COMMENTARY: Excited for another trip down the yellow brick roadApparently someone at Disney thought it was a good idea to make a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.”
By: Tim Albrecht , Forum News Service
A sequel can be a curse and a blessing. Prequels fall into this same category. They each provide depth to an existing story, and at the same time, they can bring revered franchises down. This year’s prequel, “Oz the Great & Powerful,” could go either way.
Apparently someone at Disney thought it was a good idea to make a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” Many thought this classic was untouchable. Sorry to tell you, but nothing is sacred anymore.
The original shaped my childhood. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at least 200 times. My mother has been a devout fan since her childhood and, much to my dismay, has brainwashed my child to this same mindset. (She will deny this if you ask her.)
I remember seeing the film for the first time, and it blew me away. It’s enchanting in creating a world that is almost believable. The story is relatable to a variety of people, which is probably why it’s held in such high regard.
Disney is treading on very tough ground here. They’ll make tons of money on this movie. (If it were 10 minutes long, everyone would still see it.) But Disney movie makers need to be careful they don’t upset too many fans.
Which begs the question: Should this movie have been made?
Disney made “Wizard of Oz” sequel “Return to Oz” in 1985, and it bombed at the box office. It has become a cult classic in recent years. So, all I can come up with is this is purely a money grab for Disney.
Disney owns the film rights to 13 Oz books, written by L. Frank Baum, who wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” on which the original film was based. I can only imagine that Disney plans to do more Oz movies.
This is why Disney has to be careful with “Oz the Great & Powerful” to not alienate too many fans if they plan to continue the franchise past just a prequel. There are a lot of things to like from what I’ve seen in trailers and read from different news sources.
The film’s done things to rein in my skepticism. Sam Raimi directing is a plus. I think James Franco is a great choice for lead role Oscar, or Oz.
Once I saw the full-length trailer, I was hooked. The score is excellent and the black and white to color transition was a nice touch. The possibility of all four witches being on screen has me excited. Also, a little Mila Kunis never hurt anybody.
The best thing this movie has going for it is Raimi opted for using real sets vs. CGI. This will help the studio’s cause in keeping true to the original “Wizard of Oz.” These signs point to a faithful continuation of the “Oz” franchise, but be warned that it might not be all charm this time.
Now, will I go see it? Of course, I will. Do I have to like it? No, but I won’t lie and say I’m not excited for another trip down the yellow brick road.