As I sat watching Oz the Great and Powerful last night, I knew I was watching history. This movie will be a classic; one our children, our children's children and even their children will enjoy and talk about for years to come. The movie is a prequel at its best, laying out for us everything we would need to know to understand L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Oscar Diggs might surprise you -- he's seems to be a very bad man but quite a powerful magician, or wizard some might say. But if you remember back to The Wizard of Oz, he actually explains himself as "A very good man, just a very bad wizard." This is a long road for Oscar, the would-be great and powerful King of Oz.
Throughout Oz the Great and Powerful his mentor Glinda the Good and all his Munchkinland friends lift him up to help him find the light that lies inside him while he educates them in illusion and sleight of hand. Together, they work to find a happy medium that will keep them alive.
Theodora the Good Witch is a young girl, innocent and full of hope. She believes that the prophecy will one day come true and the Great Wizard will come from the heavens to save the people of Oz. If she can find true love during this time all the better, because she has a big heart and she deserves it. She can be his Queen and rule at his side. What could go wrong?
During these moments I knew history had been made. The audience will shed tears for poor misguided Theodora because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And suddenly the entire series will make sense and you'll have a new layer to cause you inner conflict.
There are other interesting "that explains it" moments as well. We get up close and personal with The Cowardly Lion and find out what spooked him into being afraid of his own shadow. We get to know the Tin Man's father and the creators of the Scarecrow and learn more about Munchkinland.
Most of all, as the title explains, we are introduced to Oz the Great and Powerful. He is a womanizing con man, out for no one but himself. We'll watch as he grows into a man destined to achieve not just greatness, but goodness. And he'll teach us that while you might not be what everyone expected, that doesn't mean you can't still get the job done with the tools you've been provided.
The movie stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Rachel Weisz and Joey King.
Oz the Great and Powerful comes to theaters Friday March 8th.