Oz the Great and Powerful

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis. Directed by Sam Raimi.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This imaginative prequel to The Wonderful World of Oz based on the fantasy adventure, created by L. Baum in the 1930ís, features Oscar Diggs (Franco), a carnival con artist claiming to be a magician. Just like Dorothy, Oscar leaves Kansas in a hot air balloon lifted up by big black cloud of dust. He is transported to the magical Land of Oz and the Emerald City. One by one, Oscar meets three beautiful witches, Glinda (Williams), Evanora (Weisz) and Theodora (Kunis), along with hundreds of munchkins, and a flying monkey (Zach Braff). Some are threatened by Oscarís unexpected arrival and some see him as hope for restoring peace. However, all agree that this former loser might be the new Wizard of Oz.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Thanks to computer-generated imagery, the spectacular special effects alone are worth the price of admission. Like the original movie, this prequel begins in black and white, until the brilliance of Oz lights up the screen. The humor and bumbling actions of Franco, playing a most unlikely hero, add to the fun. Beware, however, that monstrous flying monkeys are scary, as well as the constant danger that threatens the lives of all. Underneath the action, lies a strong theme of redemption and hope. Oscar is chased out of Kansas because he pretends to be something he is not. The false hope he gives a crippled child and her parents, who have misplaced their hope for healing in a magician, weighs heavily on Oscarís conscious. Once he arrives in the Emerald City, he cannot convince the community that he has no special magical powers.

While Oz the Great and Powerful delivers stunning old-fashioned entertainment, 130 minutes may discourage parents bringing squirmy youngsters. In fact, many adults attending the press screening agreed it was 20 or 30 minutes too long.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Walt Disney Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Some intense action scenes as the citizens of the Emerald City fight to save their city; scary scenes of the witches, huge bird attacks, computer-generated action might frighten very young children.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Generally a feel-good, entertaining experience with good conquering evil

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: The young and young-at-heart

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