Oz The Great and Powerful trailer floats in

Disney has released a new clip and trailer for its upcoming readaptation prequel of The Wizard of Oz.

Disney and Google teamed up for a social media promotion recently, by which fans could unlock a new clip from the upcoming Oz The Great and Poweful. The app, called Find Your Way to Oz, ran its course last week, and, as promised, Disney released a new clip. The scene depicts Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, a.k.a. OZ, being floated into the capitol city in a bubble, to be presented to the people of the good witch Glinda’s lands. It doesn’t stop there, however, the short clip is followed by a trailer-style montage of stark images from the film, showing off some of the special effects, and giving further details on the plot (no strong spoilers though).

Frank L. Baum created the world of Oz for his series of children’s books in the early 1900’s, and since then it has become one of the most widely adapted story worlds ever, owing much of its fame to the famous partly colorized film The Wizard of Oz.

This new film depicts the origin story of The Wizard. When it begins, Diggs (played by James Franco) is a circus magician, who is magically transported to Oz, years before Dorothy arrives. He meets up with a few of the witches, and gets dragged into some Oz politics before figuring out how to become The Wizard which was spoken of in the prophecies.

The synopsis is thus:

When Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot–fame and fortune are his for the taking–that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity–and even a bit of wizardry–Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

When I first heard of this project, I dismissed it out-of-hand, but the more I see of it now, the more curious I am. The effects look like enough fun to merit the price of admission alone, and they’ve really put some thought into how the original story should be prequeled. This isn’t a slapped-together money grab, it’s well put together, and seems to have an excellent cast involved. I hope that Disney has a whole new franchise planned for their new version of Oz, perhaps even with a couple more films to go before remaking the original. That would be something to see, and well-crafted franchises are very ‘in’ right now, so it would also help Disney’s struggling image.

Oz the Great and Powerful, helmed by genre veteran Sam Raimi, is slated to drop into theaters on March 8, 2013.