[Warning, May contain spoilers.]
As a child, I distinctly remember one of my only non-Disney favorite films to watch was 'The Wizard of Oz'. So much so there is still a (rather worn out) VHS in my old bedroom at my parents house. That being said it was a given that I had to see 'Oz, The Great and Powerful' - not only a prequel to said film but a Disney production at that!
If you haven't seen the trailer, check it out here first then read on! :)
From the opening scene, I was already enthralled in the story line.Shown as a black and white film (similarly to The Wizard of Oz) and set at a traditional, old-fashioned traveling carnival there were lots to look at and take in. A theme from here continued right through the entire film, alongside the overwhelming attention to detail in scene settings, costumes and especially the CGI.
Although I chose to see it in 2D, there was plenty going on at almost all times to make the 3D more than worth it. Even in-between main scenes there were things like leaves falling and goings on in the background to keep an eye on.
On the subject of the special effects, I have to say that (not surprisingly) they were probably one of the highest standards I've seen as of late! From the insanely life-like lion to the evil emitting baboons I found the whole world of Oz a perfect use of CGI, going against the views of popular movie reviewers who have stated it as overused. Surely they understand that the point of this land is to be fantastical and unreal, not just set and filmed in any old woods?!
I myself found many comparisons with the new land of Oz and the famous 'Wonderland' of Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Bright colours, weird creatures and one point that especially jumped out to me were the glowing eyes in the woods - meaning obviously I was in love, Alice being my favorite movies of all time.
Just like the original 1939 Judy Garland hit, all the characters were as charming and lovable as expected with equally heart-warming story's well relating to those of Oz's acquaintances in his 'normal' Kansas life. The most touching character plot comparison to me was that of the little girl who couldn't walk in the audience of Oz's magic show back in Kansas and the tiny china doll girl with the broken legs in the land of Oz, which just actually clicked in my head while writing this! I also saw a big similarity in the character and humor of sidekick Finley the monkey with Dobby from Harry Potter.
Overall I thought the film to be captivating and appealing, to both children and adults alike, in story and screenplay with the constantly ringing of the supremely Disney moral of 'Believe' and of course to be a good, kind person. I think director Sam Raimi had the whole movie spot on. (Even if I do think the age rating should have been higher, though maybe I'm just old-fashioned.)
If you're going to check it out, or already have, make sure to let me know your thoughts! Do you agree with me? Or are your views similar to that of overly critical big Hollywood critics harshly judging the acting and theme of this fun and uplifting prequel?!