Christian Living


Oz, The Great and Powerful: Movie Review

Star Rating

Movie Info


PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language


Fantasy, Action/Adventure


March 8, 2013


James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff


Sam Raimi


Walt Disney Studios

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

Disney's prequel to The Wizard of Oz hopes to enchant audiences at movie theaters this weekend. But does Oz, The Great and Powerful have as much heart, courage or wits about it as the Judy Garland classic? Not quite.

The Sam Raimi-directed film's suggestive moments only take away from this PG-rated movie. It’s portrayal of good magic and it's slow-going momentum at times diminish its positive messages (that good always wins and the most unlikely of people can make a big difference).


Tired of his small-time, carnival act, magician Oscar "Oz" Diggs is ready to perform for the masses. His chance comes when he's transported to the magical world of Oz. There he's offered the king's throne and incredible riches if he defeats the Wicked Witch. Filled with greed, Oz convinces the people he is the prophesied wizard for whom they have been waiting. When Glinda, the Good Witch, discovers that his 'magic' tricks are just illusions, she asks for his help anyway. But, how could Oz help against such dark power?


Oz, The Great and Powerful pays homage to the classic film with its first scenes in black and white. Brilliant colors, reminiscent of Dorothy's stroll down the yellow brick road, light up the big screen. Visually, the film is vibrant. Some of the humor is on target. Otherwise, this prequel is a little disappointing.

James Franco fills the wizard's shoes fairly well, but it's his sidekick played by Zach Braff (of TV's Scrubs fame) that steals the show. In fact, it's Braff's endearing character and spot-on comedy that really engage you. Supporting Franco as the witches of Oz are Mila Kunis as Theodora, Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Michelle Williams as Glinda, the Good.

Some of the awkwardness stems from a scene where one of the leading ladies transforms. She's seen ripping off the top of her dress, revealing a corset underneath. That awkward moment, other revealing outfits and suggestive lines of dialogue are distracting.

Rated PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language, Oz, the Great and Powerful doesn't feel like a kid-friendly film at times. Parents should err on the side of caution when it comes to taking young kids to this one.


It's disappointing that this Disney prequel isn't as enchanting as the 1939 classic. That is a tall order, to be sure. Still, Oz, The Great and Powerful leaves you wanting more.

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