Movie Talk

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Two Surprising Stars: China Girl and Monkey

Movie Talk

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China Girl is played by Joey King in 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

The ultra cute China Girl is played by Joey King in 'Oz the Great and Powerful' (Photo: Walt Disney/Getty)

Imagine you're sauntering down the yellow brick road and you run into a tiny, helpless, young doe-eyed girl -- made of china pieces, mind you -- who desperately needs your help. And she's freaking adorable.

Director Sam Raimi, Disney animators and, 13-year-old actress Joey King worked in symphony to create perhaps the cutest little 3D animated character that movie-going audiences have seen. And Finley, an expressive, funny flying monkey, played by Zach Braff, steals almost as much attention.

"They were there for every scene," James Franco told Yahoo! Movies during a recent interview, explaining that King and Braff were much more involved behind the scenes than one might assume. "I would even do takes opposite the other actors," the leading man of "Oz" added.

Watch Yahoo! Movies Interview the Cast of 'Oz the Great and Powerful':

China Girl is truly a scene stealer as she latches on to Oz (James Franco), tearfully begging him to take her along in his quest to destroy a wicked witch -- a moment reminiscent of Puss in Boots flashing his giant wide eyes in his bid for sympathy in "Shrek 2" (2004).

Yeah, she's that cute.

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Joey King in the beginning of 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

King in the beginning of 'Oz' (Photo: Walt Disney Pictures)

King also appears in live action during the first segment of the film. Like the original 1939 "Oz" movie, its intro sequences are in black and white. King plays a wheelchair-bound youth who looks to Oz's carnival magic show to cure her defective body. Later, when she is in animated form as an all-to-fragile glued-together girl, she again puts all of her hopes in Oz.

The marriage of innovative visual artistry and King's earnest delivery make for a heart-wrenching and endearing character.

A relative newcomer to the big screen, King had a small but integral role in "The Dark Knight Rises." Playing the young prison girl who grew up to be the mysterious woman played by Marion Cotillard, King shaved her hair for the role.

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Zach Braff gets some good laughs as Finley in 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

Zach Braff gets some good laughs as Finley in 'Oz the Great and Powerful' (Photo: Walt Disney/Getty)

As the film's only nice flying monkey, Zach Braff shares a lot of screen time with China Girl. (There are also droves of scary monkeys with ferocious choppers.) The boisterous and sometimes sheepish Finley, whose eyes alone confess his thoughts, recites memorable lines like, "Because I'm a monkey I must love bananas, right? That is a vicious stereotype!"

"Sam really wanted me there kind of interacting and improvising and forging this real friendship," Braff told Yahoo! He said he was on the set almost every day, in spite of the fact that his character is animated.

"Oz the Great and Powerful" is in theaters now.

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