Great and Powerful Nitpicks

Since I’m not one to leave well enough alone, I’m following up my review of Oz the Great and Powerful with this list of geeky issues and bits of trivia.

  • Why would Theodora immediately tell Oscar, “You’re in Oz”? Granted, he came from outside the country, but she doesn’t know that yet. If I ran into someone near where I live, I wouldn’t just say, “You’re in New Jersey”; I’d name the town they were close to or something.
  • The big pile of gold in which the Wizard does a Scrooge McDuck isn’t all that impressive when you consider that gold is the most common metal in Oz. Well, at least that’s what it says in The Patchwork Girl of Oz; Baum and his successors weren’t always consistent on this point.
  • No one ever gave Theodora a gift or asked her to dance? Why not, and how is this relevant to anything? I think the suggestion here that it’s a Wicked reference is probably accurate.
  • Why does the China Girl need to sleep? The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman never did. Then again, the wooden Gargoyles do, so it’s not always consistent even in the books.
  • Since the China Girl is never named, how about Portia Lynn?
  • Glinda wasn’t a redhead, and it bothered me that she was shorter than Oscar. Not that height really means anything, but to me it’s kind of symbolic of their dynamic.

  • What’s with the Wizard kissing Glinda at the end? Are they a couple after that? There’s certainly no indication of such in the MGM movie, let alone the books.
  • Why make Glinda the daughter of the last King of Oz? I don’t expect total continuity with the books, but this wasn’t even relevant to the plot, so it’s kind of just a contradiction for contradiction’s sake. Why not at least leave the door open for Ozma, even if they never end up using her? And if Glinda IS the heir to the throne, why didn’t she take it instead of giving it to the Wizard? And what happened to her mother? (Wait, you could ask the same question about Ozma, couldn’t you?)

  • I appreciate Glinda kissing the Wizard’s forehead for protection, even though it was actually the Good Witch of the North who did this to Dorothy in the book.
  • Do we ever actually hear the entire prophecy about the savior of Oz?
  • Glinda without a strong military is a little hard to swallow when she has the best army in Oz. It’s all-female, too, which might have helped to stave off the accusations of the movie being anti-feminist.

  • The poppy field already being in Oz goes against the MGM movie, in which the Wicked Witch creates it specifically to trap Dorothy. For what it’s worth, the origin of the poppies is never given in the books.
  • I’m apparently not the only one who thought Evanora’s lightning was reminiscent of Star Wars. An interesting coincidence here is that the Wicked Witch of the East also fights with lightning in Oz and the Three Witches, Hugh Pendexter’s book-consistent account of the Wizard’s arrival in Oz.
  • What was depicted on Glinda’s globe?
  • One of the Quadlings was played by Betsy Baker, who was in The Evil Dead. The interesting Oz-related thing about this is that Betsy Baker was L. Frank Baum’s original name for Betsy Bobbin.
  • If the filmmakers really want to continue highlighting the Wizard in sequels, they should do something with his learning real magic. That would allow them to develop his relationship with Glinda as well, since she’s the one who taught him.
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6 Responses to Great and Powerful Nitpicks

  1. markrhunter says:

    I was so convinced before going in that this would have nothing to do with the books … it was kind of like the thing pessimists do, so they’re never disappointed.

  2. Reblogged this on Scott Andrew Hutchins and commented:
    One thing I forgot to mention until now was that Oscar and his relationships with the women in the film reminded me more of an American John Constantine (no, I have not seen Keanu Reeves play the role) than the Oscar Diggs I know from Baum. Of course, Constantine has actual magical powers, but he rarely uses them, and generally in unobtrusive ways that don’t even look like magic.

  3. Darrell says:

    I don’t want to call the talents of those involved in making this movie into question..but really? Did they even research this movie beyond footnotes? And like you pointed out, they also made some rather glaring plot holes (Glinda should be queen of Oz in this movie).
    They made Glinda way too flimsy in my opinion…or perhaps she was just faking it for the Wizard’s sake due to the prophecy?

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