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‘The Great and Powerful Oz’? Not quite

    By Joanna Georgiev. April 25, 2013 - 9:07 am

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Lions, tigers, bears, oh my! Remember Dorothy singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and the gang making their way down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City?

Disney’s newest movie “The Great and Powerful Oz” offers a prequel to the 1939 fantasy adventure film. 

Let’s just say you won’t want to return to this Oz.

“Oz the Great and Powerful” does not live up to the boastful title nor to the standards of its beloved predecessor.

Although I do admire that Disney attempts to put their own spin on the old-time classic, so much energy is spent creating a computer-generated environment that the cast lacks emotional involvement in the storyline.

A touch of humor and creativity is shown through the creation of Finley, the flying monkey, and China Doll, a glass doll who accompanies Oscar on the journey.

Still, the film fails greatly at inspiring the same love for its characters, as did the original.

The movie mimics that of the original, starting in black and white and moving toward color when Oscar is transported to the world of Oz.

In the movie, actor James Franco plays Oscar, who later in the film must convince the townspeople of Oz that he is capable to use magic illusions to fight off the witches Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz).

It is no surprise that Disney intertwines a romantic plot. Theodora conspires with her sister Evanora to take over the land of Oz and get back at Oscar for breaking her heart.

With a bite of an apple Evanora, once good natured, turns into a ghastly green witch.

Most of the film uses computer-generated imagery, which allows Disney to create a world with things that don’t exist in reality – the flying monkeys and river fairies.

At times the movie looked overdone and the actors looked out of place.

The film is full of sensory overload but the script lacks humor and wit, which does little to motivate viewers to join in on the journey.

The Yellow Brick Road has potholes stalling audience members along the way, and some scenes are more original than others.

The official trailer pretty much says it all. Most of the scenes seemed to be filled just to take up time.

A glimmer of Disney movie magic was shown in the major battle between good and evil toward the end of the story.

A few scenes show the reoccurring themes of courage, self-discovery and friendship.

Nonetheless, on the surface “Oz” presents some dazzling images, but if it only had heart it might have a shot at enchanting viewers with a believable and magical story.