‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Trailer: Sam Raimi Goes Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 15th, 2012 at 11:59 am,

The teaser trailer for Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful (which Disney premiered at this year’s Comic-Con) overflows with vibrant colors, zany creatures, and picturesque 3D trickery, but it does little to counter a longtime assertion – namely, that the Mouse House’s semi-prequel to The Wizard of Oz is an attempt to replicate the $uccess of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland by giving the same cinematic treatment to L. Frank Baum’s Oz literature (right down to the March release date).

A full-length trailer for Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful is now online, offering a better look at the film’s unique rendition of that land ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ (as envisioned by Alice production designer Robert Stromberg) and the human cast which includes James Franco – playing the young ‘wizard’ Oscar Diggs – as well as Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as the three witches wrestling to control the fate of Oz (Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, respectively).

However, if the original Oz trailer left you with feelings of déjà vu dread, this new promo isn’t going to change your mind. The script from Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians) now appears to lift elements directly from Alice in Wonderland’s playbook, right down to making its protagonist the ‘chosen one’ whose arrival has been prophesied to bring peace to the film’s fantastical setting. Moreover, the CGI characters which are shown here – timid flying monkey Finley (Zach Braff) and fragile China Girl (Joey King, The Dark Knight Rises) – also resemble the celebrity-voiced/digitally-rendered inhabitants of Burton’s Wonderland, in the sense that their personalities and vocals (so far) seem somewhat hit-or-miss.

oz great powerful trailer Oz the Great and Powerful Trailer: Sam Raimi Goes Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The Emerald City in ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

Bear in mind, the comparisons to Burton’s Alice in Wonderland aren’t meant as a condemnation on their own; after all, despite the thrashing that film continues to take from people, it has entertainment value to offer. Nonetheless, Alice did commit some major missteps – such as a noble, but misguided, attempt to flesh out the source material mythology and over-abundance of quirky CGI characters and effects – and, unfortunately, Oz seems to be repeating many of them. Thus, it’s hard to not be skeptical and suspect that Raimi’s film (much like Burton’s) could amount to another dazzling, but hollow, mishmash of muddled storytelling and technical finesse.

Here is an official synopsis for Oz the Great and Powerful:

When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great and powerful Wizard—and just maybe into a better man as well.


Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters on March 8th, 2013. Do you think it looks better than suggested above?

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

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  1. Hmm don’t really know what to make of this, while i like Franco he only ever seems to be playing the stoner dude he was in Pinapple Express, struggling to string a sentence together!

    Will watch this for Mila Kunis, swoooooooon!

  2. Way too much CGI the entire thing looked like a computer game. But I’d give it a shot as I was a fan of the original (as is everyone I’m sure) and I do like James Franco and Mila Kunis.

  3. Nothing about the style of this feels like OZ to me.

    • Have you read the books? (The Wizard of Oz is only one of them)

  4. I love everything about the trailer and think Franco and Kunis are perfect. Franco is one of the best actors working today, he can do this role

    This looks like a major hit.

  5. Same here,Trailer looks Amazing !
    Fantastic Colors,World and Design…looks like a total fun ride !
    Nothing to Complain,it bears some similarity to Alice that’s true,but for me thats a good things..as I like that style,and there are just not enough Movies like this out there !
    I trust Raimi,he never disappoints me !

  6. I think it is going to be panned universally by critics no matter how good it is and I don’t think it is truly fair to compare it with “Alice” but it inevitably will (who really cares if it was made by essentially the same team). Either way, I will definitely go see this one. I am really excited about the storytelling and I think it will do better with greater involvement of the Wicked Witch vs. Good Witch and how the other two witches play in. I think a major flaw of Alice was the lack of an “evil” antagonist. While I thought Helen was brilliant as a maniacal Queen of Hearts at times, other times I thought she was to “stupid” – for lack of a better word. Her character didn’t seem like she had a plan (other than chopping people’s heads off)… All great evil people have PLANS. I am hoping Franco knocks it out the box – I know Mila, Rachel and Michelle will.

  7. Franco isn’t really a natural actor; his voice doesn’t fully enunciate a character. For example, his statement, “I don’t want to die. I haven’t accomplished anything yet. Please!”, sounds contrived and out of place; almost like he’s joking.

    • hahahaha…are you serious?

  8. Meh. Probably a rental. Sure was a lot of CGI.

  9. Typical Disney fare.

  10. I’m probably one of the few who thinks Alice in Wonderland is entertaining albeit a bit too JohnnyDepp-y-weird… so I’m really looking forward to this movie. Especially with those three charming ladies… they are HOT! Hahaha

  11. How many different women were in that trailer? And they’re all witches? Good? Bad? Sort of good/bad?

  12. I hated that Alice movie but it made so much money. This will probably be similar.

    Despite being a Franco fan—I’m not looking forward to this. Probably won’t see it in theaters.

  13. While I do care about STORY and Content, ANY trip back to the magical Land of OZ is worth a viewing! We have had television revisions and adaptions but none have quite captured the charm of the 1939 film. As this is a prequel to that film, I will certainly make several trips to the theater to view this w/ my family. Oz holds a very dear place in my heart and in my childhood memories! It will be good to see familiar faces like Glinda, the Munchkins, Flying Monkies, the Yellow Brick Road and finally the RETURN of the WICKEDEST WITCH of all!
    PLUS a few NEW characters added to the adventure!

  14. I will b there opening night…im from kansas tho!

  15. I really don’t care much for the Wizard of OZ, to be honest, but I almost want to see this, if for Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis if nothing else. It seems like a cool concept.

  16. I like this movie

  17. It cool

  18. “Oz the Great and Powerful” is all smoke and no mirrors, no fantasy, just effects without affect. To be honest, more like Oz the Amiable and Un-threatening. The best, funniest Oz thing I’ve read lately is DA YELLER BRICK ROAD, a revisionist telling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Uncle Remus. The conceit is it was originally by Remus (who didn’t exist) and then “borrowed and cleaned-up” by Baum. Hilarious and charming. All that “Oz the Great and Powerful” is not.

  19. Have been waiting for this movie to be release, can’t wait to see it this weekend! Trailer looks awesome!

  20. I saw this movie last night at The IMAX. I’m a great fan of The Wizard Of OZ & this movie is gonna be a Classic too. It tells the story of the Wizard before Dorothy & Toto came to OZ. I truly think they done a Great job with this one. A must see movie at The IMAX Theater. I will be seeing it again. GOD Bless All & Have Fun.

  21. Mila kunis is so hot