Judy Garland stole hearts everywhere when she brought the legendary adventure of small town Kansas girl Dorothy Gale to life in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Arguably, many feel that this historic film is one that shouldn’t be tainted by another Hollywood money scheme, so when it was announced that Disney would be taking a trip back to Oz, many were skeptical.
Tomorrow, March 8th, Disney is releasing that adventure to the public in the form of Oz The Great and Powerful, a new adventure directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Drag Me to Hell) that delves into the history of Oz before Dorothy dropped a house on anyone.
Ozfollows the tale of Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a less-than-ethical circus magician swept away from dreary Kansas and into the mystical Land of Oz. It’s here that Diggs believes fame and fortune will be his until he meets three witches, Evanora (Rachel Weisz), Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are remain skeptical of his claim to be the great wizard everyone expects. Soon, Diggs is swept up into the very real problems the Land of Oz and its inhabitants face, forced to decide who is good and who is evil before its too late.
The 2013 prequel tells the tale of the great wizard from L. Frank Baum’s imagined world before he became the man behind the curtain. Familiar places and elements like the Emerald City, the yellow-brick road and flying monkeys are all present in Oz,although some not in the way you would imagine. But audiences will have the opportunity to meet new characters and learn more about those they already believe they understand.
As a person who grew up with The Wizard of Oz being a necessary movie adventure at least five times a year, I’m more than excited to check out this prequel. I’m excited to see what modern technology has done to make the Land of Oz even more vibrant and alive that the technology of 1939 was just unable to do. Also, a big fan of Weisz, Williams and Kunis, I’m looking forward to see how each actress brings the three witches to life on screen. If there’s anyone in modern film who can make Glinda as wholesome and terrifying as I’ve always imagined her character, it’s Williams. Add all that in with the fact that I get to learn more about the famous wizard and his true origins (despite my lack of enthusiasm for Franco) and my little Oz-loving heart is fit to be tied.
All I have left to hope for is a cameo made by the grumpy apple trees.