Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful wizard but into a better man as well.We saw the movie in 3D, and I'd say that if you have the chance to see it in that format, take it. Normally I'm not a huge fan of 3D movies since they tend to give me headaches, but in this case it really brought the gorgeous landscape of Oz to life. On a few scenes I felt like I was back in Disneyland on a virtual reality ride!
Normally I would not have taken a 5-year-old to a PG rated movie, but Ethan is a huge Oz fan and had watched all of the previews for this new movie and assured me that he would be fine. And he mostly was. It's rated PG for "sequences of action & scary images, and brief mild language". Overall we didn't find it too scary, but there were quite a few scenes where something startling happened suddenly and Ethan jumped and grabbed on to my arm many times. Still, he told me that he liked the movie- especially the cute flying monkey that travels with the wizard.
Overall I enjoyed the movie a lot. The graphics were beautiful, there were lots of funny things to laugh at, and I enjoyed seeing how many of the familiar characters of the original Wizard of Oz came to be. I also thought the story moved along at a nice pace and didn't get tired of it, even though it was over two hours long.
If you're looking for a movie that's family friendly (probably for kids 7 or 8 and up?), this is a good choice.
Disclosure: I received admission to this movie so that I could review it for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.