I’ve always loved The Wizard of Oz. The film and the books. Like a lot of people, I think Judy Garland’s “Somewhere over the rainbow” is one of the best songs in film. the books were fantastic, L. Frank Baum’s imagination was amazing. So when I heard that Disney was doing a prequel to the film, I was a little skeptical. Overall, Oz gets a C/B from me. Here’s a few reasons why you should, or shouldnt, go see it:
There are some seriously freaky flying monkeys. Seriously. Freaky
Anyways, story-wise, there’s Oz, Glinda, Evanora and Theodora. Also sidekicks Finley and China Girl. The movie opens with the original black and white and turns to color once Oz gets to.. Oz. Oz is pretty much a self-centered ladies man.
So Oz makes the strong man at the circus mad, ends up escaping to a balloon and getting sucked up into a tornado, and ends up in Oz. There he meets the beautiful (annnnnd evil) Theodora (Mila Kunis). And of course he has to dance with her, and kiss her. Which definitely comes back to haunt him later. When Theodora turns into the Wicked Witch of the West. OOPS I SPILLED THE BEANS. No I didnt. Just look at your friendly neighborhood imdb page. It’ll tell you the same thing.
So Theodora and Evanora are the two evil sisters.
Evanora plays Theodora, makes her eat an apple to turn her into a green super powerful and crazy witch. Then Oz and Glinda have to kick them out of the emerald city. You get the idea.
Yeah they’re an “item”.
Overall the movie is a good movie. Its just not a great one. The animation played well for the most part. There were some funny shots of Franco holding China Girl, where she wasnt sitting right in his hand or whatever. But seriously, Finley is the cutest flying monkey I’ve ever seen. I don’t know why the writers didn’t write everyone like Finley.
Unlike Dorothy, Oz doesnt seem to outwardly learn a lesson. Except maybe a little humility. but he still gets the girl and the gold. So he’s not really being punished. Dorothy had to go kill a witch. She had to learn to overcome her fears and frustrations and just do it. Oz has to overcome his deception towards others. Which is great, you should definitely do that.
Here are some things I wasnt too thrilled about:
– Oz was so much of a playboy. There was also a bit of sexual innuendo at the end of the film between him and Glinda and a “tight space” <insert groan here> really?
– I really wish just that just once they would recognize that in the books the Witch could only use the Flying Monkeys three times. And they never failed. Not like the defective ones in this movie. Also Dorothy totally finds the cap that controls the monkeys after the witch dies. Then she uses them.
– Danny Elfman is a fantastic composer. But the song that the munchkins sang to Oz did not play. A lot of the music seemed too Tim Burton-y to me. I just thought that maybe they could include a teeny tiny hint of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” somewhere in the film. But Nooooooo.
-They shouldve established that Evanora was the Wicked Witch of the East. So we know that it was her that gets squished by the house, and don’t just assume so.
I just hope that Disney isn’t planning a total redo of The Wizard of Oz. I dont think there’s any way they can make it better than the original, unless they made it more like the book. Which they cant really do because of how much they changed the story in this one.
In closing, Oz is ok. Will kids enjoy it? Sure, if the flying monkeys dont scare the pee out of them. Will adults? Probably. Will adults who love the books like it? Well, probably not.
Peace, love, and Monkeys in hats
P.S. Brown dog thinks that a flying monkey is the worst idea ever. Munchkins on the other hand.. awesome.