Oz the Great and Powerful is Disney’s new imagining of the class L. Frank Baum tale Wizard of Oz, providing a backstory to the iconic story. The movie follows the beginnings of Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a down-on-his-luck illusionist who relies on his charm as well as some shady practices to get ahead. When a powerful twister roles through town, Oscar is transported to the land of Oz, where he is assumed to be a long-anticipated wizard. Oscar encounters three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), and Oscar suddenly finds that the fate of Oz is in is hands.
Oz the Great and Powerful is an imaginative tale of good and evil, and of human failings that create unimaginable consequences. Beyond the engaging story, though, the film is a lush and fantastical journey into another world, artistically told through cutting-edge CGI. It’s hard to imagine anyone not being blown away by the impressive scenery of this film, and the 3-D effects are truly stunning. The characters draw us in to the story, but the cinematography is breathtaking as well. I saw the movie with my 8-year-old son and both of us gave it two thumbs up. I’m typically not a fan of the fantasy genre but really enjoyed this movie.
This movie has a broad appeal, and I suspect it will be a popular movie for families to see together. There is action and adventure that will appeal to young boys, and girls who love princesses will likely be enchanted by the beautiful witches. But before you buy your ticket, you may need to contemplate your child’s maturity level and whether or not they are old enough for some of the film’s scarier themes. I’m going to try to do my best to break down the areas of concerns that parents might have without giving away any major spoilers.
In my opinion, this movie is appropriate for older children due to the frightening elements in the movie. I would enthusiastically recommend this movie to families with children ages 13 and up. I would exercise caution for children ages 6-12, depending on maturity level. I would not recommend this movie to children 5 and under.
Oz the Great and Powerful opens in theaters March 8th.