I took someone to see Oz the Great and Powerful, in 3 D who had never seen the medium before at the 02 Millennium Dome,
We were both impressed by the story as well as the production. The Wizard of Oz is not just one of the important films of my childhood but in the final years of her life my mother enjoyed seeing the film together with Return to Oz and a programme the making of the film and its history on video tape at the home where she was resident.
The film is set 20 years before the Wizard of OZ and also commenced in a black and white prologue in which we come to know of Oscar Diggs who works in Kansas as a magician always on the run from the husbands and parents of women he flirts with as well as angry crowds when he is unable to fulfil promises of magic. He has to escape in a hot air balloon which like the subsequent story, is sucked up into a tornado and finds himself in the land OZ.
Here he becomes embroiled in a battle between two sisters the Good and the Wicked Witches. The films has all the ingredients of the Wizard of Oz with Munchkins, flying baboons, a poppy field which sends anyone entering into sleep and various other characters. The colouring and visuals are both gorgeous and stunning.
The core of the film is how Diggs uses his skills as magician to create a projected holographic image of himself after he is believed dead in order to defeat the wicked witches and regain the Emerald city, and free the Munchkins from domination. Thus he becomes the Wizard of Oz choosing to stay in the land with the Good Witch rather than return to earth. The films includes the use of a Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man plus references to the original stories and subsequent films. I though it was engaging and not overlong, a criticism made by Dr Mark Kermode, The story ended in such a way that a sequel is possible,