After the Wizard

  • Review Date: August 7, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sweet but muddled postscript to Oz has mild suspense.
  • Review Date: August 7, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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.

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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?

QUALITY
 

Despite its 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 -- 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.

Families can talk 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

DVD release date:August 7, 2012
Cast:Jermel Nakia, Jordan Van Vrankan, Orien Richman
Director:Hugh Gross
Studio:Breaking Glass Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Book characters
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of After the Wizard was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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