Oz the Great & Powerful is Disney's prequel to the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz. The story tells the tale of a man named Oscar and how a tornado brought him to Oz to fufill a prophecy. The film is definitely geared towards children, although it has some surprising sexual undertones towards the beginning. It is a cute movie, but the graphics and the unneccesary length keep it from being a great one.
From the trailers, Oz looks stunningly beautiful. However, once you actually sit in a theatre to watch the film, the entire thing is a bit cartoonish. The realism that can come from computer-generated graphics nowadays is absolutely incredible. Think about the Bengal tiger in last year's Life of Pi. So why couldn't Disney come up with a realsistic looking magical land? The colors are absolutely stunning, but every time the wizard is outside in his newfound home, it looks like he has stepped into an animated film. It is disappointing.
Equally disheartening is the fact that Disney was forbidden to use iconic elements from the original movie because Warner Brothers own the rights to them. That also means they could not use any actual character likenesses from the movie either. Therefore when you do see the Wicked Witch, she doesn't have the classic chin Margaret Hamilton sported, because it wasn't allowed. They were not even allowed to use the same hue of green that Hamilton's skin was. There are many clever loopholes in this picture. When Oz is walking on the yellow brick road (which is never actually called that), you can see multi-colored horses in the background to represent the "horses of a different color". While there is no mention to the ruby slippers, there is a mention of the Gale family. It is interesting to see the effort to keep the original in this story without being able to use actual references.
The movie is definitely geared towards small children, although it does not always seem that way. If you look at it as a children's film, you may appreciate it a little bit more, That being said, the film is extremely long. It runs almost 2 hours and fifteen minutes. You may not be able to take your family and have your kids stay attentive for that long.
Oz the Great and Powerful is a creative spin on the classic tale, but is not that powerful of a story. The graphics look like drawn in cartoons instead of this magical land of Oz and the movie drags on in places.