Back in the days before HDTV, I wrote a paper for a class I took in college about Dorothy Gale's death wish. You remember Dorothy. She was the one who went to Oz before James Franco. She left Kansas because that's what teenaged girls do. She ran away, along with her little dog Toto and her house, to the Emerald City. Not Seattle, but the magical world where monkeys fly and scarecrows dance. And everything was in Technicolor. Kansas was in black and white. In Oz, Dorothy was seen as a savior, a major celebrity. Back on the farm with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, she was just a little girl who was underfoot.
The scary Miss Gulch wants to take Toto away to some evil fate. Em and Henry seem completely willing to knuckle under to her wicked demands. Dorothy can do nothing but throw herself on her bed and cry. Contrast that to the much more proactive way in which she deals with the Witch of the West. Tossing that bucket of water on her may have looked like an accident, but in that little slip she managed to do away with the tormentor of an entire nation. If she had stayed, she would have been queen. Instead, she chooses to go back to Sepia-ville, where she awakes as a victim of blunt force trauma to the head. Oh sure, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man were all back in Kansas with her, but drained of all their color and fantastic appearance. Even the Wizard, comes back to this mundane existence.
That was nearly seventy-five years ago. Now when that same Wizard drops into Oz, he upsets the creepy balance of power, fulfilling prophecy and becoming a great man, rather than being just a carnival magician. At the end of this 3D extravaganza, will James Franco make the same choice as Judy Garland? Of course not. One hundred plus years after Frank Baum wrote the stories, the choice is clear: Stay in Oz. It's brighter, faster, louder and has more color than Kansas. Sure, it's dangerous and all, but it turns out that Glinda might not have been as good as her press made her out to be, at least for the right kind of guy. Not the good man from Kansas, but the great man in Oz. The con man. The guy who isn't much of a wizard, after all. But at least he's in Technicolor.