I am not sure which is feeding on which. Obviously, the 1939 MGM’s was the first, but not in 3D, so the new released in IMAX 3D can be said is following the footsteps, in format only, of Oz the Great and Powerful, which was in 3D when it was released. I read the squabbles between MGM and Disney about creative licensing, copyrights and patents, so I believe, the IMAX 3D version of The Wizard must be Sony’s finger either pointing upward, or at Disney’s prequel to one of the most successful legendary movies of the last decade.
Prequel must be the new norm: started in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In other words, any failing franchise can always bring in a prequel to be re-booted, except in this case Disney was trying to create a new franchise. However, the true prequel, IMO, was the broadway musical Wicked. At the end of the day, as an audience why keep scores, when their lawyers must have been already doing that!
Honestly, even I put “legendary” I have not successful seen the original Wiz in one sitting, cause I was and still am not truly interested. But in summation over the years, I had seen the whole thing. Oz the Great and Powerful was the one that filled in the blanks for us and answered the who, and how.
Oz(James Franco)is a circus magician, full of smoke and mirrors tricks, that lures young ladies into his den, and seduces them. He becomes the wizard who hides behind the curtain with his machine. Here you will see how the machine has become part of the wizardry.
The good white witch is Glinda(Michelle Williams), whose father, the King wizard, was killed by Evanora. Eventually, she avenges her father’s death and reduces Evanora to an old sagging warts infested witch banned forever from the Emerald city.
New to the prequel were China Girl(Joey King) and Finley(Zach Braff), the flying monkey. Make sure you make reference to the people in Kansas (B& W portion) to the ones in colours. The obvious one was Glinda, who was Oz’s love interest, Annie, that got engaged.
True to the Disney brand, this is a fun, colourful and entertaining family movie that worths the purchase price (DVD or Blu-ray). The kids will love the CGI animations, and adults won’t mind to sit through it a few times with them, cause it doesn’t stop and go, but tells a coherent story.
Among all the actors, I have to say Mila Kunis didn’t really belong, James Franco was passable, Michelle Williams was still practicing her blonde Monroe’s voice, and Rachel Weisz‘s british accent kinda stood out …but there were many other actors, and great cinematography that gelled this film together.
So it’s a WATCH …