"Oz, The Great and Powerful": Not In Kansas Anymore

  • March 04, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

One can only imagine what will come of this.  If you take one of the greatest and most beloved movies ever made and combine it with the amazing talents and genius found at Disney Studios, mix carefully, then you will have “Oz, the great and Powerful”.  Using the series of books by Frank L. Baum (to which Disney owns the rights) as creative inspiration, Disney has taken a classic tale that virtually everyone knows and now will take that story one step further, to a time and place before the original Wizard of Oz ever took place, making it a sort of prequel to the original film.

Of course you’ll want to see it--after all, we’ve been waiting for decades to get the skinny on all things Wizard, Oz, Witches and Munchkins…right?  Before you head into the theatres to see what promises to be another epic Disney classic, there are a few things you oughta know.

In order to make things all legal schmaegle with Warner Brothers (who owns the rights to the original Wizard of Oz movie), Disney had to tread carefully through Frank L. Baum’s original stories, being forced to abandon some of the more notable and iconic parts of the original film that Warner Brothers still holds the rights to. 

Ruby slippers?  Forget about them as you won’t be seeing them in this film, but the good news is you won’t miss them, as this film delves into the time period long before Dorothy shows up anyway, and thus the film has no mention of her fabulous red footwear.  Interestingly enough, in the book series the special shoes are silver, not red.  The ruby slippers were just the best way imaginable back in 1939 to show off the new features of fabulous Technicolor!

The Wicked Witch of the West. This babe obviously is a huge as well as integral part of the tale at large here, but Theodora’s image (and skin tone) had to get a bit of a makeover for this film in order to not appear too much like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.  A greenish makeup skin shade named after her (and Frankenstein) called “Theostein” was created just for her and did indeed make all the lawyers happy.

Yellow Brick Road.  In “Oz The Great and Powerful”, the road is there, but without all the singing and skipping down it as you saw in “The Wizard of Oz”.  The new director added his own vision and stylizing of the road with clever mood changes such as in the Dark Forest, where you can expect to see heavy growth and a pretty broken up yellow road.

Munchkins.  The Munchkins depicted in “Oz, the Great and Powerful” are a much more ethnically diverse bunch than in the original “Wizard of Oz” film, with many more ethnicities being represented, including some African-American as well as Asian munchkins.  They manage to still make them all look really goofy, however.

Flying Monkeys.  Remember the Wicked Witch’s formidable, flying bodyguards?  In “Oz, the Great and Powerful” these dudes have become even scarier as snarly looking baboons with giant and very sharp-looking teeth! 

Don’t miss this long-awaited Disney film that is sure to finally tell the tale we’ve waited to hear for generations.  “Oz, The Great And Powerful” is set to hit a theatre near you on March 8, 2013.