Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Great & Powerful

The first new major Oz movie in a generation opened this past weekend, to good box office and varying reviews. I avoided as much of the pre-publicity and hype as I could, in order to approach the film without too many preconceptions. I saw it this past week and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

I'll admit my expectations were not high, and the story certainly pays greater homage to the 1939 film than the book series. L. Frank Baum created a back story for Oz in his early books - key points include the arrival of the Wizard by balloon, a confrontation with the Witch of the West in her own part of the land, the usurpation of the throne and kidnapping of Princess Ozma, and the building of the Emerald City before retiring into seclusion. Of course, Baum also contradicted himself on a regular basis - did the Wizard build the Emerald City, or were the rulers of Oz already living there when he arrived? Was Ozma kidnapped by the Wizard or the witch Mombi? These many little mysteries and inconsistencies are part of what I enjoy in the original Oz books.

Disney didn't make much use of Baum's own history of the land, but did come up with a splashy story that doesn't ask to be taken too seriously - something Oz fans are often too prone to do!

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