The Witches of Oz

 
Muddled Oz-based fantasy has some intense action.
  • Review Date: April 15, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 164 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main message is that once you discover your purpose, it's best to step up to the plate and fulfill it with grace and commitment. Sometimes, bad influences will try to sway you from your mission, but you must stick to your goal and be aware of your enemies.

Positive role models

Dorothy is loyal to her friends and willing to do whatever must be done to protect them and save Earth from an evil witch. The witch, on the other hand, lies whenever it suits her purposes and is only too willing to destroy anything and anyone that stands in her path.

Violence

Some scary special effects (close-ups of evil-looking villains with scars, etc.). A head sits on a dresser, able to move and make facial expressions. Creatures are pulverized with a laser-like weapon. A woman slaps a man at a bar. A man robs a woman and then tries to kidnap her. Some intense fight sequences during the finale.

Sex

A woman tries to pick up a man at a bar. An actress envisions Dorothy as a sexy 11-year-old in a tank top and motorcycle jacket. Some of the witches wear low-cut, revealing outfits.

Language

Infrequent use of words including "damn."

Consumerism

Name–dropping of brands like Ferragamo and Armani. A Pepsi can is visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking -- cocktails like martinis, for example -- in bars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that that the miniseries The Witches of Oz, which imports the characters of the beloved Wizard of Oz tales to modern-day New York, has some intense fantasy fight sequences that might be too much for young kids. On the positive side, Dorothy is a loyal friend and fights to protect her loved ones.

Parents say

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What's the story?

A wizard (Christopher Lloyd) hides a magical word in a book -- a word that unleashes unspeakable powers. But the book is locked and can only be opened with a very special key. When the Wicked Witch makes a play for it, a young Dorothy clashes with her to prevent it, taking the key and landing in another world called Earth. As a grown-up, Dorothy (Paulie Rojas), an author, is summoned from Kansas to New York by a publisher who discovers her book in a competition and wants to make it into a movie and finish the next segment. Her new agent, Billie (Eliza Swenson), shuttles her to the Big Apple, where she's set up Dorothy in an apartment. Dorothy is meant to finish her book, but when she starts to remember who she really is and what happened -- and that she has enemies lurking amid so-called friends -- she realizes she has to finish what's been started.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE WITCHES OF OZ starts with characters we all know and love and then transports them into a standard evil-witch-bent-on-taking-over-the-world story. Much of the joy of the original Wizard of Oz is that it's so unlike any other tale, yet it delivers a story with universal appeal. This overly complicated plot, on the other hand, mixes the Oz mythos with yet another nasty villain seeking some magical artifact that will give her the power to Rule the World.

There's little new here, and the plot is muddled and poorly executed. (It's also overly long, running more than two-and-a-half hours, since it was originally conceived as a TV miniseries.) Rojas is an appealing actress who does the best she can with the material, but in the end there's not much that she (or Lloyd, hamming it up) can do to save The Witches of Oz.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about loyalty. How do Dorothy and her friends demonstrate their devotion to each other? How does this relate to your life?

  • How does this film fit into the larger mythology of the Wizard of Oz? Do you think it works as a new entry in the storyline? What parts of the tale are easily ported to New York City?

  • References about making the Dorothy character sexier in the movie version are played for laughs, but it may still be useful to talk to kids about how girls are portrayed too sexily too soon in the media.

Movie details

DVD release date:April 10, 2012
Cast:Billy Boyd, Christopher Lloyd, Paulie Rojas, Sean Astin
Director:Leigh Scott
Studio:Image Entertainment
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Book characters, Great girl role models
Run time:164 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of fantasy action and peril, scary images and brief language

This review of The Witches of Oz was written by

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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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMc876423 May 27, 2015
age 10+
 

The Witches of Oz

Was not too bad. Probably not the best movie I've seen.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bypinkie_pie_baby December 8, 2014
age 10+
 
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byjessealexanderrrrr February 27, 2014
age 10+
 

really!!!!!

this movie is soo badd!! not to mention the acting and the effects look really fake. I absolutely hate Paulie Rojas's portrayal of Dorothy gale she is such a Barbie doll and all of the other actors are really bad at acting as well as Leigh Scott the director is really bad.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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