‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Fun Facts (Part Two), Merchandise and New Ad

Michelle Williams, center ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Last month, we introduced the official character description as well as several fun facts for Oz the Great and Powerful. You can read that post for the first set of fun facts, but today, we now have several more fun facts about the film courtesy of Walt Disney Studios:

  • Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams play the three witches in Oz The Great and Powerful, respectively: Evanora, Theodora and Glinda. All three have special powers that emanate from natural elements. Evanora has the power to create lightning; Theodora can make fireballs appear; and Glinda commands water.
  • The Oz The Great and Powerful production was spread out over seven soundstages at the Michigan Motion Pictures Studios’ soundstage facility in Pontiac, Michigan. All the sets for the film were built indoors with every frame shot on the studios’ sound stages.
  • In a filmmaking first, a marionette was used to create a reference for a CG character. Marionette artist Philip Huber created the China Girl character as an 18-inch figure. China Girl, voiced by Joey King, is made entirely from porcelain — as is everything and everyone from China Town. The fragile, but resilient, China Girl is befriended by Oz on his journey.
  • Special makeup artist Howard Berger (The Chronicles of Narnia series), an Academy Award® winner, and his partner Greg Nicotero, created the looks of several of the unique denizens of Oz, including characters such as the Munchkins, the Tinkers and the Winkies. Over the course of the five-month shoot, Berger estimates that he and his staff applied over 2,500 character makeups.
  • Prop master Russell Bobbitt was very proud of Oz’s satchel, which he built from concept illustrations. It was a beautiful bag, something like an old-time doctor’s bag, that opened in a tri-fold manner. After he finished building the bag, he showed it to director Sam Raimi, who loved it but decided to stick with the old satchel they had been rehearsing with. Because they only had one of those, Bobbitt and his crew had to turn around and recreate several more old satchels.
  • The fauna-rich Whimsie Woods set was a challenge to create indoors on a soundstage, but greensman Dan Gillooly stepped up to help Stromberg realize his vision for the enchanting, idyllic forest enclave. To balance the big, bold silk flowers used in the set, Gillooly brought in a huge order of tropical plants with large leaves. The resulting set was so lifelike that it created its own mini-ecosystem.
  • The Land of Oz would not be complete without Munchkins, so the production’s extras casting directors found three-dozen little people, mostly from the Detroit area. Their average 3’6” height contrasted sharply with the four-dozen Winkies, the spear-toting palace guards, none of whom were under 6’6” with some even exceeding seven-feet tall.

Merchandise supporting the movie has also started to roll out as well online at DisneyStore.com. Now available are items such as 12″ James Franco as Oscar Diggs (Oz) doll, ‘Mastering Magic’ replica journal, notecard set, wizard mug, wicked witch of the west mug, three witches mug and water bottle with more on the way.

Lastly, Disney has released this ad titled ‘which witch is which?’ which offers up some exciting new footage:

 

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