If not the greatest film ever made, certainly the most beloved. The Wizard of Oz, made in 1939, endures through generations of Americans bar none. Only 1978’s The Wiz, however, dared attempt a remake.

The Wiz transforms the setting from white, bucolic Kansas to the very dark and urban setting of a dilapidated Manhattan. The all African-American cast (including Diana Ross and Michael Jackson) and the scary and confusing Oz depicted in The Wiz definitely impart a different flavor than The Wizard of Oz.

Some of the new songs stand out in their own right, like “He’s the Wizard” and “Ease on Down the Road.” Though not as memorable, perhaps, as “Over the Rainbow” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” The Wiz does manage to add something new to The Wizard of Oz canon.

Grade: B

The Wiz (30th Anniversary Edition) is currently available.