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China Girl, voiced by Joey King, left, and James Franco, as Oz, are shown in a scene from “Oz the Great and Powerful.” (AP Photos/Disney Enterprises, Merie Weismiller Wallace)

Disney, Sam Raimi gamble on return trip to Oz

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LOS ANGELES  — Returning to the mystical land of “The Wizard of Oz” took more than 70 years and several hundred millions dollars.

Disney releases its highly anticipated prequel to the 1939 movie classic on Friday. Directed by Sam Raimi, “Oz the Great and Powerful” explores the origins of the wizard (James Franco) and the witches (Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz) in a three-dimensional Oz.

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