A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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."
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.
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Products & Purchases
A few recognizable brands: Trailways bus, Staples, Gulf Oil.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One very clearly stated anti-smoking message in the dialogue.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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