The Disney film “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a spectacular fantasy based on the beloved classic series. Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a magician for a traveling circus in Kansas. In a comedic escape, he hitches a ride on a tornado into the world of Oz, where he meets a witch. She, along with all the people of this world, is overjoyed with his arrival: they think he has come to save them. He meets good witches and bad, little girls and flying monkeys. There is love, betrayal, loyalty, and greed. His adventure though Oz is magical, but is it really all that interesting?
The special effects and costume design did blow me away. Their beauty was breathtaking at times, but as with many movies that are meant to be watched in 3D, the 2D aftershock was disappointing and cheesy. While the characters excelled in looks, they lacked personality. Oscar was written as a charming, dramatic magician, but he acted more like a five-year-old. His character was not at all likable, and when the movie ended, it didn’t leave me with any love or sympathy for him; I was almost rooting for the villains.
I could not take him seriously, and the same goes for the witches. Although I have much to say about their casting (or the whole movie’s, for that matter), their back story was interesting and really held the movie together. Compared with the witches’, Oz’s story is rather dull; I felt myself getting sleepy while watching. I think what kept my eyes open were the connections between this movie and the original series. I do recommend “Oz the Great and Powerful” to fans of the series for that reason. But if it’s a classic Disney film you want, it’s easier to look for Oz yourself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.