Finley owes a life debt to Oz because he saves his life but everyone who read or saw The Wizard Of Oz knows the Wizard doesn't have a monkey servant. Then it hit me: Oz didn't save Finley. Technically... Theodora did (by urging Oz to do something when he possibly would have done nothing). And if Finley finds that out, he is bound to serve Theodora. Why is this Fridge Brilliance? Look at the baboon type monkeys we see in this film.◊ Now look at the monkeys we see in the 1939 film, particularly the single monkey the witch seems to almost always be talking to.◊ It looks an awful lot like Finley.
The poster◊ Evanora shows a tornado in the background, foreshadowing the final fate of the Wicked Witch of the East.
Back in Kansas, Annie is set to marry John Gale. As in, Dorothy Gale...
Also Fridge Horror, given that Dorothy is an orphan when her own adventure takes place.
Glinda being the Oz counterpart of Dorothy's mother is another bit of Fridge Brilliance.
Adds something to how Oz treats Dorothy too.
The Wicked Witch of the West, Theodora, has a noticeably more exaggerated disfigurement from her wickedness than her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, yet still retains enough sexiness to arguably qualify as a Hot Witch, while her sister looks like an old rotting crone. She's also far more Chaotic Evil than her sister, with major Axe-Crazy issues. Makes sense when you realize West was artificially made 100% Wicked, so she's literally experiencing This Is Your Brain on Evil and her leftover beauty compared to her sister is likely the result of her sister having a more natural wickedness.
Evanora's emerald amulet is destroyed by Glinda, leaving her powerless unless she acquires a new magical trinket to restore her witch-powers. Theodora's enchanted trinket is a ruby ring, and she wouldn't want her only real ally to remain helpless, even if it meant lending out a fraction of her own magic. Guess we know where the ruby slippers came from now, and why Theodora was so determined to reclaim them!
It even explains why she only throws one fireball against Dorothy; she doesn't have her full power.
Considering that Disney doesn't have the rights to the ruby slippers, they'll likely be silver in the sequel, like in the book.
Or, in keeping with how closely they toed the copyright line with this film, they could simply change the style of the slippers and call them "ruby shoes".
The fact that her amulet got snatched might also explain why the slippers were made so difficult to remove from a living wearer. Neither Wicked Witch would want Evanora's power to be taken from her again.
The Wicked Witch of the West first appears in Quadling Country in a descending fiery blast that destroys a swirling origin-point of the Yellow Brick Road. Disney couldn't get the rights to the exact pattern of bricks used in the MGM movie, but by setting this part of the movie in Quadling Country instead, they accounted for the difference: different country, different style to the swirls.
Glinda in the 1939 film seems far too sugary-sweet to be a Love Interest for Oscar, but this one not only managed to see through his facade, but was willing to play along with it for the sake of Oz's people. Moreover, her admission to Evanora that "bubbles are just for show" reveals that she already had her own streak of duplicitous showmanship, even before she grew desperate enough to work with a fake "Wizard" - -quite in character for the Glinda of the books, and not such a bad match, after all!
Thinking back to Oscar's performance at the carnival — specifically, how he suckered the crowd by cutting the easily-spotted wires — it's no longer as surprising that his Faking the Dead stunt cropped up at the end. Oscar doesn't just use one ploy to gull his audience, he uses a feebler one to lay the groundwork for his real trick.
At the end of the film, Glinda reads Oz's letter to the people, in order to keep the illusion that Oscar is a truly powerful wizard who anyone hardly sees. That explains why the Guard of the Gates tells Dorothy and her friends even he has never seen him.
Alternately, given that the Guard, Coachman, and Herald are all played by the same actor as the 1939 Wizard, it could be that they're all the same man making quick costume-and-wig changes. Oscar's stage experience would have trained him for such quick changes, so he may have spent many of the intervening years passing himself off as some of "Oz the Great and Powerful's" humble guards and servants.
Indeed, he does a pretty good job of posing as an Emerald City guard in this film, albeit briefly. Looks like he'll have had plenty of practice at that by the time Dorothy shows up.
We never see what happened to the guards and soldiers following the witches' exile, because they're now working for the Wicked Witches. They even resemble the Winkie guards in the 1939 film, only without green/grey skin (not yet maybe). But after many years, they've grown to fear the witches, and were happy Dorothy killed them both, freeing the guards from their servitude.
Why has no one in Oz seen fireworks? Because nobody's allowed to kill in Oz, so gunpowder was never invented.
Could be simpler than that. You have witches around who can create firework-like effects with magic. Is there any need for black powder when you have actual magic around?
Oz is ethnically diverse, as shown in crowd shots. This actually makes sense on a meta level: L. Frank Baum originally intended for Oz to be an "American Fairy Tale." Considering how diverse America has become, it would make sense that an American Magical Land would have diverse citizens.
Why does the Wizard leave right after Dorothy finishes her task? Because the only reason he'd stayed for all these years is to be ready for when the witches return (and when someone arrives to help take them down). Once the wicked witches are finally destroyed, he can go back home.
The Wizard's power in the 1939 movie is to inspire — well, bully and bamboozle — Dorothy and her companions to take on a task they think is beyond them. That's the same skill Oz uses in the prequel.
In the "Horse of a Different Color" scene, the guard who lets Dorothy and company in is the same person who played The Wizard. Here, you can see that he faked his own death and shows up in Emerald City guard garb. Since he can't appear as a living Oz, this is the way he lives from now on, undercover.
Which is also why it took so long for Dorothy and the gang to get an audience with him: the doorman (or someone in on the secret, at least) had to find The Wizard somewhere in the crowd and tell him that someone sought an audience with the Great and Powerful Oz. So then he had to sneak in through the back way and get the machines going to be suitably impressive.
Theodora is fearful of the river fairies, like the one that spits water in Oscar's face. Once you realize that she's the future Wicked Witch of the West, hence injured by water, this fear makes perfect sense.
And a possible explanation for why she fears water is that she seems to be Playing with Fire (throwing fireballs and breaking through Glinda's barrier in the form of a burning comet), so it makes sense that her Elemental Powers give her the same weakness. Water beats Fire.
Oscar was unable to help the girl in Kansas because in Kansas he wasn't a real wizard. He was able to help her in Oz, because in Oz, he was a real wizard. (Even if he didn't know it.)
All major characters in Oz appear to have a Kansas counterpart. While Mila Kunis only acts as Theodora, the girl Oz flirts with and later abandons corresponds with her. That only leaves Evanora without a distinct Kansas counterpart, but then you realize, Oscar was Evanora's Earth counterpart! Both are coy about betraying those closest to them, are arrogant, share the same motivations, are great con artists, and while Oz is the main hero of the movie, Evanora is its main villain. And while Oz redeems himself, he only does so in Oz, so in Kansas he's just as immoral as Evanora, just with less power. Stylistically, this also works, as the characters have a darker, more subdued color scheme than the other characters, and seem out of place vocally (James Franco speaks in a very modern and "normal" way, unlike the other characters, while Evanora has a British accent).
A lot of people wonder that, due to Theodora now knowing everything upon becoming evil, why she wouldn't kill Evanora for what she did to her? But punishing Evanora would've been the right thing to do, and since Theodora has been made 100% wicked on account of Evanora, she cannot punish her because that would be a good thing to do!.
In the book, when Dorothy and friends come into the China Town, any residents that get broken have to be mended. This doesn't seem to be the case in this film... until Oz glues the China Girl's legs back on. Presumably Glinda eventually helps repopulate the China Town and the girl introduces the concept of mending.
Why is the apple that turns Theodora evil green (besides The Wicked Witch's skin). Green apples are known for their bitterness.
Some people think Glinda telling Dorothy in the original film "only bad witches are ugly" right after asking whether Dorothy is a "good witch or a bad witch" was a little catty. But really, she just knows personally that some witches like Evanora look beautiful but have wicked hearts.
Theodora, AKA the Wicked Witch of the West, is Doomed by Canon and never gets the redemption the Wizard longs for. Oh, and he later sends Dorothy with a direct order to kill her.
Given that it'll be at least two decades before Dorothy comes calling, Theodora's probably going to have plenty of time to prove she doesn't want redemption between this film and the next. Possibly she'll have done so many awful things by then that restoring her human heart — and the capacity to feel regret that comes with having one — would no longer be a kindness.
Strictly speaking, Oz demanded that Dorothy bring back the Witch's broomstick, not necessarily kill her (though everyone thought killing her would be necessary). Maybe Oz hoped that Dorothy's arrival would spark a change in the Witch somehow, and she'd give up the broom voluntarily? A long shot, to be sure.
The "bring her broomstick" thing is a movie invention. In the book, he orders Dorothy to kill the Witch.
When Theodora cried after her sister lied to her about Oz, her face burned from her tears. Makes sense since she's a fire witch. Cue twenty odd years later, no wonder Dorothy's bucket of water worked so well against the Wicked Witch of the West.
Her turn to darkness may come off as narmish when you only look at the surface, but think about it; feeling pain and sadness literally causes her physical pain. She was fighting against her nature, and then her sister gave her an out that would cause her never to feel the emotions that hurt her.
Much of the debris in the china village is body parts, but the real horror is that it is not that unusual for Oz; in one of the books, a character talks to a torn-apart piece of a person to find out exactly what mauled him.
The somewhat different canon of the movie leads to its own brand of Fridge Horror: in (one of) the canon histories of Oz, four Wicked Witches divided up the land after the death of the King. Before the Wizard arrived, two were defeated: one by Glinda in the South, one by Tattypoo, the Good Witch of the North (think a female version of Radagast the Brown). The Witch of the North is entirely written out of the movie, which leaves Glinda trying to fight two Wicked Witches alone. It's no wonder she didn't care whether the Wizard was a humbug or not!
Pragmatically speaking, the likely reason the Good Witch of the North was not in this movie was because in the 1939 movie, she was merged into a Composite Character with Glinda. It's also possible that Locasta (Baum's name for her in the musical) is still busy in the North, locked in a struggle with Mombi, and thus unable to assist Glinda — assuming she even knows where Glinda is, or cares about the politics of the Emerald City.
China Girl turns out to be pretty tough, considering how much grief she suffers and yet keeps on struggling. If her Kansas alter-ego was intended to have the same basic personality, as per how And You Were There'd worked in the 1939 film, then she must've been a lot worse off than just being wheelchair-bound, to have looked so very despairing in the carnival scenes.
Oscar once flirted with a young Almira Gulch. Think about that...
Miss Gulch actually turns into the Wicked Witch of the East, so if these two movies share a canon, her counterpart is actually Evanora.
No, Almira and the WWW were played by the same actress with similar personalities, so Almira in this film would have to be Theordora as well.
Glinda sending Dorothy to the Wizard in the 1939 film (despite knowing that the ruby slippers could send her back to Kansas) has been frequently cited as a major plot hole by cynical moviegoers, with a few people suggesting that it's proof that Glinda isn't as altruistic as she seems. Fast-forward to this movie: apparently, not only did Glinda neglect to tell Dorothy that the ruby slippers could have sent her home all along, she also knew all along that the Wizard didn't really have any powers.
It's slightly less troublesome in the book, where Dorothy doesn't meet Glinda before the Wizard leaves on his balloon, and the Good Witch of the North sends her to the Wizard instead. Still, the Wizard sending Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the West is a glaring narrative problem.
Actually, Glinda doesn't tell Dorothy that the wizard has any powers, Dorothy surmises that on her own. What Glinda tells her is that the wizard might know how to get her home, and he DOES know a way to get her home. Glinda knew he might because he is from Kansas and got to Oz the way Dorothy did. Still doesn't solve the problem of her not telling Dorothy the ruby slippers could get her home though.
If the ruby slippers were originally a product of Theodora's magic, as per Fridge Brilliance above, then it could be that the slippers couldn't take Dorothy home until after their creator was dead. If Dorothy'd tried to activate their magic before she'd destroyed the witch, Theodora's ruby ring could have allowed her to alter their destination and bring Dorothy straight to her castle's dungeon instead of to Kansas.
Well, why didn't Glinda say so instead of the "she wouldn't have believed me" horsehockey?
Would you have wanted to believe that your surest way of getting home was to go murder yet another witch, if you were Dorothy?
It might not be horsehocky, though; it's possible Dorothy could only use the slippers' full power after learning her life-lesson because self-discovery is the only way to become the true master of the ruby slippers. Though that's more fridge brilliance.
In the beginning of the movie we see that there are people in Kansas who really care about Oscar. As far as they now know, he died a horrible death being sucked into a tornado.
In conjunction with the above Fridge about Elmira/Almira Gulch, this becomes Fridge Brilliance, explaining why she turned nasty: She believes that Oscar loved her and had, in fact, fallen in love with him. And then he died. So her heart withered from lost love and she became a spiteful old woman.
That could lay the groundwork for a very, very long-in-coming reconciliation of one of the 1939 film's dangling threads: did Toto get put down on Ms. Gulch's say-so? If Oscar successfully makes it back to Kansas in his balloon, he could re-unite with Elmira and either deflect her ire away from Toto (and onto him) for disappearing for so long and leaving her to grieve, or else undertake a genuine December-December Romance with the woman he'd previously exploited, having learned his lesson after Theodora's fall. Either way, she'll have more important things than a spiteful vendetta against a terrier to be concerned with.