Redeeming the unlikely hero in “Oz the great and powerful”

Like almost everyone else, I love a good tale of redemption in which the unlikely hero recognizes the error of his ways and ends up saving the day. My problem however arises when Mr unlikely hero commits grievous injury to those around him. Now I’m referring to the kind of injury that has lasting effects. You know – like changing the character of another person. This for me means that there can be no redemption until that injury is amended.

The inspiration for this current ranting disguised as discourse is Disney’s latest cinematic travesty “Oz the great and powerful”, which I have just finished watching and let’s just say that its left a very nasty taste in my mouth. Quite frankly, Oz is an asshole, a con man, a liar, a womanizing selfish prick – I could go on but you get the point (I really don’t like the character). Thanks Disney you have ruined yet another childhood memory for me.

The long and short of it is that – of course he ends up saving the day and becomes the hero. But what about the young girl who he lied to, betrayed and ultimately destroyed? Because of his actions her future is unrecoverable. The writer just went too far with the antihero archetype and especially for a beloved character like the Oz. Now how am I suppose to sing;

We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz

The Oz is by no means wonderful and even the way he saves the day is by cowardly slight of hand means. Not to mention that I wouldn’t want any child to think that its ok to wreck someone’s life even if you managed to do some good deed in the future.  This issue has always disturbed me. We see the theme over and over in books and movies and it is frequently unsatisfactorily handled.

Maybe it’s my religious up-bringing but where’s the penance, where’s the consequences for our wrong doings? I’m sorry but you don’t just get to have a change of heart and all is forgiven and forgotten. Especially not when you have seriously hurt others.



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