As a fan of the Wicked Witch from Oz, this new prequel to the classic “Wizard of Oz”, was a nice family movie. It had a lot of great homages to the original, but disappointed in the area of he witches. In the midst of all of the the “Twilight” sagas and the vampire lore, this was a great opportunity to provide a new foundation of witch lore and the story failed to do that. Instead, Disney used an old movie formula of creating a love triangle to create the villain. The villain, the Wicked Witch, played by Mila Kunis lacked strength. This is a character we loved to hate in the original telling of Oz, and is such an iconic character with her cackling voice, that she needed to be strong. Especially now that there is a Broadway smash, Wicked, which has such a strong following and does such an amazing job building this character. Disney basically was handed a promotional vehicle which would have driven audiences wild. But they deterred from any originality and created a weak villain. Although Disney has some great villains in their stories they seem to build them on the thought that a villain is created from one single bad life experience as opposed to a series of unfortunate circumstances.
Zack Braff seemed to steal a lot of the scenes as Oz’s flying monkey assistant. Oz, played by James Franco, was ok in my opinion, but I am not a big fan of him as an actor. My husband and I did find humor in the fact that this is his second movie in which he plays a character alongside a monkey/ape, Planet of the Apes being the other movie (side note: the latter movie was great). Another character that was introduced that had some great scenes and comic relief was the China girl. Her strong character made up for her delicate exterior and I thought that was brilliant. Glinda the Good was excellent in her calm nature and single desire to make sure the people of Oz were protected. She was a great antagonist and her relationship with the evil sisters was justified and told with a lot of sincerity. The audience can follow and understand her purpose in the movie, unlike Theodora’s character, the Wicked Witch, which seems to derive from the heart broken little sister.
Disney should have just stuck with Racel Weiz as the Wicked Witch and they would have had a strong back story, character, and actress that would have left fans, like me, satisfied. Instead they tried selling me a side kick witch with a weak back story. My advice to Disney is to keep writing Princess stories and leave the Villains alone. Leave those stories for people that have experienced true tragedy. Maybe they should take some of their tragic princess stories and turn them into Villains because the only difference between their princesses and villains is perspective.
Please go watch the movie for yourself and have your own opinion of it, this is just my point of view and you may not agree with it. After the movie please come back and post your perspective on the movie, I would love to hear back from you and what you thought.