Oz the Great and Powerful Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy Review #DisneyOzEvent
*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my experiences with the product.*
You don’t have to travel somewhere over the rainbow to visit the magical land of Oz; Disney’s prequel to the 1939 classic is coming to Bluray/DVD combo pack with a digital copy on June 11th, 2013. Directed by Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful will delight children and adults alike.
Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a traveling magician and con man, doesn’t want to be just a good man; he wants to be a GREAT man. Leaving a string of broken hearts from city to city, Oscar seems the sort of man with little hope. But Oscar’s childhood friend, Annie (Michelle Williams), has always been able to see the man he could become.
As a tornado approaches the traveling circus, Oscar attempts to run away from one of his recent conquest’s boyfriend by climbing into a hot air balloon. The tornado carries him away, and he makes a promise to whichever higher power who is listening that he will become a better man.
When the hot air balloon lands on solid ground, Oscar finds himself in a magical land called Oz–the same name he goes by as a magician. The beautiful witch, Theodora the Good (Mila Kunis), tells him of a prophecy of a wizard who will come to Oz and rescue the people from the wicked witch. The prophecy is Oscar’s one chance to prove he can be the great man Annie believes he can be–if only Oscar can determine who is wicked and who is good.
The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite tales, and it’s what is often considered a true American fairy tale. I grew up watching the movie every Easter when it was on TV (or watching my VHS tape if I just couldn’t wait for it to air on TV), but the 1939 film was very different from the original novel by L. Frank Baum. I have been waiting impatiently my whole life for someone to tell that story, with all of its darkness and a few less cutesy songs.
Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful is a happy compromise. It pays homage to the 1939 classic (if you’re looking closely, you’ll see: horses of many color, the spiral that begins the yellow brick road, the inclusion of a person from Dainty China Country–just to name a few!) as well as bringing in some of the darker elements that are found only in the book. I’m also crossing my fingers that this movie will inspire someone to retell The Wizard of Oz with the Disney touch. As mentioned before, Oz the Great and Powerful is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. This is not only the wizard’s story, but also the origin story for the Wicked Witch of the West.
I’ve now watched this film a total of three times, and it is a true classic for me. I love the look of Oz in its colorful glory, the humor and humanity of the characters (especially the CGI characters), and all of the memories this film is making for my 5-year-old.
Second Screen Experience Immerse yourself even further in the world of Oz by connecting your iPad through the free app. You’ll unlock a map, detailed descriptions of characters and creatures in Oz, learn about sound effects, and so much more.
Walt Disney and the Road to Oz Did you know that Walt Disney himself announced in 1957 he would make a live action musical called “The Rainbow Road to Oz”? Check out this feature to learn about Walt’s interest in Oz, why it didn’t happen in his lifetime, and how Walt’s dream for Oz was partially realized in 1985 with “Return to Oz”.
My Journey In Oz By James Franco Actor James Franco interviews the director, cast members, and crew members about their time on set and about the characters. An inside look at how certain scenes were filmed and what the sets looked like before all of the special effects were added in.
China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief To bring China Girl to life, a marionette was designed to move and react in real time with the actors. A look on set with the puppeteer and Joey King (voice of China Girl) before CGI development on the character begins.
Before Your Eyes: From Kansas to Oz A tour of the sets from Kansas to Oz led by production designer Robert Stromberg. He also discusses how classic Disney films inspired some of the looks of the set.
Mila’s Metamorphosis Howard Berger provides a history lesson on make-up and prosthetics as he walks viewers through the process of applying the make-up she wears for the latter half of the film.
Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions Composer Danny Elfman discusses the music of Oz the Great and Powerful and his process of how he chooses the order in which to compose the music.