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~Wizard of Oz" Vs. "Oz the Great and Powerful." Is one better than the other?~

Updated on November 3, 2014

A Fantasy World created by L Frank Baum.

The 1939 film starred Judy Garland
The 1939 film starred Judy Garland | Source
Dazzling Sets by director Sam Raimi make this worthwhile viewing.
Dazzling Sets by director Sam Raimi make this worthwhile viewing. | Source

"Wizard of Oz" Vs." Oz the Great and Powerful"

Both films are based upon L. Frank Baum's fantasy novels, and on the surface, are not that much different from one another. In a nutshell, the storyline in each is very much the same. The main character is swept up in a Kansas tornado, lands in Oz, makes a few friends, and ends up getting rid of the witches. The settings, like the Yellow Brick Road, and the Emerald City, have a familiar feel in both and the the strange and delightful characters that are met on the road are similar. Both stories fit into he world created by L Frank Baum.

Just for fun...

...let us compare the 1939 classic 'Wizard of Oz” with the 2013 “Oz the Great and Powerful.” You can vote for your favorite and see how others voted.

Let's take a close look at the two films and see if we can determine that one might be better than the other. This is subjective, of course, as we all enjoy different things and experience life differently. When we were children we enjoyed things that would not be of much interest to us now. It could be that some of us loved the 1939 Judy Garland film as children and may dismiss it now that we have moved on and have been entertained by more sophisticated entertainment. Or it could be that we will always love the film and always hold it in our heart.

Some differences are evident

Before you vote, let's consider the one big difference in the two films. While Dorothy was an 'innocent” with no ulterior motives, Oscar Diggs, the Great and Powerful, was very much a scoundrel. In the opening scene we see him trying to seduce a young girl by presenting her with a music box that he claims belonged to his grandmother and he wants to pass it along to her. As the tale unfolds he uses the same device when he lands in Oz and presents an attractive witch with an identical box. This is not a film for the very young as we do hear him use the word, 'Damn” in the opening scene. Would this word appear in the 1939 film? Nope, not ever. Very young children would not identify with Oscar at all and would have little understanding of the scoundrel that is the crux of the story. Nope—this film is definitely for adults; that is pretty clear from the opening curtain.

We never tire of a Character becoming a Good Guy in the story.

In this film the villain wishes to be a "Good Guy" Recommended by the author.
In this film the villain wishes to be a "Good Guy" Recommended by the author. | Source
In this box-office hit,  the villain has a change of heart because of his love for three orphaned children. Recommended by the author.
In this box-office hit, the villain has a change of heart because of his love for three orphaned children. Recommended by the author. | Source


Dorothy simply wanted to find a way back to her home in Kansas while Oscar was always looking out for his own interests. When the witch told him that he would be king of Oz, he inquired if any gold was a part of it. It is apparent he would play along with the new role and plan to escape whenever he could with his booty. Of course, all this never occurs, as he does get caught up in his new persona and has a change of heart by the end of the tale. I could point to "Despicable Me,"and "Wreck-it Ralph" and a host of other recent films, which have similar storylines and were box office hits. In that Oscar is not a perfect person does not belittle the story at all. Like the above mentioned films, that is the plot, a story that is as old as time.

Mila Kunis is to be congratulated for playing her dual role as both a good and bad witch. The transformation is quite amazing. It could not be better in this viewer's eyes.

What about the Story--the Settings?

In that the lead characters are so radically different, the two tales are viewed very differently. A scoundrel in one and innocent young person in the other; each with different values and goals. However, both stories fit neatly into the world created by L Frank Baum. The 2013 film has dazzling visuals similar to the box-office hit, "Alice in Wonderland." and the Candy Land setting that appeared in "Wreck-it Ralph." It is a credit to the 1939 film that the settings hold up on repeated viewings seventy years later. Would L. Frank Baum approve of these films? I can only guess, but I think he would have loved both films.


They have released the original Wizard of Oz in 3D! It is simply wonderful!

It all comes down to you....

Time to vote for the one you really enjoy the best.

Time to Vote!

If you had both videos in hand and had time to view only one, which one would you choose?

See results

Time to Vote

Which film do you think is the Best?

See results

Check out the Trailer "Oz the Great and Powerful"


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    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 23 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Yes--not an easy choice at all. Both are great. Thank you for commenting.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 23 months ago from sunny Florida

      Don't you just hate this...but I would have to see both as having merit rather than choosing one over the other.

      A 3-D that sounds like fun.

      Sending Angels your way this evening ps

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thank you Mel. Since I wrote this article I was inspired to write a 8 part Children's series called the Wurtherington Diary. To say I am excited about it is an understatement! Take a quick look if you wish with this link. Two years in the making....

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I can't vote, because I haven't seen the Great and the Powerful yet. Your hub has certainly made me go out and give it a try, however.

    • profile image

      reynold jay 4 years ago

      Hi Christopher, This film is quickly working its way into my heart much like "How to Slay a Dragon" I'm thinking that the DRAGON film may very well be the greatest animated film of all time. You would need to see it to understand the "Why" of it. The "OZ the Great and Powerful" seems to get better with each viewing, much like "Avatar." So far I've viewed it twice and plan to view it again in the next week or so. Readers and comments seem far and few now, so every one is cherished. Thank you for being one of the special people who still follow my HUBS.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      The trailer looks great. I haven't seen the new film yet. I loved the original. I'm not so sure any sequel could equal it. I'll have to see it to find out.