Are people born Wicked? Or do they have Wickedness thrust upon them?
Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney and today, we are heading to the land of Oz as we take a look at two takes on a classic character from the land of Oz, that both came to us from Disney as we pit Theodora from Oz: The Great and Powerful is pitted up against Zelena from Once Upon A Time. One of the great things about their being multiple takes on a character as iconic as The Wicked Witch is that you can have numerous takes on the same character and be completely different from each other. Mila Kunis and Rebecca Mader’s Wicked Witches are absolutely different from Margaret Hamilton and from each other as well.
With that out of the way, we will be taking a look at Personality (Round 1), what are these characters’ personalities like, Motivation (Round 2), what drove these women and fueled them to be so wicked, Transformation (Round 3), a memorable part for some of the later witches is seeing how they became the witch, we the infamous Wicked Witch. Wickedness (Round 4), a special category for this Vs., what is a Wicked Witch, if they aren’t well wicked and that is something that is important with a character such as The Wicked Witch because after all, what is the Wicked Witch, if she isn’t wicked. And finally, Memorability, any good witch is memorable and will leave an impression upon you and stick with you. Do these witches do that? Well, we are here to find out. Let’s begin.
Personality (Round 1)
I think to fully understand, what the personalities of these two ladies are, we need to look what they were like before they became the Wicked Witch. With Theodora, she was very passionate and you could say somewhat compassionate and before becoming a wicked witch, a good person, who wants to see good in people and has hope for a bright future. What led her astray, Evanora. Her older sister was able to trick her younger sister and turn her wicked and made her a bitter and spiteful witch that wanted revenge against Oscar Diggs and while I do have a complaint with that, I do think the contrast in what Theodora was like before becoming the Wicked Witch and it’s clear that she was a good person that was tricked by evil forces that was able to take advantage of her fractured state. As the Wicked Witch, she isn’t very frightening but I would argue that this is the Wicked Witch’s first outing and she really has not built up her reputation of being so wicked yet.
Okay, I gotta be honest, there really isn’t that much to Zelena other than jealously. Jealously drove her motivation and her entire character and unlike Theodora, we never really got to know Zelena before she became the Wicked Witch. We get her origin story in “It’s Not Easy Being Green” of how she became the Wicked Witch and we see that she had a adoptive father that never truly loved her and when she learned of Regina, her younger sister, she grew jealous because she thought that Regina was given everything that she thought she was owed and to that, I must say that I don’t really feel like there was that much to Zelena as a character. She was perhaps of the least layered villains of Once Upon A Time. I wanted to like her as there was a lot that could’ve been done with her but other than jealous and evil, Zelena and for that reason, I have to give this round to…
Motivation (Round 2)
Now I’ll admit that this where both of these Witches kinda falter. While both of these Witches can be good villains, they don’t have the best motivations. Now to be fair, one could argue the same of Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch in the MGM film but while I’m not excusing her, her portrayal wasn’t trying to have as much depth to the Wicked Witch character, when compared to these two takes on Oz’s most Wicked resident.
Theodora’s motivation after becoming the Wicked Witch seems to be that she wants revenge on Oscar Diggs for what he did to her. Ultimately, Theodora became the Wicked Witch out of a broken heart and wanted to show Oscar that that he made her this way. So, her motivation at best is that of a woman scorned but here’s my problem with that. She only knew Oscar for maybe day, 2 tops at best and then decided that she wanted revenge on the man that had wronged her.
Zelena’s motivation was driven by her jealously of Regina. It’s still not much but the way, the show presented it, you could see that it was building up over years of feeling this way and by the time of the second curse, she had finally let loose and was letting her jealously fuel her clouded judgement and anger in an attempt to turn back time. So, I do think that by default that I have to give this round to…
Transformation (Round 3)
A memorable with the later Wicked Witches is the pivotal moment, where they become the Wicked Witch.
Everything about Theodora’s transformation is quite effective, from the dizziness that she feels after she bites the apple to the arm scratching the table and getting our first taste of her green skin.
And then the shadow and hearing her first cackle, you know that this is the Wicked Witch. And that’s what makes her first interaction with Oscar as The Wicked Witch so disappointing because this scene did a good job setting her up, only to drop the ball but for one moment, we get a great moment with Theodora as the Wicked Witch.
Zelena’s transformation is at best, a disappointment. It can best be summed up as being green with envy and that’s it.
There’s nothing more to her transformation than that and another problem, I kinda have regarding this transformation is that that we don’t get that many scenes of a green skinned Zelena in the flashbacks and she can turn it off pretty by suppressing her jealously but she turns green again, after Dorothy arrives and she starts feeling jealously over the witches doting on Dorothy. That is just disappointing because while we did get some moments of Zelena being the Witch, it was just a letdown in the long run as her transformation didn’t really mean anything in the long run. For that reason, I have to give this round to…
Wickedness (Round 4)
Okay, I gotta be honest and say that Theodora isn’t exactly wicked. I don’t know if this comes from the fact that this is her first outing as The Wicked Witch. I will say contrast to that to who she was before the Witch and there is a drastic difference in personality but you don’t really get a feel that Theodora lives up to the Wicked part of the Wicked Witch title. She has her moments but she’s not really all that wicked.
Zelena, on the other hand is wicked and so lives up to being Wicked. You get the sense in that both in the Fairy Tale flashbacks and current day Storybrooke plot lines, that Zelena is truly wicked and I think that her wickedness is fueled by her years of pent-up jealously and anger led to her becoming so wicked. Without a doubt, this round has to go to…
Memorability (The Final Round)
We’re all tied up with Theodora taking Personality and Transformation, while Zelena took Motivation and Wickedness. Now, we are going to look at which witch is more memorable.
Theodora isn’t a bad character but as the Wicked Witch, she is a weak link in an otherwise good movie and while she does have the look and presence down. She is overshadowed by other good characters in the movie and when compared to Evanora, she is not a very memorable Witch. I remember more of Theodora before she became the Wicked Witch, then I do after her transformation.
While Zelena may be my least favorite big bad from Once Upon A Time, I cannot deny that she left an impact. I won’t deny that her creepiness factor added in making her so memorable. Like any good villain, you will remember her, even after she is defeated. Though I’m not 100% sure that she’s actually dead but her death was something to behold.
With that said, this round has to go to Zelena.
The End Result!
By a score of 3 -2, Zelena shows that she is just a little more wicked than Theodora. Both are decent takes on the Wicked Witch. Not great, they do flounder in certain areas, mostly when it comes to their motivations but they are new takes on this classic character that are fun to look at. Join me tomorrow as we go to Ponyville as I countdownÂ The Top 6Â Other MLP Villains