PREVIEW: Thoughts on Oz: The Great and Powerful

So the full trailer for Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful has finally hit, and to say we are excited is an understatement.

L. Frank Baum’s land of Oz should be like the Bond films, an ongoing series with countless adventures set in that world. This is such a rich, iconic tale that it is hard to believe there have only been a few major cinematic adaptations prior to Sam Raimi’s prequel – the 1939 Judy Garland-starring classic and stirringly dark, unofficial follow on, Return to Oz in 1985 being the key features, but let’s not forget the completely sensational, The Wiz either. We hope that Disney’s prequel will be good enough to merit a potential series.

Returning to the original topic, here are our thoughts on the new trailer (in a handy bullet point format- aren’t we good to you?)

  • We are delighted that Oz is sticking to the traditional colour change – opening in Kansas in black and white with a smaller aspect ratio then transforming to beautiful full colour when reaching Oz. Just watch the trailer in 1080 dpi for the stunning full effect. It’s all so a further connection to the original for fanboys like us.
  • So many witches so little time. So many iconic, much-loved characters from the original film look like they have been perfectly recreated. Mila Kunis as Theodora (the iconic Wicked Witch of the West), Michelle Williams as Glinda (the Good Witch of the North), Rachel Weisz as Evanora (the Wicked Witch of the East, last seen crushed under Dorothy’s house in 1939) and not to mention the magnificent James Franco as Oscar Diggs (the future Wizard of Oz) – what perfect casting. And yes, we did just link to a Miquel Brown video.
  • Whilst the CGI looks stunning, call us nostalgic but there’s something a little phony about it. We prefer our flying monkeys to be played by small people in suits. Although, we cannot deny the newly created Oz looks beautiful.
  • Sam Raimi’s visual style – whilst Oz looks set to capture the bright, shiny side of Baum’s world, Raimi’s film also looks rather dark, fusing all that was good about the classic 1939 film and the hugely underrated 1985 follow on.
  • Zach Braff as a flying monkey sidekick. We’re sorry but, Braff annoys us – we like flying monkeys just not when they are voiced by Zach Braff – it just screams annoying sidekick. 

We’ve included the trailer below. Let us know if you agree with our thoughts.

(Photo: Collider)