- Published on Wednesday, November 14 2012
- Written by Katie Marzullo
It’s The Wizard of Oz according to Disney. As envisioned by the guy who directed Spider-Man.
The first full-length trailer for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful has just been released, giving us a deeper look into the magical land invented by L. Frank Baum, brought to life by Victor Fleming in 1939, and now expanded upon by Disney & co. in this CGI-heavy prequel that details the Wizard’s rise to power in the merry ol’ land of Oz.
I can’t decide if this looks amazing or dreadfully heavy-handed. I have been hearing mutterings of comparisons to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland adaptation, and I can see why. It’s all the things we love about the story thrown into a computer and spit back out onto a green screen with some of our favorite A-List actors standing in front of it. It’s an odd dichotomy of legit, Oscar-caliber talent (James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis) dressed in what is essentially a live-action cartoon. Indeed, watching this, I am wondering why the human characters aren’t just all animated as well. But that is the inherent drawback of CGI technology these days – the computer becomes the art director, and all the wonders and beauties that the characters are supposed to behold and exist within do not actually exist. In the trailer, as James Franco (as Oz) takes his first breathless look at the magical land he’s been carried into, you think “My, what a lovely computer model.” Compare that to Judy Garland (as Dorothy) opening the door of her sepia-toned home and stepping out into Technicolor, with sparkling plants and details she can actually touch and a real yellow brick road to walk on. Yes, the horizon beyond (including the Emerald City) were all matte paintings, but how much different was that to today’s CGI-created landscapes? At least the one she was standing within at that moment was “real”.
Okay, okay, sorry, didn’t mean for this to turn into an anti-CGI rant! Look, I love great special effects as much as anyone, but there is definitely something more charming and visceral about practical effects versus computer-generated ones. But I am feeling, in particular, that this film might be swallowed up by its effects and therefore lose the impact of the story and that these GREAT actors’ performances will be lost in the spectacle. Why go through the trouble of casting Oscar winners and nominees if you are just going to drown them out in computer graphics, amirite?
Anyway! I’ll let y’all decide for yourselves. Check out the new trailer for Oz: The Great and Powerful below, and let us know what you think!
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor