"Heart, Hope, and Brains"
AFTER THE WIZARD is a low-budget family about the aftermath of the original Wizard of Oz story.
The movie follows an orphan girl named Elizabeth who thinks she’s Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz stories. The orphanage director is, of course, skeptical of Elizabeth’s claims, but she tries to humor her.
Meanwhile, Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman are having a hard time being rulers in the Land of Oz. They decide to fly to Kansas in a hot air balloon to seek Dorothy’s advice. They land in New Jersey and meet various people who help them find their way to Kansas.
One woman tries to take advantage of them at the New York City train station by exchanging an emerald for a few $20 bills. With the money, they get on a train bound for Kansas City, Missouri (the trains no longer go to Kansas City Kansas, they are told, so they will have to take a bus from Missouri to get to Dorothy).
Meanwhile, Elizabeth aka Dorothy is struggling to be happy at the orphanage. The female orphanage director is retiring. She’s being replaced by a man who’s not so kindly toward Elizabeth’s apparent delusions. At the same time, a little dog that looks like Toto is prowling the orphanage’s grounds.
As the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow make their way into Kansas City, Kansas, many people recognize them and point them in the direction of the orphanage where “Dorothy” is staying. They finally find her and tell her all the troubles they are having in the Land of Oz. They plead with her to come back with her, but she feels reluctant to go.
AFTER THE WIZARD is a very clean movie. There is only some slight immorality when Dorothy ate one point is rebellious toward the retiring orphanage director’s authority, the deception against the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow, and characters sneaking into an office in the dark when they’re not supposed to be there.
Otherwise, a strong moral worldview dominates the story, which is mostly about hope, the power of the human imagination, and helping others in need. There are a couple Christian values, but they aren’t overt, nor do they dominate the story.
AFTER THE WIZARD has some unnecessary dialogue. Also, some scenes were long and drawn out. The editing and directing are better, but the writing sometimes is too wordy. This dilutes the story’s conflict and jeopardy. On a side note, the sound during the scenes when the Tin Man and the Scarecrow fly the balloon have an echo, which indicates they were clearly shot in a studio.
Once the Tin Man and the Scarecrow get to New Jersey, however, the story picks up as the two strangers in a strange land try to navigate the modern world. Especially funny is a scene where a ticket man tries to explain to them how the trains no longer run to Kansas City, Kansas, but only go to Kansas City, Missouri. The scene plays like something out of the famous “Who’s on first?” sketch by Abbott and Costello.
AFTER THE WIZARD is a winsome, sometimes charming, family movie for all ages.
(BB, C, M) Strong moral worldview about hope, the power of the human imagination, and helping others in need, with light Christian, redemptive values, including a theme of repentance; no foul language; no violence; no sexual content; no nudity; no smoking or use of drugs except for one man who is about to light a cigarette, but his lighter gets extinguished by the Tin Woodman; and, minor immorality such as minor character deceives strangers, girl briefly mentions the “good” witch in the Land of Oz, disobeying authority, characters sneak into an office to look at files when they aren’t supposed to do that.
AFTER THE WIZARD follows an orphan girl, Elizabeth, who thinks she’s Dorothy from THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. An orphanage director humors Elizabeth’s fantasies. What they don’t know is that the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman have come to America to seek Dorothy’s help. Elizabeth seems to be having her own set of problems in Kansas. Her problems seem similar to those of her two friends. Will the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman find the help they need? Will Elizabeth aka Dorothy’s life in Kansas improve?
AFTER THE WIZARD has some nice performances and decent editing and directing. However, the writing, dialogue, and jeopardy could be stronger. The movie contains a strong moral worldview about hope and helping others in need. There’s no foul language and only some minor issues, such as one scene where the heroine mentions the “good” witch in Oz. AFTER THE WIZARD is a clean, winsome, sometimes charming family movie that will likely amuse both young and old viewers; especially those who know the original Wizard of Oz story.