape, which causes a tornado and that lands him bang in the middle of the magical land of Oz.

Here, along with a host of other characters, he is introduced to three witches. The sexy Theodora (Mila Kunis), the radiant Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and the effervescent Glinda (Michelle Williams).

(Rachel Weisz as Evanora)

Not even the magical mirror could tell “who the wickedest of them all” was. This was definitely a good twist in the tale.

(Mila Kunis as Theodora)

The one part where Sam Raimi excels in is bringing characters from Oz’s time in Kansas and translating them brilliantly in his own fantasy land. However, it’s his lead actors that severely let him down.


James Franco is disingenuous at best. At no point does one feel the urge to root for him, or feel taken up with his feigned eccentricities. Mila Kunis’s biggest contribution to the tale is her looks and later transformation into the wicked witch! Rachel Weiz is just ordinary and I believe any of Hollywood’s props could have done a similar, if not better job.

(Michelle Williams as Glinda)

Through Michelle Williams, the audience gets a glimpse into how ‘great’ Oz could have been if the rest of the cast mirrored her brilliance. The lawyer aspect of her character is surely something to marvel at; it doesn’t say much about the two computer generated characters. Finley (the monkey who is voiced by Zach Braff) and a girl made of china (voiced by Joey King) are far more engaging than any of their human counterparts.

(The monkey and the china girl)

Sorry, Sam Raimi! I wasn’t impressed.

All in all, Disney would probably consider around 177 million dollars from the US box office  justification enough for adding Oz to the pantheon of series they currently hold the rights to. It is, after all, a numbers game.

If they pay for it, we will make it.

I, for one, would be quite happy if they cash in their chips and call it a day on Oz!

PHOTOS: http://www.facebook.com/OzTheGreatAndPowerful

Read more by Shehan here, or follow him on Twitter @ShehanRayer

Shehan Rayer

Shehan Rayer

Former writing enthusiast turned journalist turned Radio Jockey; still a writing enthusiast and a Radio Jockey. He tweets @ShehanRayer (twitter.com/ShehanRayer)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hassan

    It was a bad idea to make a prequel/sequel, or anything related to, the original classic Wizard of Oz.Recommend

  • Weird

    @Hassan: Tell that to Frank Baum! This movie is also an adaptation of the Oz series.Recommend

  • Saira

    I’m quite fed up of the way the classic fairy tales are being milked these days! Each one of them is disturbing to say the least. Recommend

  • Sana

    I agree totally. All the hype was aboit nothing. A thumbs down.Recommend

  • Unknown

    I liked the movie it was coolRecommend

  • Unknown

    way better than the original oz


  • eddevbn

    love itvb lolo lloyOIHH09vjfsewtrst##$#@%%%yitgu @$$%^(*$^%@!Recommend

  • Black Widow

    To the author on the title of this blog………….”And U are Barack Obama ! “Recommend

  • http://www.julieannbrown.com Julie Ann Brown

    I beg to differ with your view. Analyzing the film from a depth of human internal conflict for a men, it is is amazing. Oz shows love for his own Father who he felt was trapped into a life that never lead him away from the farm and ended in an early death. Oz wants to internally “live twice.” Once for his father and once for himself. In youth, he found arrogance and manipulation, but through the eyes of a child in his “bad boy” selfish phase, he began to find the path he always wanted, which was to make a “mark on the world.” He learned to not think about himself, but to reach out and find a “team” and in doing so achieved his goal of “Greatness.” However, he ultimately became something he never imagined he could be by caring about others, which was a “good and brave” man, and a “giver of gifts.” See it twice. The second time the film moves the heart beyond its normal travels.Recommend