'Oz The Great and Powerful': Why Your Daughter Shouldn't See It

Rant 119

Oz the Great and Powerful

I was so excited when I first saw the previews for Oz The Great and Powerful -- not only do I (of course!) love the Judy Garland film, but I devoured many of the original books as a child, and I thrilled at the thought of L. Frank Baum’s magical world coming to life again on the big screen. And while the movie was beautifully lush, with plenty of eye candy for all, I really wish I hadn’t taken my almost 10-year-old daughter to see such a load of sexist crapola.

First, let’s start with the costumes. Trust me: I’m no prude. I enjoy looking at a gorgeous woman dressed in beautiful clothes, and if it’s a James Bond movie, then bring on the slinky sexiness -- I’ll eat it up. (SPOILER ALERT!)

And while the makeup and costumes in Oz for the most part were incredible, the sheer amount of heaving cleavage from all three female characters was seriously ridiculous, and total overkill for a movie meant for a family audience. Also, I’m pretty sure one of the main motivations for shooting the movie in 3D was to capture Mila Kunis' butt in tight leather pants. No joke: an entire sequence seemed totally planned around getting a rear-view of Kunis as she climbs up into a cave (or something).

But that was nothing compared to truly backward, terrible lessons about men, women and relationships. (REPEAT: SPOILER ALERT!) ...

"Oz," the Wizard, as portrayed by James Franco, is a womanizing charlatan, which I agree makes sense for the smoke-and-mirrors character we met in the classic film. The problem for me isn't so much his icky behavior (and when I say icky I mean SO UNAPPEALING ICK!), but the way the bonehead women in the movie react to him.

First, there’s the fact that much of the movie hinges on the notion that Mila Kunis' character, Theodora, goes completely bat-sh*& nuts at her first notion that the "Wizard" -- whom she has known for all of about 14 hours -- has scorned her. In her CRAZY LADY heartbreak, she purposely eats a poison apple that her evil sister (a glossy-lipsticked Rachel Weisz) offers her and transforms instantly into the Most Evil Villainess Ever. Yes, kids, the Wicked Witch of the West got that way because of a boy. It’s a completely ludicrous, lazy plot device hinged on the tired old notion that women are basically crazy and wildly over-reactive. Theodora turns horrible-looking and GREEN as a result of allowing her heartbreak to turn her to the dark side.

LESSON: Not only are ugly people easier to hate, but women are fragile, easy fooled, and will go crazeballs when even slightly burned in love.

Speaking of fragile, next we have Michelle Williams' characters (as in the 1939 movie, actors appeared both in Kansas and in the technicolor land of Oz). We see Williams first as the sweet farm girl in love with Franco's scuzzy, ever on-the-move carnival "magician," and then as Glinda, the ever pure and lovely good girl witch of the North. The Wiz first ditches blondie in Kansas to pursue his "dreams," then gets chased out of town by someone else's angry boyfriend. Of course, he goes further than out of town ... he lands in Oz, where runs around acting like a total cad. But in the end, he kind of pulls it together, manages to defeat two super powerful witches (yeah right), and is rewarded by a passionate smooch with Glinda, who has apparently seen through his jerky facade to his heart of gold the entire time.

LESSON: Just wait around long enough, and the worthless, manipulating creep who’s been treating you like total garbage MAY come around in the end! BARF.

Finally, we have the downfall of the meanie big sister, Evanora. Rachel Weisz is great in the role -- she’s deliciously bad -- but in the end of course this Wicked Witch is defeated by good and her TRUE appearance is revealed: a WRINKLY UGLY HAG OH NO! Oh yes! That will show those bad girls! They’ll be deformed and wrinkly (A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH), while sweet, pretty Glinda will float around in pretty bubbles, her flawed man at her side.

LESSON: Wrinkles and not being pretty anymore = the ultimate punishment.


I don’t look to the entertainment industry to teach my kid about life (hahahaha), but when a movie is meant for an audience that includes children, it’s a darn shame for it to be so filled with truly retrograde sexism, laughably ridiculous "relationships," and damaging lessons about the value of beauty. I’ll be trying to causally bring some of the scenes up with my daughter so I can shed some light on what she absorbed for those couple of hours. For the rest of you moms with daughters -- or sons for that matter! -- I’d stay home.

Did you see Oz the Great and Powerful? Did you have the same response or do you think I’m overreacting?

Image via Disney.go.com/thewizard

feminism, movies, activities, girls


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linzemae linzemae

I thought the movie was great. Kids wont pick up on the cleavage or sexism. First time I saw shrek I thought it was really inappropriate for kids but they love it

tuffy... tuffymama

Thanks for saving me the trouble. This sexist chum churned out by way of pillaging old classics singes my petticoats. If you're gonna make a pile of shit for a movie, at least have the tits and the talent to write something new. And I am no bra burner by any stretch, but let me tell you this: it isn't the BAD girls who are ugly. What they mean to tell our kids is that SMART, INDEPENDENT women are ugly, and the only way to be pretty is to need need need. Grrrr!

I'm beginning to think that maybe California can stay, and only the whole chunk of LA/Hollywood can just break off into the Pacific and sink.

Coles... Coles_mom

I haven't seen it yet, so this is speaking based on what I've heard from you and others. I want my daughter being strong and independent, but I don't feel as though there is anything wrong with a romantic, white-knight dream either. I'm almost 40 years old and I still melt at old-school romance. That doesn't make me a lesser woman. I let my daughter watch the older (and newer) Disney movies and she loves them. Every one of her princess dolls has a "boyfriend". It doesn't bother me.

Linda Jiron

Lighten up, it`s just a movie!

kelti... kelticmom

Oh good lord. I think you are really reaching there. The reason the evil witches turned out to be ugly, is because beauty comes from the inside. The most gorgeous woman on the planet could be the ugliest hag inside because of her evilness, selfishness, etc. It was their true nature being revealed. As for the rest of it, it's a fairy tale. Get over it.

Ally Swarrow

"Sexist crapola"? What are you, ten?

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I teach my daughter not to compare herself to what she sees on TV, reads in a book, or finds on the front of a magazine cover. None of those are REAL women- thus cannot be compared to. They are for entertainment purposes only- just like the actors and actresses that play them.

When you start believing these imaginary circumstances have an importance in your daily life- you begin to lose sight on what is really meaningful. It must be an unhappy existence for those who will never be those imaginary people they look up to!

Margaret Owens Floeter

Oh please. This was a great movie. I loved every moment of it, and I'm a 54 year old, independent, strong woman. Get over yourself and stop making sexist mountains out of innocent molehills.

grayc... graycalico

Most of the fairy tales involving girls are all about waiting for Prince Charming to rescue the girl. It's our job to teach our girls to rescue themselves, not the movie industries. This rant sounds like the people who think girls will get their body images from playing with Barbie

SLMit... SLMitchell

Oh for Oz sake woman!

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