In 1939, both adults and children alike were thrust into the fantasy world of Oz. Based on author L. Frank Baum’s original novel, the story of Dorothy Gale and her adventure to the Emerald City has become a favorite for generations; in fact, it was named the most watched motion picture in history by the Library of Congress. Over 50 years later, Gregory Maguire, a relatively new author in adult literature, re-imagined Oz and all of its characters through his book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Its success inspired new fans of the original story and, soon thereafter, a Broadway musical. Now, Walt Disney Pictures adds another chapter to the plot with its release of Oz The Great and Powerful which is set to hit theaters March 8.
Image: A whimsical world awaits viewers as they journey to Oz this March.
Directed by Sam Raimi, who is best known for his work on the Spider-man films, Oz The Great and Powerful tells the story before it all began and creates the origin of Baum’s esteemed wizard from The Wizard of Oz. Played by James Franco, Oscar Diggs is a young magician looking for fame and glory.
Image: Oscar lands in Oz not knowing what adventure is to be upon him.
A man with questionable ethics, Oscar has a way with words and is frequently seen talking his way out of his problems. However, when he is hurled into the whimsical land of Oz, Oscar must battle his inner demons because the fate of the kingdom lies on his shoulders.
Image: Oscar Diggs has the power to save the land of Oz.
Upon landing in a world filled with curious creatures and real magic, Oscar is showered with glory as being the prophesied wizard Oz’s townspeople have been waiting for. It isn’t until three witches – Theodora, Evanora, and Glinda – arrive that Oscar must fight for good and battle against evil.
Images: Oscar must decide who is fighting for good and who is spreading evil throughout the land.
His journey brings him face to face with the reality of discovering who he really is before it’s too late to save the land. Using his magical arts of illusion, ingenuity, and a bit of magic, Oscar transforms himself into a better man and the great and powerful wizard everyone has wished for.
Many events have been leading up to the release of the film including the addition of a new play area in Epcot. Designed to mimic the scenery in the movie, The Land of Oz Garden is a welcome addition to the upcoming Flower & Garden Festival. Guided by a yellow brick road, young guests find themselves in an interactive playground filed with places to explore and carnival games to play.
Images: The Land of Oz Garden at Epcot
A combination of brightly colored flowers and art-glass poppies decorate the area which has quickly become a hot spot in the park. As children play, adults can relax in nearby chairs under the shade. I recently had the opportunity to visit The Land of Oz Garden and found it to be well-themed and fun. It is a great place to explore during a mid-afternoon break from the hustle and bustle of the park.
Images: Guests can enjoy the play area or carnival-style games at the garden.
I have to admit that I am beyond excited to see this film. The Wizard of Oz was a staple in my house growing up, and Wicked has become one of my favorite books. I became fascinated with the latter because of its revisionist approach; the fact that a modern day author could take such a well-known tale and weave in new elements, twists, turns, and even characters had me spellbound. With the release of Oz The Great and Powerful, I am finding myself once again mesmerized by the tale to be told before the infamous wizard first sat on his throne. Are you excited about this film? Let me know what you think about it here! For now, I’m off to meet the wizard.
Category: Disney World