After the Wizard

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
After the Wizard Movie Poster Image
Sweet but muddled postscript to Oz has mild suspense.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Actively promotes reading and libraries, as well as the original L. Frank Baum story. "We create stories to better understand the world we live in."

Positive Messages

Even the best leader can't succeed if the people are selfish, uncaring, and won't work together. And no one, not even the best-intentioned person, can mend every heartbreak or solve every problem. He or she can only give hope and remind us that anything is possible. A book is described as "being rewritten every time it's read," as each reader brings his or her own imagination and experience to the story; characters live in the hearts of those who embrace them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The adults who run the orphanage are caring, committed to the kids, and struggling to understand Elizabeth. They err only because they don't understand the nature and depth of her problems. Elizabeth is uncommunicative, hard to reach, troubled; she starts to mature and confide in those who care about her, but no real resolution is reached. The Tin Woodman and The Scarecrow are wonderful friends: loyal, brave, and unselfish.

Violence & Scariness

A few suspenseful moments: Toto is abandoned on a road and later is in danger of being sent to the pound, where he might be killed if "they run out of space"; a tornado heads toward the orphanage.

Sexy Stuff

A few recognizable brands: Trailways bus, Staples, Gulf Oil.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One very clearly stated anti-smoking message in the dialogue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that After the Wizard makes an earnest effort to deliver positive messages and humor and to show the value of all forms of family, though most scenes are too talky and static to effectively deliver these points. Some kids, especially younger ones, may find the story confusing when it moves from the present to the past and back again and later when the film ends without clear resolution. Still, there's nothing objectionable other than some mild suspense regarding the safety of a stray dog, an oncoming tornado, and the possibility of the young heroine having to leave the orphanage to suffer some unstated fate.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWill Mansfield August 26, 2018

Bad bad bad.

To be honest I think only 12 year olds and over will understand the plot of this story. Basically, just a one giant cash grab. Dorothy is now in high school. Th... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 3, 2020

Boring and kinda sad

It talks about how pets are put in shelters and killed and how orphanages are everywhere. It is implied that Dorothy is going to be sent somewhere bad. It is co... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 14, 2017


Let's just make it simple. IT IS SUPER BORING! It has too much talking. Not a single suspenseful moment. Obviously, common sense should this piece of trash... Continue reading

What's the story?

Elizabeth (Jordan VanVranken) is a 12-year-old orphan struggling to find her way in the world. She believes with all her heart that she's Dorothy Gale, the heroine of L. Frank Baum's book The Wizard of Oz, who returned from The Emerald City only to lose her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. But no one will believe the troubled young girl, not even the kindly director of the Kansas orphanage where she lives. Elizabeth/Dorothy longs to meet up again with her loving companions from the Yellow Brick Road and return to Oz. At the same time, The Tin Woodman (Orien Richman) and The Scarecrow (Jermel Nakia) have set out from Oz to find Dorothy and bring her back once again to help their country. After a bumpy journey in which The Tin Woodman and The Scarecrow navigate their way to Kansas and Elizabeth/Dorothy is reunited with a stray she's certain is Toto, fantasy and reality meet head-to-head.

Is it any good?

This movie has good intentions and some fine performances -- Peter Mark Richman shines as a blind Southern gentleman, and the Tin Woodman and The Scarecrow are awkward but winning. But the story never quite jells, and the resolution is weak. It's obvious that AFTER THE WIZARD's budget was very low and that director-writer Hugh Gross, as well as many of the actors, are new to the profession.

The film lacks both clarity and momentum, and, most importantly, it asks many more questions than it successfully answers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Elizabeth wanting to be Dorothy Gale instead of herself. What happened to Elizabeth in real life that made her want to be someone else? Why do you think she chose Dorothy?

  • The Tin Woodman and The Scarecrow come to Kansas from Oz. Name some of the things they found strange and new. Why is it funny to watch characters learn about things that are already familiar to us?

  • Do you ever imagine that you're a character from a book or movie? Who would you want to be? Why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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