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Parents' Guide to

The Wiz

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Jazzy, family-friendly musical remake of classic film.

Movie G 1978 135 minutes
The Wiz Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

Great old movie to watch with your kids

I loved this movie. My nine year old really liked it and was totally engaged. My 6 almost 7 year old was a little restless toward the end (it's a little over 2 hours long). We discussed the fact that it is an entirely African American cast (my 6 year old finally noticed this toward the end). We also talked about Michael Jackson and that Lena Horne was mixed. Both kid reviews on this site expressed being offended at the part where the dancers were "naked" and "the guys and girls where taking there clothes off". This was around 1:46 into the movie. The dancers took off their huge over costumes in a scene where they were setting themselves free since the witch was dead (sprinkler system, she's allergic). The women ended up wearing what amounted to a bikini, and the men wore slightly more than a jockstrap. The dancing was in no way suggestive or sexy, just a Broadway-style, musical, corps-type dance number. So I let my children watch it, my finger on the fast forward button just in case. They were not disturbed by it in the least (they are very sheltered), neither was I. All in all, a great movie with some historical significance. I highly recommend it.
age 2+

I'd just skip this one scene if children are under 16

There is a scene where the "poison poppies" seduce the travelers with magical drugging dust making the main character and lion loose consciousness. There also one other scene where Lion is frightened when he meets the Wiz in person and says " I am going to get the H out of here".

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Though the film sometimes feels dated, The Wiz is fun to watch with its almost steampunk-y, New York City-like take on Oz, and the songs are supremely danceable. Its takeaways still resonate after all these years, too, and the cast is unforgettable. How can one resist Michael Jackson as the scarecrow? Nipsey Russell is the Tin Man; Lena Horne is Glinda, and Richard Pryor makes a memorable wizard.

The Wiz is both familiar to anyone who's seen The Wizard of Oz (that's just about everyone) and not, with its revamped look and pop-funk-Broadway style song-and-dance numbers. It's a story that will resonate, but it also goes a bit beyond. The original story is about a girl who just wants to go home; this one's about a girl who grows up and realizes that there's more to the world beyond her front door -- both wonderful lessons.

Movie Details

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