Sam Raimi debuted the first footage from the highly anticipated "Oz The Great and Powerful" at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, and -- as you can see in the trailer above -- it did not disappoint.

Based on the characters created by L. Frank Baum in "The Wizard of Oz," Raimi's film is a prequel of sorts to the events of the famed story -- as a result, don't expect appearances from Tin Man, Cowardly Lion or Scarecrow; Dorothy's famed ruby slippers won't get screen time either. It's a legal issue, as Raimi told Comic-Con attendees: "[The ruby slippers] are imagery unique to the [original] MGM film, so no, they don't make an appearance in this one."

James Franco stars in "Oz The Great and Powerful" as Oscar Diggs, a small-time magician-slash-con artist, who gets sucked into the world of Oz during a fantastical black-and-white prologue. Once there, he encounters all sorts of bizarre creatures, as well as three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).

The footage shown in the Comic-Con trailer is dense, with lots of visual-effect tomfoolery and a sense of fun that gets enhanced by Franco's bewildered charm.

Some film writers in attendance at Comic-Con weren't totally on board with "Oz" -- Hollywood.com's Matt Patches bemoaned the overuse of CGI -- but the brief trailer is certainly promising. Expect to see plenty more about this film between now and its March 8, 2013 release date.

For more on "Oz The Great and Powerful," head over to ETOnline.com. Watch in HD over at Apple.

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