Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Walt Disney

Directed by:

Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3)


James Franco as Oz; Mila Kunis as Theodora; Rachel Weisz as Evanora; Michelle Williams as Glinda; with the voices of Joey King as China Girl and Zach Braff as Finley the Flying Monkey

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Oz the Great and Powerful

Oscar “Oz” Diggs is a magician who uses tricks and trapdoors to entertain the crowds. But that doesn’t stop him from dreaming of becoming a great man, which he defines as being wealthy and important.

One day, the not-quite-great-yet Oz gets caught kissing another man’s wife. He jumps aboard a hot air balloon for a quick escape, only to cross paths with a tornado that carries him to a strange, colorful land called Oz.

The people have been waiting for a powerful wizard to appear. All Oz has to do is get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West, and he’ll have more money and power than he’s ever dreamed of.

Fans of the classic film The Wizard of Oz will remember Glinda’s first line, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” As in many fantasy stories, magic is used by both “good” and evil characters—the witches of Oz levitate and throw powerful lightning bolts and fire bombs. One character eats a poisoned apple that withers her heart. Flying monkeys are drugged by the smell of magical poppies.

There are a few frightening moments for younger viewers. The tornado is quite intense, whipping objects at the camera. The Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys are scarier than in the classic 1939 Oz film. The forest is full of sharp-toothed plants that stare hungrily at travelers.

Oz likes to be liked . . . especially by women. We see him flirt with, dance with and kiss several girls, only to run away when things get serious (or when their boyfriends find out).

Once Glinda gets to know Oz, she realizes that he’s a trickster and calls him “weak, selfish, slightly egotistical and a fibber.” However, he also has the power to inspire hope. With the help of his new friends, Oz learns to use his talents to bring out the best in others, slowly becoming the “wonderful wizard” we all know. He’s still a fraud and a liar, but he has a good heart and is slowly becoming a better man.

So how does Oz the Great and Powerful compare to other Oz stories? Moms and dads who fondly remember the Judy Garland, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” version should be prepared for an Oz that is even more beautiful . . . and more dangerous. Meanwhile, fans of the musical “Wicked” will find an Oz that is similarly sinister (but it might be time for a serious talk about magic and spirituality). Overall, this latest journey to Oz offers fun, excitement and solid lessons about what it truly means to be “great and powerful.”

Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com