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How Wicked Is She? Countdown to “Oz: The Great and Powerful” from Walt Disney Studios

Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis in "OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL"
Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis in “OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL”

How do I begin…?

Frightened. My childhood was without the original “Wizard of Oz” for many years as it was one of those movies my mother would not let me watch when it came on TV. Except for my Grandmother who let me do a few things that I wasn’t permitted to otherwise, like seeing this movie at her house. Oh, boy, did I have nightmares. The Wicked Witch of the East scared me so badly when I was a kid that my mother was not thrilled I had seen it. Of course, she was very overprotective, which today I look back and think she conditioned me to be afraid of the wicked witch before I even saw her on TV. But even today, that movie still haunts me, I hear Miss Gulch riding her bike and that music, dun dun dun dun dun dunnnn… then the flying monkeys, the cackling laugh and finally the end when she melts… I still feel those same little girl frightened emotions today as I did back then which is the mark of a great movie – evoking a response from the audience, engaging the audience and making memories that one does not forget… as it is age appropriate of course.

Fast forward to being a parent myself, and picking which movies I will allow my child to watch. By the time I was an adult, I was into more horror and scary movies (because I was denied them growing up?). My son and I found going to the movies one of the things we did together, sitting in silence and then afterwards, talking about our favorite parts were. It became a ritual from the time when he was very young to today, only now he is also in the entertainment industry and our conversations include more technical aspects of the film as we talk about our favorite parts of the story, acting and so on.

Michelle Williams in “OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL”

Fast-forward to today with this new film coming from Walt Disney Studios, “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” There are some twists as James Franco’s character, Oscar Diggs, a circus magician is transported from Kansas to the colorful Land of Oz. There are three witches in this one but “Which Witch is Which?” (saw this on the FB page of the movie). Mila Kunis is Theodora, Rachel Weisz is Evanora, and Michelle Williams is Glinda. Even though Franco’s character starts out being a bit shady, he is pulled into the world of Oz and tries to figure out who is good and who is evil and as all great Disney movies go, he even becomes a better man for it.


Sam Raimi (director) brings together the elements that we all remember from the original movie including the flying monkeys and the Munchins (pictured above) but with some new and unexpected moments and a palette of colors and scenery beyond what we have seen in the past.

Flashback to the original movie which did not do that well in the box office but in 1956  was released again to the public as a telecast and then became an annual event played on TV making it the most watched movie of all time. That makes seeing this new treatment by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire one to look forward to, a new twist on a beloved classic albeit a scary one for me.

Who knows, this might not only break the box office but become the version of the tale of “The Wizard of Oz” that I can remember without fear but with wonderment?

About Disney’s Fantasy Adventure: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (in Digital 3D)

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until 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 but into a better man as well.