Box art for Oz The Great and Powerful (Plus Digital Extras)

  Oz The Great and Powerful (Plus Digital Extras)

  • Rated PG
  • HD and SD formats available

action & adventure

The never-before-told fantastical adventure with an all-star cast.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Colorful prequel is scarier, less magical than the original.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oz the Great and Powerful is considerably darker and more intense than The Wizard of Oz. While it pays tribute to the original film, the main character this time is an adult, rather than a girl, and the themes are accordingly more mature. For much of the movie, Oz (James Franco) is a selfish, egotistical ladies' man; he flirts to get his way and ends up kissing four different characters. (He also says "damn" a couple of times.) And if the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys in the 1939 classic frightened your kids, the flying baboons in this prequel may terrify them (particularly in 3-D), as will the general cruelty of the evil characters and the plight of the orphaned China Girl. Glinda is also briefly tortured (via magical lightning), and there's an intense twister scene and several "jump" moments that are especially startling in the 3-D version. The Wicked Witch's transformation is creepy, though ultimately she doesn't look quite as scary as the original. On the bright side, the movie offers a lasting lesson about how teamwork and friendship between unlikely allies can overcome obstacles and how a person's legacy lives on in people's hearts and minds.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Oz the Great and Powerful's scary scenes. What makes it scarier than the original? Does the fact that it's a fantasy story make it any less scary? Why or why not?
  • Some critics have complained that the wizard isn't a very likeable character. Do you agree? Were you still rooting for him? Why?
  • How does Oz the Great and Powerful compare to the 1939 original (and, if you're familiar with it, the musical Wicked)? Do you think it's meant for the same age kids?
  • Do you think Hollywood should have revisited the story of Oz, even if it wasn't an actual remake?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most celebrated films in cinematic history and one of my absolute favorite films, so when I saw they were making a prequel I was completely on board for it. Who doesn't want to see the wonderful Land of Oz recreated with the special effects we have in today's age? While it isn't a complete success and has a few mishaps during its two hour adventure, it has successfully captured the spirit of the original and has enough visual spectacle to make up for its shortcomings. We all know where the story is going to go based on the original film, but getting there is still a fun ride. James Franco has the right mix of charm and wit to make the character of Oz work. Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz make fine witches. Unfortunately, I thought Mila Kunis was completely miscast as the Wicked Witch of the West. She doesn't have enough fire and energy to pull off the switch that happens with the character. It effects the film a little bit, but thankfully other characters take more of a center stage in this film to make up for it. Zach Braff & Joey King do excellent jobs with their voice acting jobs and all of the minor roles and filled in nicely. The recreation of Oz is beautiful to behold and looks absolutely wonderful, mixing live sets like the original film with computer generated effects as well. I had a great time watching this and it made me giddy in the same way that the original film did. It could have been better, but as it stands Raimi has made a worthwhile and appreciable prequel to an all-time classic.

- jlewis07, Sunday, June 16, 2013

3 stars

It's a cute and beautifully fun movie. But it's also really hoaky.

- aSpaceCowboy, Sunday, June 16, 2013

4 stars

Disney harp on about how this is their movie and how bringing Oz to film was Walt's big idea and only thing he never achieved but this is very much something better. This is a Sam Raimi film, it is a brilliant adaptation of L. Frank Baum's visions of Oz and it works as a companion/homage to the classic Judy Garland 1939 film. I think Raimi got it spot on! He even manages to get the recent popular Theatre version, 'Wicked' in there. This is a project in which it would be hard to please everyone but I can only see minor fault with it. Why the hate I do not understand? Ok, so the CGI is sketchy in places, particularly towards the beginning of the film and the Bruce Campbell cameo wasn't good enough, where the hell was the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 etc but seriously, I really enjoyed it. James Franco was good (in full Bruce Campbell mode), Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz good also, Michelle Williams I fell in love with all over again and for me, China Girl is my favourite character of the year so far, I loved her. I'm the only one it seems but I loved it!

- SirPant, Thursday, October 16, 2014